The dramatic chronicle of the Soviet Jewry movement in its full historical context, highlighting the significant effort of the American Jews to extricate the Jewish community from the Kremlin's grasp.
Leading scholar and author of the celebrated five-volume series, The Jewish People in America, Henry L. Feingold offers a fresh and inspiring look at the Russian/Soviet Jewish emigration phenomenon. Haunted by its sense of failure during the Holocaust, the Soviet Jewry movement set for itself an almost unrealizable goal of finding sanctuary for Jews from a hostile Soviet government. Working together with activists in Israel and Europe, and with a remarkable group of refuseniks that had been denied the right to emigrate, this courageous group mounted a relentless campaign lasting almost three decades. Although Feingold credits Israel with initiating the struggle for Soviet Jewry and fostering it within American Jewry, he maintains that it was the actions of a secure and confident American Jewry that finally delivered the Jews from the Soviet Union.
Feingolds mastery of detail and broadness of scope provide a prodigious and sweeping account of the American Jewish movement. He finds early roots of the effort in the American Jewish involvement with Jewish emigration in late Tsarist Russia. He highlights both the human dimension of the exodus and the complex international ramifications of the movement, especially in the Middle East. "Silent No More" concludes by pondering the role of the movement's effective public relations campaign, which focused on the human right of freedom of movement in hastening the collapse of the Soviet empire.
Feingolds rigorous scholarship sheds light on an important, yet rarely told episode in history, one that will enliven further examination of the subject. This book will be of interest to scholars of American Jewish history, the cold war, Israeli studies, and American ethnic and immigration history.