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History and Activism

November 14, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab is hosting a series of panel discussion in conjunction with the exhibition, “Filling in the Visual & Narrative Gaps: Soviet Jewish Refugees in Miami.” This final panel will explore themes of history and activism, and presents the testimony 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. Attendees will also be able to see a mini exhibition of 15 books by Adele Sandberg recounting the experiences of Soviet Jews when they became refuseniks.

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 program is funded in part through a Florida Humanities Humanities Centers Grant in partnership with the Florida International University.

Event Details

Event Date/time:

November 14, 2021 @ 3:00 pm -
November 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm


Presenter Information:
Ellen G. Friedman, Professor of English and Holocaust Studies, The College of New Jersey; Adele and Joel Sandberg, leaders in the movement to free refuseniks; Benjamin Nathans, Alan Charles Kors Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Event Fee:

Event Contact:

Rebecca Friedman
(205) 222-1542

Event Venue:

Miami Beach Urban Studios
420 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139 United States
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