A Second Exodus: The American Movement to Free Soviet Jews by Murray Friedman, Albert D. Chernin

By Murray Friedman, Albert D. Chernin

Because the early Sixties, a few 1.3 million Jews from the Soviet Union and its successor states have immigrated to the West, basically to Israel and the USA. principally as a result creative and skillful mobilization efforts of Jews and their acquaintances in the course of the global this nice exodus had vital ramifications for US kinfolk with the Soviet Union/Russia and Israel. furthermore, the luck of yank Jews in mounting and maintaining this lobbying attempt represented a coming of age for the group, which on a number of many years sooner than have been not able to extricate thousands of Jews from Europe and the Nazis. This ebook, half historical past, half occasion, combines essays by means of students with memoirs and primary hand debts to chronicle this amazing rescue venture.

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In light of Fulbright’s evident anti-Israel and pro-Arab bias, his stance was not surprising. To get his resolution to the floor of the Senate for a vote, Ribicoff attached it as a rider to the foreign aid bill, and it was adopted on 23 September 1964, by a 60 to 1 vote, with Fulbright voting against it. As part of the foreign aid bill, it was sent to a House-Senate conference committee which, at the urging of Fulbright, changed the language to refer only to minorities in the Soviet Union without mentioning Jews.

Nevertheless, Kennedy raised the issue with Gromyko. Kennedy was well prepared; he had received, at his request, a memorandum on the problem drafted by Feldman and the State Department. 52 Also in August, Lewis H. Weinstein, then chairman of NCRAC and a longtime friend of Kennedy from Boston, raised the issue of Soviet Jewry with the president. Kennedy told Weinstein he would ask Averell Harriman to raise the issue of Soviet Jews with Khrushchev, with whom he was engaged in discussions in Moscow on a nuclear test ban.

He contended, “Soviet leaders may pretend to be unconcerned about public opinion. In reality, they are sensitive to opinion in other countries. . ”34 Nehemiah Levanon,35 already a key figure in the 1950s in the Israel Prime Minister’s Liaison Bureau [on Soviet Jewry], created by the govern- Friedman & Chernin: A Second Exodus page 25 A. D. Chernin, Making Soviet Jews an Issue 25 ment of Israel in 1953, recalled in a conversation with me that he had briefed Crystal in Paris prior to the journalist’s visit to the Soviet Union shortly before he delivered this speech.

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