Israel Independance Day

Knesset Speaker and former Refusenik, Yuli Edelstein opened the Independence Day ceremony in Israel by saying that he never dreamed as a child that he would stand beside Theodor Herzl’s grave as a member of Knesset.

He noted that 26 years ago to the day he was released from a Soviet prison after serving time for seeking to immigrate to Israel. ”Today… my heart is filled, it is bursting its banks, full of prayer and thanksgiving,” he told the crowd. 

Today we celebrate Israel's 65th Birthday - Chag Sameach!

Anniversary Press Mentions

Freedom 25 is delighted by the below listed stories about the Soviet Jewry movement and the Rally, because it is a signal that the tide of memory is turning.  The memory of this imporant and successful movemet is now beginnig to be incorporated in our history - which since inception has always been the goal of the Freedom 25 coalition.

Freedom 25 Press Release

FREEDOM 25

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE

Contact: DKC Public Relations

Bruce Bobbins / Jacob Berkman

(212) 981-5190 / (212) 981-5187

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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FREEDOM 25 ESTABLISHED TO HEIGHTEN AWARENESS, PERPETUATE LEGACY OF SOVIET JEWRY MOVEMENT ON 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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Coalition of Organizations Aims to Engage One Million People in Virtual March, Develop Curricula for Schools and Other Institutions about Greatest Human Rights Success Story in Quarter Century

 

(Washington, DC, November 19, 2012) -- Behind the fall of the Soviet Union is the story of the greatest and most successful human rights movement in a quarter-century – one that helped reform U.S. foreign policy and brought millions of Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel and the U.S., including the family of the founder of Google, five Nobel laureates, and countless others whose work have re-shaped our globe.  Yet, it is one that has become unknown in less than 25 years.  

Now, “Freedom 25” aims to rectify this situation, through education and engagement.  With the 25th anniversary of the historic “Freedom Sunday” march on behalf of Soviet Jewry in Washington on Dec. 6, 1987 as its foundation, this coalition of national, international and grassroots organizations will engage one million people in a virtual march to commemorate the occasion and heighten awareness of its significance both in the Jewish community and society at-large.  

The Scoop Jackson Legacy on His Hundredth Birthday


What distinguishes true leadership from ordinary public service?

A good starting point to answer that question is the life of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, who was born 100 years ago today (May 31, 1912).

Although committed to public service early in life, and elected to Congress at the age of 28, it was Scoop’s ability to coherently synthesize the lessons drawn from the momentous history that transpired early in his career that made him uniquely effective.

Before his first year in Congress was up, the US was thrust into World War II. Heretofore focused on domestic, pocketbook issues, with a tendency toward isolationism, the cruelty of the enemy and the danger to freedom changed Scoop’s perspective irrevocably.

Days after the Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated, Jackson was one of eight Congressmen to be invited by General Dwight Eisenhower to see the horror themselves.

The lessons he drew from those years were consistent with those of Winston Churchill. As biographer Robert G. Kaufman describes them, “the folly of isolationism and appeasement, the importance of democracies remaining militarily strong and standing firm against totalitarianism, and the need for the United States to accept and sustain its pivotal role as a world power.” Later on, during the Vietnam era, Jackson would remark that “the peace movement helped bring on World War II, not to prevent it.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Soviet Jewry

One of the more remarkable archival documents we found courtesy of our partner, the American Jewish Historical Society, is an address delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking from Atlanta on a nation-wide telephone hook-up sponsored by the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, Dec 11, 1966 at 4 pm.

You can listen to it here, read the original here and follow along below.

Welcome to Freedom 25

The most effective and impactful advocacy effort by a Jewish community in the last several generations is one that actually had a much bigger and broader effect than anyone imagined at the time. The effort ignited by a handful of American Jewish activists in the '60s, which became the mainstream Soviet Jewry movement, rose to the top of the superpower agenda, helped speed the end of the Cold War, saw more than a million talented Jews leave the Soviet Union, and made possible countless medical innovations and – Google! Jews advocating for their own, but more broadly for the principles of freedom, achieved all of this.


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