Freedom March for Soviet Jewry in New York, Solidarity Sunday, co Enid Wurtman
This five-part lesson plan, written prior to 1980, teaches students about the history of the plight of Soviet Jewry. Activists and educators worked together to educate and motive Jewish youth to understand and lend their voice to the cause.
In this lesson, students will imagine that they are activists in the free world advocating for Soviet Jews. Students will learn about an individual refusenik, and come up with a plan for how to bring public attention to their refusenik’s case. Students will build creative presentations about their refusenik through drawing, writing, creating songs, speeches, collages, etc. Students will then present the case for their refusenik.
In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of social action and will think creatively to promote causes for which they see a need to take action.
In this lesson, students will learn about the origins of the Soviet Jewish community leading up to the Revolutions of 1917 and about the roots of
In this lesson, students will learn about the Soviet campaigns against the Jews from the 1940s through the 1960s, the revival of Jewish national identity, and the beginnings of international protests against the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union.
In this lesson, students will explore Jewish texts that deal with questions of identity and belonging. They will create identity cubes, which will help them identify how they can each contribute to the Jewish community in their own unique way.
Students will write a letter to a former refusenik or activist. This lesson is a culminating activity at the end of a unit, quarter, or semester. Students will have the opportunity to reflect and articulate who inspired them personally, and on ideals or
In this lesson, students will learn about the concept of Jewish mutual responsibility.
It is an important mitzvah to redeem captives. Where does this law come from, when does it apply, and to what extent does one have to go in order to redeem captives? These ideas will be explored through the text study below.
The documentary “Operation Wedding” tells the story of a group of Soviet Jews willing to risk everything, including their personal freedom, for a chance to escape the USSR and bring media attention to the struggle of Soviet Jews. Use the discussion questions provided by the filmmaker that highlight the history of the time and the choices this group made.
The Soviet Union forbade any unique religious ritual from 1917 onward, However, when the first Israeli ambassador to the USSR arrived on Rosh Hashanah, something unexpected happened.
The students who formed the organization The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry saw a problem: people were being denied their basic human rights simply because they were Jews. In this lesson, you are challenged to think of a cause to champion in order to make the world a better place.
This lesson introduces young children to the idea that Jewish people in the Soviet Union were not free to express themselves as Jews or to emigrate to a different country.
In this lesson, students learn of the destruction of Jewish identity and religion in the Soviet Union from its rise until WWII.
In this lesson, students will learn about the fall of the Iron Curtain and about the release of the Jews from the Soviet Union and its aftermath.
Students will learn how songs can help bring attention to world problems and inspire individuals to seek solutions. In this lesson, students will discuss how music was used to inspire, motivate, or teach about the movement to free Soviet Jewry.
In this lesson, students will learn about the figure of Avital Sharansky, and will compare her story to the events of the Purim story.
In this lesson, students will learn classical sources related to Jews living in the Land of Israel and will debate the issue of making Aliyah today.
In this lesson, students connect with a former Refusenik or Soviet Jewry Activist to understand what issues people faced and what motivated people to stand up against injustice.
Photographs can tell us about times and places where we have not been or remind us of details we may not have noticed in a given moment. In this lesson, students will use photographs to learn about Jewish life in the former Soviet Union.
This commemorative program is a memorial to those killed on what is now called The Night of the Murdered Poets. The program, a narrative containing some of the poetry that survived that night, is particularly appropriate for programs tied in with Tisha B’Av.
Students will research different personalities from the Soviet Jewry movement. They will determine what motivated them, what happened to them during and after the movement ended.
Freedom Shabbat: Immersing students or campers into the life and struggle of Jewish activists in the U.S.S.R. - 1977 Soviet Jewry Camp Kit
Freedom Shabbat is the first activity of many listed in the “1977 Soviet Jewry Camp Kit”. Educators have the option of implementing these activities as a historical dramatization, or it can be easily adapted to today.
Created by The Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, this curriculum explores the ways in which the Cleveland Jewish Community, organized by the Federation, rallied around the issue of the Soviet Jewry struggle in December 1987. The central activity involves cooperatively learning about various community activities, their goals, and outcomes.
Like the Jews in the days of the Maccabees, the Jews in the Soviet Union were also prohibited from studying Torah and practicing their Judaism. In this lesson, we look at the theme of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, as a metaphor of hope in the face of darkness.
We all know Martin Luther King Jr was a great civil rights leader. How is he connected to the Refusenik movement? In this lesson, students will consider the connections between the civil rights movement, Jewish values, and the struggle for Soviet Jewry.
What does political activism have to do with Jewish tradition? With Jewish history? With Jewish identity? In this lesson, we will look at Jewish sources that inform and shape this Jewish value.
The Purim story is a tale of overcoming a tyrannical empire and using identity to bolster and empower the community; very similar to what the Soviet Jews faced.
“Soviet Jewry Day”-Immersing students or campers into the life and struggle of Jewish activists in the U.S.S.R. - 1977 Soviet Jewry Camp Kit
Soviet Jewry Day is the second program of many listed in the “1977 Soviet Jewry Camp Kit”. Educators have the option of implementing these activities as a historical dramatization, or it can be easily adapted to today.
This Israel Forever activity was designed to address the issues of political identity and the struggle of diaspora Jews who are often asked to choose between the land of their birth and the land of their heritage, Zion.
This activity was designed to facilitate introspection and discussion about personal identity and Jewish identity and the relationship between the two. This lesson is written by the Israel Forever Foundation, which develops and promotes opportunities to strengthen and celebrate personal connections to Israel.
In this lesson, students will learn about ways in which Jewish identity interacts with other cultures and practices, specifically in the Soviet Union.
In this lesson, students will learn about the struggle of the Soviet Jews in the
In this lesson, students will explore the meaning of freedom, and reflect on slavery and freedom in the lives of the Refuseniks and in their own lives.
In this lesson, students will use texts to analyze different elements of the Passover story, and that of the Jews from the former Soviet Union, and cultural cues to envision themselves as if “they themselves came out of Egypt.”