|Cleveland and the Freeing of Soviet Jewry|
Within that great story is another story close to home. It's an inspiring tale of how a small group of Cleveland Jews transformed their thinking in their temple's Social Action Committee into action. They formed the Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism, and then a national coalition of local councils. By helping to shape public opinion and by stirring our Jewish "establishment" to action they ultimately had an impact on Jewish history.
A year ago, when I met Dr. Louis Rosenblum, long-time leader of Cleveland's pioneering effort for Soviet Jewry, the story of this shining chapter in Cleveland's Jewish history was almost untold on the web. With his help I began working on a Soviet Jewry section of this website.
In April, when Dr. Rosenblum sent me an enlarged version of his memoir "Involvement in the Soviet Jewry Movement", I offered to make it the centerpiece of this Soviet Jewry section. It arrived as a 41 page Adobe Reader (pdf) document. Several pdf pages appear here as exhibits, but to achieve closer integration between narrative and exhibits I have de-composed most of the document and reassembled the text and images as web pages. He has approved this reorganization and some minor changes in the text. He has also furnished me some new material.
That this new section of www.ClevelandJewishHistory.net is as large as our Abba Hillel Silver pages is entirely due to the contributions of Lou Rosenblum. We thank him for letting us publish the story of his involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement on these pages.
Arnold Berger Cleveland Ohio May 2008
A postscript February 2013
At a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the December 6, 1987 rally in Washington DC, where our city was well represented among an estimated 250,000 demonstrators, I realized that these pages have not told of:
This is a personal account of my involvement, from 1961-1978, in the beginnings and the growth of the Soviet Jewry movement in America. This piece was prepared June 2007 for inclusion in A Cleveland Jewish History Reader by the Kent State University Press. To this purpose, the content was confined in scope mainly to a limited number of local activities and in size to about dozen and a half pages. For this special edition I have augmented the original text with supplemental material.
Louis Rosenblum Middleburg Heights, Ohio April 2008
Subsequent additions to my chronicle: