From Exodus to Freedom: The History of the Soviet Jewry Movement

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9780742549364: From Exodus to Freedom: The History of the Soviet Jewry Movement

Between 1967 and 1991, almost half of the entire Jewish population of the Soviet Union left for freedom to Israel, America, and other western countries. From Exodus to Freedom: The History of the Soviet Jewry Movement tells the story of the American Jewish community's involvement in this exodus, and is the first of its kind to explore how such a massive emigration occurred for a population virtually written-off by world Jewry as 'doomed' just two decades before. Using primary documents, letters, and first hand experience, From Exodus to Freedom puts into historical context what could become known as the one of the most uplifting and positive episodes in modern Jewish history.

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About the Author:

Stuart Altshuler is an ordained rabbi and visiting professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. He was an activist/participant in the Soviet Jewry movement as Chairman of the Rabbinic Action Committee for Soviet Jewry.

Review:

A provocative study of the epic struggle to free Jews trapped behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet empire. (Jack Wertheimer, Provost and Professor of American Jewish History, Jewish Theological Seminary)

From Exodus to Freedom provides an interesting and useful account of the endgame of the Soviet Jewry movement in America. It tells of one of the most successful human rights efforts in history. (Alan M. Dershowitz, professor, Harvard Law School; author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law)

This is a must-read for students of American and Soviet history, Jewish studies, and international relations. (Michael Oren, author of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East)

This is a must-read, not only for the thousands of veterans of the movement during the 1980s and 1990s, but for everyone interested in understanding the power of ordinary citizens to promote human rights reform and freedom anywhere in the world. (Micah Naftalin, Union of Councils for Soviet Jews)

Rabbi Altshuler's book is interesting, compelling, and very important. Now that these events can be viewed in a historical perspective, it is important to analyze and study this unprecedented victory and the role of one of the key players-the Union of Councils-in this dramatic struggle to free Soviet Jewry." (Natan Sharansky, author of The Case for Democracy)

The political emphasis, along with tactics and insights on choices, makes for an important, revealing guide. (Midwest Book Review)

It is helpful for understanding the place of Soviet Jewish emigration in American-Soviet relations in the Gorbachev era. It illuminates the questions that American Jewish organizations had to decide in their desire to aid Soviet Jews. (Arkadi Zeltser, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Russian Review)

Altshuler's indispensable history of the efforts of US Jews on behalf of Soviet Jewry focuses on 1985-91, when more than a million Soviet Jews left the USSR for new homes in the US, Israel, and elsewhere in the West. The author discusses the division between the Jewish establishment that pressured Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel and grassroots Jewish groups that argued the right of Soviet Jews to migrate to the country of their choosing....Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (J. Fischel, emeritus, Messiah College CHOICE)

This is a pathbreaking book on one of the greatest liberation movements of the twentieth century. (Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University)

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