The exodus of the Soviet Jews

By Gideon

Soviet Jews suffered from intense descrimination against them fueld by strong antisemitic beliefs of their gentile neighbors. They suffered physical abuse. In schools and work places they were discriminated against regularly. They were sent to prisons and labor camps in Siberia. They suffered daily humiliation. Sometimes Jewish people in the Soviet Union were murdered just because of their Jewish look.

Jews who lived behind the iron curtain of the USSR were not allowed to practice Judaism.

As the years passed, the older Soviet Jews who practiced Judaism before it was forbiden, the Jews who knew the tradition, passed away unable to teach younger Jewish generations how to practice Judaism. The Soviet Jews in the USSR lost their Jewish traditions. Most of the younger generations knew very little about their heritage and religion. They were trapped in the evil empire, hated by their neighbors, discriminated against by their government, not permitted to leave.

The American Jewry applied relentless pressure for over 40 years on the US government to help the Soviet Jews. It was during the Cold War. America had very little influence on the Soviet leaders.

Then one day, the relentless pressure of the American Jewish community, and American government, made a difference. The floodgate opened. Over million and a half Jews,  left the USSR in a massive immigration wave. They settled in Israel, America, Canada, Germany, and Israel.

These are their stories: