Author Archives: Ron Rubin

Ron Rubin

About Ron Rubin

Ron Rubin is professor of political science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York.

Visiting the Soviet Union

I’ve had four opportunities to visit the Soviet Union/Former Soviet Union over the years, the fourth being the trip I’m preparing for as I write this blog that MJL will be posting online while I’m physically there.

Each trip had a different setting, successively bringing me closer to my Jewish brethren. In looking back I realize how fortunate it was that along the way I was never thrown out!soviet.jews.blog

My first trip, as a twenty-six-year-old single in 1968, was mainly exploratory. I wanted to check out the terrible press reports, leave behind some Jewish books, and instill some hope. In this pre détente era when tourism between the USA and the Soviet Union was virtually unknown, I signed up with the Dutch Student Travel Organization, NBBS, for a two week all-expenses-covered trip costing $250. I was the only Jew and the only American among the thirty travelers. The railroad that left Amsterdam took two days and nights to reach our first stop, Minsk. At the intersection between the two Germanys, bloodhounds came on board to search. Crossing Poland, I recognized the names of towns like Bialystok, well known in Jewish history. Were these the same tracks used a quarter century earlier to bring Jews to the concentration camps, I wondered? Continue reading

Posted on July 23, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy