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Soviet Jewry

Janna Kaplan

After facing significant challenges as a Jewish woman scientist in the Soviet Union, Janna Kaplan tried to emigrate, but was denied an exit visa. Her persistence enabled her to eventually leave the country and settle in the United States.

Ronne Friedman

Ronne Friedman served as a rabbi at Temple Israel of Boston for more than thirty years. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the former Soviet Union and continued his engagement with the movement for Soviet Jewry after his return to Boston.

Roy B. Einhorn

Roy Einhorn has been the cantor at Temple Israel in Boston for more than 35 years. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the Soviet Union as part of the temple’s efforts to support refuseniks.

Sheila Decter

Originally from the Boston area, Sheila Decter worked throughout her career to support the Jewish community, including the movement for Soviet Jewry, until her retirement in 2017.

Nadia Fradkova

Growing up in a small town near Moscow, Nadia Fradkova didn’t learn of her Judaism until faced with taunting by her peers. After the Soviet Union collapsed and restrictions on emigration ended, she settled in Israel for a few years before making her way to Boston.

Anna Charny

Anna Charny and her family were a prominent part of the refusenik community in Moscow, working with various Jewish organizations that advocated for and provided economic support to refuseniks.

Alla Aberson

Alla Aberson is a Soviet Jew who grew up in a family that was critical of Communist Party rule. When she and her family were denied exit visas to emigrate, they became known as refuseniks.

Miriam Weiner

Through her genealogical program Routes to Roots, Miriam Weiner helped Jews access historical records that had survived the Soviet suppression of information throughout Eastern Europe.

Feiga Izrailevna Kogan

A prolific poet in her own right, Feiga Izrailevna Kogan used her deft translations of Hebrew literature to bring Jewish and Israeli culture to a Russian audience.

Lia Koenig

Lia Koenig was celebrated as the First Lady of Israeli Yiddish Theater for her ability to transform herself into characters as varied as Anne Frank and Mother Courage.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Soviet Jewry." (Viewed on June 20, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/soviet-jewry>.

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