Soviet Jewry

Absorption of Soviet Jews (1990)

Women’s League has been involved in the movement to obtain freedom for Soviet Jews since its inception.

Today, Soviet Jews are receiving permission to leave in unprecedented numbers. The pressing need is to find immediate ways and means of bringing them to Israel. In addition, many will be repatriated with their families in North America.

Women’s League of Conservative Judaism, as a vital synagogue-based organization has a unique opportunity to play a significant role in the absorption of tens of thousands of Soviet Jews into our Conservative/Masorti community. Therefore, we urge our sisterhood affiliates to:

  1. Cooperate with those local recognized agencies that are coordinating efforts to provide basic needs for these émigrés.
  2. Participate in adopt-a-family program.
  3. Invite soviet Jews to religious services, Passover sedarim and sisterhood activities.
  4. Provide classes for learning synagogue skills and Judaic studies.
  5. Provide a support network for observance of Jewish life cycle events.
  6. Encourage religious education for the children, i.e., scholarships, U.S.Y. , Kadima membership and Ramah camps.
  7. Support Operation Exodus, the UJA campaign for ingathering and absorption of Soviet Jewry into Israel.
  8. Support the efforts of the Masorti movement in Israel in their outreach to Soviet Jews.

Soviet Jewry (1978)

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism commends and supports the courageous Jews of the Soviet Union who continue to demand religious and cultural freedom in the face of great personal hazards. We deplore the denial of human rights by the Soviet Union – rights guaranteed by its Constitution. These rights are also guaranteed by its signing of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Helsinki accord.

Although during 1977 and so far this year there has been significant increases in the number of Jews allowed to emigrate form the Soviet Union, this is offset by:

  1. The disturbing increase in production and distribution of anti-Semitic materials in the Soviet Union. The government cynically and dangerously stimulates and furthers anti-Semitism within its borders;
  2. The increased number of arrests and convictions of dissidents and Refusniks.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, therefore, strongly urges:

  1. Our government to exert all means, both public and private through diplomatic channels and within the United Nations, to urge the USSR to restore rights to all Soviet Jews as guaranteed by the Soviet Constitution, and to secure for them the right of emigration and visitation;
  2. The Soviet Union to free Jewish Prisoners of Conscience whose suffering, solely because of their wish to live freely as Jews is an affront to justice and human decency;
  3. The Soviet Union to fulfill its obligation to grant Jews the right to preserve their culture and heritage, practice their religion and maintain regular contact with Jewish life throughout the world:
  4. Full cooperation on a local level, with the program of the Women’s Plea for Soviet Jewry;
  5. Support of the United Jewish Appeal in its special efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews;
  6. Every sisterhood to forma a liaison committee to cooperate with responsible local community groups concerned with Soviet Jewry and to participate in all recommended activities;
  7. Every sisterhood to make special efforts to integrate Soviet immigrants to the Untied States into the life of the synagogue and into the mainstream of the American Jewish community;
  8. Every sisterhood to adopt either a Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience and his family, or a Soviet Jewish family divided by the dictates of the Soviet government;
  9. Incorporation of reaffirmations of commitment to the nurturing of support for Soviet Jews and Jewish identity in the Soviet Union into individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations.

Soviet Anti-Semitism (1962)

National Women’s League is deeply concerned at the plight of our fellow Jews within the Soviet Union. We deplore and condemn the discriminatory and repressive treatment accorded by the Soviet government to its Jewish citizens as is revealed by news emerging from behind the Iron Curtain.

There is increasing evidence that Jews are denied their distinctive cultural institutions and are cut off from contact with Jewish communities in other countries. Jewish religious institutions are harassed and subjected to official or officially sanctioned attacks. Jewish literature and journalism continues to be systematically suppressed. Jews are discriminated against in educational opportunities in the Soviet Union’s schools, colleges, universities and technical training institutions as well as employment in higher level posts.

The Soviet press reports recent prosecution of Jews under Soviet law regarding “economic crimes” and this further incites anti-Jewish feeling. These crimes are being imposed upon Jews in a greater ratio than upon others charged with similar offenses.

National Women’s League protests and condemns Soviet anti-Semitism, We call upon the United States government to use its influence in the United Nations to mold opinion against these practices in the Soviet Union.