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Colorado Committee of Concern for Soviet Jewry Records

 Collection
Identifier: B093
Soviet Jews who wanted to emigrate from the Soviet Union were known as "refuseniks." American Jewish students formed the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) in 1964 and the American Jewish Committee on Soviet Jewry (AJCSI) was also organized that year. Rabbi Samuel Adelman, rabbi of the BMH synagogue, spoke at Temple Emanuel and urged the liberal congregation to help Soviet Jews. Rabbi Raymond Zwerin, Sheldon Steinhauser, and Lillian Hoffman formed what became the Colorado Committee of Concern for Soviet Jewry (CCCSJ). The three founders were later joined Rhoda Friedman. Lillian Hoffman was the leading force behind CCCSJ and encouraged the organization to stage public demonstrations. The CCCSJ was the first Jewish group in Denver to have public protests, which ranged from ten to 250 demonstrations. Many in the Denver Jewish establishment did not support public protests and the CCCSJ severed its ties to the ADL in 1976. Internal conflict marred the creation of the Babi Yar Park in Denver by the CCCSJ. In 1970 Rabbi Zwerin resigned from the CCCSJ and Lillian Hoffman resigned from the Babi Yar Park Foundation Committee. The goals of CCCSJ included public education as to the plight of the Soviet Jews, to support Soviet refuseniks in their efforts to emigrate, to help Soviet Jews retain their Jewish heritage, and to organize and promote the CCCSJ goals. The major activities of the CCCSJ included the Adopt-a-Family program and projects for the Soviet Jewish political prisoners known as Prisoners of Conscience (POC). The CCCSJ also educated public officials and U.S. Senator Henry Jackson took up the cause and had impact in a bill to grant special trade status to Russia.

Dates

  • 1929-1996
  • Majority of material found within 1968-1978

Creator

Extent

9.25 Linear Feet (9 containers)

Scope and Contents

Most of the records consist of letters, educational materials, bulletins and published newspaper accounts of activities by world-wide, national by world-wide, national and local groups on behalf of Soviet Jews. Rhoda Friedman collected most of this material. The Records also have scrapbooks created by Lillian Hoffman.
Status
in_progress
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428