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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to revive the importance of the Soviet Jewry Movement of the later 1900s, a historical occurrence that was quickly lost to history. It explored how the Soviet Jewry Movement not only relied on the unification of American Jews, but also on the mobilization and recognition of US politicians. Unification of American Jews entailed having to find common ground between the Orthodox and more secular Jews. The Soviet Jewry Movement successfully accomplished this by relying on the idea of Jewish solidarity to reach into the hearts of the Jews of the United States. The mobilization of US politicians relied more on typical lobbying and political tactics in order to garner a response. This came primarily in the form of urgent appeals to the public, calling on them to act now, as there would not be another chance. In appealing to both groups of people, the Soviet Jewry Movement was able to amass a substantive following, allowing it to effectively shape policy in favor of Soviet Jews through public pressure. The culmination of decades of work put in by the Soviet Jewry Movement, through both grassroots and establishment organizations, was the Freedom Sunday March that took place on December 6th, 1987. The paper focused on this particular event, researching the historical occurrences that took place beforehand, and examining its afterwards effects, in order to better understand the magnitude of this march for freedom.

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