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Resettlement, called "absorption" in Israel, welcomed more than 12,000 new Russian-speaking Clevelanders and assisted them in starting new lives here. It was a many-year effort led by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, with agency leadership by the Jewish Family Service Association. It was supported by congregations and other parts of the organized Jewish community. Possibly more than a thousand volunteers helped. Yet no report on it had been published.

In the course of planning for the May 15, 2016 program on A 20th Century Exodus, Federation was asked if such a report was available. One had been written in 2013 by Rachel Davidson, a Clevelander who was then a Federation intern. With the permission of Federation and of the author, we are pleased to web-publish this summary.

Thanks to Eti Ganin, who asked Federation if a report was available and to Federation executive Erika Rudin-Luria for sending it to me and granting permission to publish.

Arnold Berger May 18, 2016

Rachel Davidson writes:

"I wrote this report while I was a summer intern at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, when I was a college student studying Psychology at Oberlin College. I was asked to write a report on the lives of Jews in Cleveland who immigrated from the Former Soviet Union, and I found that there was little research done on their lives after coming to the United States.

This report drew heavily on documents found at the Western Reserve Historical Society, but also drew on interviews I conducted with eight Cleveland Jews who came from the FSU.

While I am proud of this report, there is certainly more research to be done, and I cannot claim in any way to be an expert in this story. I welcome any comments or corrections, and I am happy to help anyone who wants to continue this research."


Read the Cleveland Resettlement report.  
(It is a .pdf document. Adobe Reader required.)

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