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Masha Sergeeva: Using Art to Promote Modern Jewish Culture

JDC– Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia in the years after the fall of Communism, Masha Sergeeva, 21, grew up with limited understanding of—or pride in—her Jewish identity. That’s all changed now. “My uncle, my mom’s brother was a refusnik, and went to Israel in the first aliyah in the ‘80s,” explains Masha. “But my mom worked as an engineer at a […]

Updated Version of “One Hour, Eighteen Minutes” Especially Poignant With Recent Passing of Magnitsky and ‘Anti-Magnitsky’ Laws

From The Moscow Times – Some things remain relevant longer than you would expect. Take the death of Sergei Magnitsky. This muck-raking attorney was allowed to die in a Moscow prison in November 2009. That story was still making news when Teatr.doc opened a show called “One Hour Eighteen” in the early summer of 2010. The show examined the actions of several people in close proximity to the prisoner when […]

Remembering the Refusenik Movement

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN (CNN) – Driven by desperation, Marina and Lev Furman stepped out of their home in Leningrad and took a 20-minute walk into uncertainty. Trailed by KGB agents, they bundled up and set out in the weak winter light for Palace Square, site of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. They brought signs demanding freedom. And […]

Honoring Vladimir Bukovsky: A Champion of Human Rights

December 30, 2012 marked the 70th birthday of Vladimir Bukovsky – one of the most prominent pioneers of the Movement for Human Rights. Vladimir started his civil service back at school. It is difficult to overestimate the role of this man who underwent the man-made hell of special psychiatric institutions, years of prisons and concentration camps and deportation […]

A Moscow Response: “Let U.S. Parents Save Russian Orphans”

From The Moscow Times – 18 December 2012 | Issue 5038 By Yulia Latynina In retribution for the recent passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress, United Russia has introduced an initiative to prohibit U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. Modern Russia not only has more orphans than any other country — 678,000 — but even more than the Soviet Union had during […]

Saturday’s Demonstration in Moscow Shows Opposition’s Determination

Last Saturday, December 15th, Russian leaders of the political opposition took part in an unsanctioned demonstration. This protest, which took place in Lubyanka Square near a monument to victims of Soviet political repression, was an act of defiance against a law signed by President Putin in June that fines participants $9,000 and organizations $18,000 for […]

Obama Signs Magnitsky Bill Into Law

Read the UCSJ President’s Message Regarding UCSJ’s work with this bill here. Dec 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill that modernizes U.S. trade relations with Russia by ending a Cold War-era provision, but also punishes Russian human rights violators. Russia has objected strongly to the human rights component […]

President’s Message Regarding the Magnitsky Bill

To our friends of the UCSJ, President Obama has signed the Magnitsky bill, which passed in Congress by significant numbers.  It is a great victory for human rights and for the UCSJ.  Last August, the UCSJ gathered ten human rights groups and many individuals all of whom signed on to a letter to over 150 […]

An Oral History of the Rally to Save Soviet Jewry

Tablet Magazine How We Freed Soviet Jewry Twenty-five years ago today, a rally of 250,000 people changed the fate of Jews worldwide. An oral history. By Allison Hoffman Originally published December 6, 2012. (American Jewish Historical Society)   Twenty-five years ago today, an estimated quarter of a million Americans, most of them Jews, flooded the Mall […]