History & Activism – Filling Narrative Gaps: The Stories of Refusniks in South Florida2021-11-02T10:59:38-04:00

Nov 14 @ 3pm Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU 

Join us for the final event in the series Filling Narrative Gaps: The Stories of Refuseniks in South Florida, focusing on History and Activism. Soviet Jewish immigrants who landed in South Florida in the 1980s are known as refuseniks because the Soviet government refused their exit visas. After applying to emigrate, these Soviet Jews were jailed and tortured, lost their jobs and were thrown out of their homes. This population reflects a forgotten chapter in the history of South Florida as a haven for the oppressed. It is a story that must be told and remembered.

This final event in the refusenik series features the history of this movement as told by Benjamin Nathans and the activists Adele and Joel Sandberg, who helped organize the movement that finally allowed refuseniks to leave the Soviet Union.  

Introductions by Susan Gladstone, Director, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU and Rebecca Friedman, Director WPHL, FIU 

Moderated by Ellen G. Friedman, Professor of English and Holocaust Studies, The College of New Jersey 

Exhibition of 15 books by Adele Sandberg recounting the experiences of Soviet Jews when they became refuseniks

Distinguished Speakers 

  • Benjamin Nathans, Benjamin Nathans, Alan Charles Kors Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania. His current book project is entitled To the Success of Our Hopeless Cause: The Many Lives of the Soviet Dissident Movement
  • Adele and Joel Sandberg, leaders in the movement to free refuseniks.  They helped to organize the movement leading to the passage of the 1974 Jackson-Vanick amendment that resulted in the release of 50,000 Jews from the USSR. Joel Sandberg served as a President of the SFCSJ and vice President of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.
College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
PH: 305-535-1463 |
E-Mail: janthomp@fiu.edu