- Invite former refuseniks and activists to speak about their fight to leave the Soviet Union.
- Have American Soviet Jewry activists speak about what it meant to participate in the March.
- Connect with the local émigré community and learn about their life before and after emigrating to the United States.
- …in each of the above cases, you could also ask students to interview the above amazing individuals and create compelling reports, presentations or speeches to share with others.
- Create a local “artifact suitcase” using examples from existing curricula, local articles, and artifacts. One has already been done in Cleveland – contact us for more information.
- Create a Shabbat take-home sheet about the history of the Soviet Jewry Movement, Freedom Sunday March and/or Jewish community solidarity and religious freedom.
- Screen the Refusenik documentary with director Laura Bialis. Her U.S. tour is being sponsored and coordinated by Freedom 25. Contact us ASAP if interested – spots are limited!
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the historic Soviet Jewry Freedom Sunday March on Washington. Held on December 6, 1987, the March brought together over 250,000 people on the eve of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s first visit to the United States.
Schools, students and connected communities were the backbone of the Freedom Sunday March – sending people to Washington, supporting the long-term Soviet Jewry Movement and organizing themselves as a single cohesive Jewish coalition. By rallying our communities to unite to free Soviet Jews, the Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, Union of Councils, Student groups as well as countless grassroots local organizations were key in making the March one of the most effective efforts of the Soviet Jewry Movement.
Twenty-five years later, we really have something to celebrate!
Freedom 25 is here to support your school’s in teaching about and commemorating this important anniversary in our history. Schools around the country and the world have begun planning events, classroom units, experiential activities and more.
In preparation for the December anniversary, and in coordination with all our Partner Organizations, Freedom 25 has developed a list of ways to involve your school in commemorating one of the great events in modern American Jewish history.
The preceeding and following Shabbat surrounding Thursday December 6 allows local Rabbinic leaders the opportunity to comment on a unifying moement in the American Jewish experience. Freedom 25 along with its community partners are creating relevatn easy-to-use resources for you to use in crafting a sermon, sending a note or even weekly blast to your commmunity.
One example of a Synagogue organizing around the anniversary is Chizuk Amuno Congreagation in Baltimore, MD:
"In synagogue on Shabbat December 8 and December 15 we will have special programming to celebrate the milestone and to tell the story of Soviet Jewry. Both our clergy and members of our synagogue and school communities will speak and teach. Each night of Hanukkah we will dedicate our candle lighting to another important figure in the struggle to free Soviet Jewry."
Check back here frequently for updates.