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The Legacy of the Struggle for Soviet Jewry

Hosted By: Park Avenue Synagogue

Hear firsthand from activists who helped bring down the Iron Curtain. Former Moscow refusenik and prisoner of Zion Ephraim Kholmyansky will discuss how he braved years of Soviet oppression and the gulag in his family’s quest to immigrate to Israel. Glenn Richter, a founder of the American Soviet Jewry movement, will share how he fought successfully in North America to “Let my people go.”

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Teachers

Ephraim Kholmyansky

Former Soviet prisoner of Zion and Jewish activist Ephraim Kohlmyansky was the leader of the biggest underground project of the Soviet Jewry era. Arrested in 1984 on the fabricated charges of illegal firearms possession, he kept a prolonged hunger strike while held in the punishment cell. His case sparked a major international solidarity campaign. In Israel, Kholmyansky worked for the Ministry of Education and served as CEO of the Zionist Forum and Givot Olam, an Israeli oil exploration and production company.
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Glenn Richter

Glenn Richter transitioned from involvement in the American Civil Rights Movement to help found the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ), to which he dedicated 26 years until the collapse of the USSR. The SSSJ became a powerful force for positive, assertive change in the American Jewish community, demonstrating, lobbying, and creating media attention for the welfare of fellow Jews.
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Host

Park Avenue Synagogue

Through spirited prayer, study, observance and acts of kindness we aspire to foster deep connections with each other, our Torah, our God, the people and State of Israel and our shared humanity. In practicing a Judaism filled with love, literacy, reverence, compassion, and joy, we strive to make our ancient tradition compelling and welcoming to contemporary Jewry and to serve as a light unto our fellow Jews and the nations.
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