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We show below parts of a message by Dr. Sean Martin of the
Western Reserve Historical Society, posted here in May 2016.

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 emigrate. 

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.

Dr. Sean Martin,
Associate Curator for Jewish History at the WRHS


This project has been completed. In our view it sets a new standard
for presenting oral histories at the WRHS.  Arnold Berger May 2, 2017

To see what has been accomplished, click on the link below.
It will take you to a page on the WRHS website.

Soviet Jewish Oral History Collection


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