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Introduction to The Soviet Jewry Struggle for Freedom


Before starting to teach about the Soviet Jewry Struggle, we recommend you give this short introduction:

December 23, 2020


Calculated Discussion: Permission to leave paradise


With a rare combination of basic mathematics and history, we will explain the USSR’s line of thought regarding the exit of citizens from its borders, the diploma tax they gave to strengthen the exit restriction, and the Jackson-Vanik Convention that imposed restrictions on trade between the US and the USSR.

Through a simple mathematical calculation, false claims and statements can be proven wrong. For example, the Soviet government stated that they let Jews out without any problem. For example, in 1968, 379 Jews left.

But how many Jews were in the USSR? How many asked for an exit permit and received a refusal? And how many were afraid to ask?

December 17, 2020


Sing in Hebrew, songs sung by captive Soviet Jews and by Free Jews in Israel


One was sung by Soviet Jews, trapped in the USSR: “Blue and White are the colors of my land, for now and ever after”.
The other was sung by Jews in Israel:
“Won’t you ask after, O Zion, the weal of your captive?”

Sing in Hebrew, and discuss the lyrics meanings and source.

January 11, 2020


Women of the Refuseniks – video & discussion


In this lesson you can use a slideshow archives presentation to show how the Soviet Media portrayed Jews and Jewish Emigration problem (according to Soviet officials: no problem because no one wants to get out), with points of discussion.
Raising the main question: how can we today recognize an attempt brainwash or “fake news” when it’s not about a subject that we are familiar with?

October 25, 2019


BRAINWASHING & FAKE NEWS – SLIDESHOW & DISCUSSION


In this lesson you can use a slideshow archives presentation to show how the Soviet Media portrayed Jews and Jewish Emigration problem (according to Soviet officials: no problem because no one wants to get out), with points of discussion.
Raising the main question: how can we today recognize an attempt brainwash or “fake news” when it’s not about a subject that we are familiar with?

September 9, 2019


Research and contribute to historical archives


Teach students how their parents used to research before everything became digitized. Understand what was going on in earlier generation. To understand how the Jews in the US (and the Free World) worked to help their fellow Jews on the other side of the world.

August 15, 2019


Present, Protest, & Inspire: learn the about individual Refuseniks and prepare a presentation to save them!


In this activity lesson, students will imagine that they are activists in the free world advocating for Soviet Jews.
Each group will will learn about a different refusenik, and come up with a plan for how to bring public attention to their refusenik’s case through drawing, writing, creating songs, speeches, collages, etc.

November 4, 2018


Connecting to Soviet Jews


Created by The Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, this lesson plan 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.

September 27, 2018


Bring Refuseniks or Activists to Class (or on zoom)


Hear the stories from the source! Invite Prisoners of Zion, Refuseniks and Human Rights activist who live near you.

August 30, 2018


Night of the Murdered Poets Commemorative Program – 1977 Soviet Jewry Camp Kit


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 apropos for programs tied in with Tisha B’Av.

August 15, 2018


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