Research and contribute to historical archives

Introduction

Teach students how their parents used to research before everything became digitized. Understand what was going on in earlier generation. Understand what the press was and was not covering on a key human rights issue of the day. Understand the oppressive conditions in which their Soviet Jewish relatives lived. Understand why the USSR was called the Evil Empire. Understand what it is like to live in a totalitarian regime which hates you. only because you were Jewish. Understand what Jews had to do to keep their heritage, their culture, their language, etc–all of which were denied to them. To understand why Soviet Jews decided to leave the USSR as Jews and not try to live as Jews in the USSR. To understand how the Jewish community in the USSR organized and supported each other. 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.

Learning Objectives

  •  To have students learn what happened to Jews who were trapped in the USSR during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. This was all pre-Internet.
  • To have students learn what happened to Jews who were trapped in the USSR during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. This was all pre-Internet.
  • To teach students how to research manually in their local libraries before the Internet was created and utilized.
  • To teach students how to work as teams together in their communities and how to work with research librarians in their communities.
  • To allow the students to post their work on The Refusenik Project website and receive recognition from their peers around the world.
  • To teach students how to dig deeper into matters that are presented in their history books.

Materials

All they will need is access to their local public library. As they are searching though magazines (Time, Newsweek, US News & World report, etc), National newspapers ( Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Baltimore Times, etc) and their local newspapers during a specific period of time (1965-1970 or 1970-1975). The students can bring along a few dollars of change for items they wish to copy. They can bring their digital devices to take pictures of those pages or to start creating a research report on what was written in those key news documents during those 5 year periods.

Contributing Organization

Written by:  Morey Schapira

Procedure

Let the students go into the stacks in their local libraries and report on what they learned and share it with each other and then with other children around the world via The Refusenik Project Forum page.

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