The Refusenik Project is a free educational resource created by The Lookstein Center of Bar-Ilan University to keep the story of Soviet Jewry alive and to inspire the next generation with its message. Please read more about our educational approach and how to use this project below.
Educational ApproachThe Project
Protesting for Soviet Jewry, 1969.  Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry records I-507 ; American Soviet Jewry Movement Photographs I-495

Educational Approach

We approach teaching the struggle for Soviet Jewry with an understanding that it is a collection of “teachable moments”, relevant for the study of the Jewish past, and relevant to guide our youth in their present and future.

The day-to-day struggles of the Refuseniks, Prisoners of Zion, and in fact, the Soviet Jewish community is an opportunity to teach about personal heroism, the importance of activism, Jewish identity, Jewish practice, Jewish values, and Jewish solidarity.

In parallel, the commitment and efforts of the Jewish students, activists, and communities in Western countries provide the same opportunity.

The two go hand in hand.

Additionally, we believe that there is purpose in sharing that among and across the Refusenik and activist communities there were a range of values and strategies. Disagreements happened, compromise was not always possible, and each side held tightly to their positions because they believed it would be the most impactful.

The Project

The materials on this website are meant for children in elementary, middle, and high school and can be used in camps, youth groups, and other programming environments.  They are designed to be flexible so that a range of educators—including teachers, counselors, and youth group leaders—will use them. Tweak, add, and subtract, as necessary.

Most importantly, educate the younger generation. Teach them that all Jews are responsible for one another and that every individual can make a difference. We hope you will inspire them with this very important period of our history.

Good luck!


Refusenik Project was envisioned by Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov and Chana German to be a tool to retell the inspiring story of Jews living under Communist rule who worked together with activists to ensure that they could live freely as Jews.
Refusenik Project was launched with the help of:
Daphna Ansel, Curriculum Development
Hyim Brandes, Technology
Rivky Krestt, Curriculum Development
Dee Mack, Operations
Chevi Rubin, Communications
Rebecca Spiewak, Operations Support


The creation of The Refusenik Project would not have been possible without the support, commitment, and passion of our generous donors and partners. Thank you.

The Shirley & Leonard Goldstein Supporting Foundation Morey Schapira  Nativ  June & Ron Daniels ● Peter Wexler  Bob Gordon  Adele & Joel Sandberg  Jewish LearningWorks   Glenn Richter  Gail Raznick   Sandra Spinner Pam & Leonard Cohen ● Gary Charlestein  Wendy Eisen  Sheri & Paul Robbins ●  Frank Brodsky  Enid Wurtman Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union (UCSJ)  

Get In Touch

(646) 568-9737
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