Preserve and share the history of the grassroots Soviet Jewry Movement in North America.


The grassroots Soviet Jewry Movement is widely known as a successful historical movement started by a collective of individuals whose efforts ultimately influenced nations toward humanitarian goals. Multiple institutions and individuals preserve and share their resources utilizing the SJMAP virtual hub giving a broad audience access to historical materials.


  • Construct a website to aggregate archival materials -- documents, photos, newsletters, etc. that help to tell the history of the grassroots movement relating to Soviet Jewry and freely share this information to all those interested.
  • Transfer historic materials from former activists to archives.
  • Provide grants to digitize materials and make them available for public access.
  • Create educational platforms and curricula based on these resources.
  • Engage scholars, educators, and the public to utilize and promote the study and scholarship of the history of the grassroots movement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Collective action at the local level to affect change. 

Beginning in the early 1960’s the Soviet Jewry movement in North America was started by concerned individuals, first in Cleveland and then in NYC, at a time when the established Jewish organizations did little. These grassroots efforts spread across the country and grew for the next 30 years to impact public and political advocacy for Soviet Jews.

  • The Soviet Jewry Movement is one of the best pieces of evidence of the impact individuals and organizations can have on modern-day policy.
  • Hundreds of thousands of documents describing this incredible movement are in private collections and various archives and libraries around the world.
  • The activists who led grassroots organizations and kept these documents are aging and dying, some taking with them the knowledge of where materials have been preserved.
  • It is of the utmost importance to act quickly to locate, preserve and protect these materials in a fashion that makes them easily accessible to future researchers, historians, educators, and the public.

The story of Soviet Jews and the international effort to free them...

  • is an important lesson -- for all -- in the ongoing fight for human rights and against oppression.
  • has tremendous meaning and educational potential for the enhancement of Jewish identity and Jewish solidarity.
  • remains, thirty years later, a mostly untold story and an untapped resource.

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