Movement to Free Soviet Jewry

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The Movement to Free Soviet Jewry was an international human rights campaign that advocated for the right of Jews in the Soviet Union to emigrate.

The earliest organized effort was the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, founded by Jacob Birnbaum at Yeshiva University in 1964. The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews was formed in 1970 as an umbrella organization of all groups working to win the right to emigrate for oppressed Jewish citizens of the Soviet Union.

The movement was represented in Israel by Nativ, a clandestine agency that sought to publicize the cause of Soviet Jewry and encourage their emigration to Israel.

See also[edit]


  • From exodus to freedom: a history of the Soviet Jewry movement, Stuart Altshuler, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
  • The Last Exodus, Leonard Schroeter, University of Washington Press, 1979
  • Soviet Jewry in the 1980s: the politics of anti-Semitism and emigration and the dynamics of resettlement, Robert Owen Freedman, Duke University Press, 1989
  • A second exodus: the American movement to free Soviet Jews, Murray Friedman, Albert D. Chernin, University Press of New England, 1999