a journey - russia to the promised land
The story of an American family who traveled to Russia in the summer of 1974 to provide support for refuseniks who had been denied emigration to Israel.
by Jerome Stern & Geoffrey Stern
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About the Book
These courageous Jews applied for, but were refused permission to emigrate to Israel and came to be known as Refuseniks.
In the early seventies Americans and Israelis came to offer support.
KGB agents would harass these activist-tourists and confiscate the educational materials and blue jeans they brought to provide cultural and financial support.
The role played by foreigners, especially Americans, in making the refusenik issue an international story, was significant.
This is the story of one American family (Jane, Jerome, Michael and Geoffrey Stern) who travel to the Former Soviet Union in July of 1974 to lend support.
A theretofore unknown activist; Anatoly Sharansky had married his wife Avital on July 3rd, put her on a plane to Israel on the 4th and joined the other Refuseniks that Shabbat outside of the Moscow Synagogue to trade stories of their recent lock-up during the Nixon state visit the previous week.
The Sterns meet Sharansky on Saturday July 6th outside of the Moscow Synagogue and their journey begins. Along the way they meet Vladmir Slepak, Alexander Lerner, Mark Azbel a young Tom Lantos, and in Israel they search and find Avital on the banks of the Kineret.
This is the story of that journey: from russia to the promised land... with an epilogue that continues through the present.
An ex yeshiva bochur with a life-long love and appreciation of Jewish texts and a fresh and sometimes heterodox perspective on their meaning, intent and practical (halachic) implications. I'm a serial entrepreneur in the audio chip and multi-media playback product space. Our products are used to animate toys, social expressions, advertising and gift products (www.voice-express.com) as well as digital imaging products (www.ekkotechnologies.com). I am also privileged to be the President of PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc., (www.pefisrael.org) established in 1922 by Justice Brandeis, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Robert Szold and a group of distinguished Americans to enable the direct distribution of funds to selected and approved charitable organizations in Israel.