Because of the efforts of the Cleveland Council on Soviet
Anti-Semitism, the larger Jewish community in the city and
throughout the country began to pay greater attention to the plight
of Jews in the Soviet Union and to consider steps to help them
From the 1960s to the 1990s, approximately 12,000
Jews who emigrated from the USSR came to Cleveland. The Jewish
community, led by the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Family
Service Association, organized aid for these new immigrants and
helped them to adjust to American life.
While the efforts to aid Soviet Jewry are very
well documented in the Cleveland Jewish Archives of the Western
Reserve Historical Society, the stories of the immigrants themselves
have yet to be told.
The project aims to
address the neglect of the Soviet Jewish immigrant experience by
collecting the oral histories of select immigrants and, when
possible, documents, photographs, and artifacts that will help WRHS
and others to tell their stories in the future.
Sean Martin, Associate
Curator for Jewish
History at the WRHS