Guide to the Papers of Marilyn Labendz,
undated, 1985-1989


Processed by Andrey Filimonov

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161



© 2016, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Andrey Filimonov in February 2016. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Labendz, Marilyn
Title: Marilyn Labendz Papers
Dates:undated, 1985-1989
Abstract: Personal papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Marilyn Labendz, who participated in the MetroWest Conference on Soviet Jewry, chaired the MetroWest mobilization to Summit II, and Women's Interfaith Plea for Soviet Jewry. The collection contains speeches, memos, correspondence, pamphlets, news clippings and digital photographs.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 1 folder and one CD-ROM in AJHS AVC box 29
Identification: *P-946
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note
 Soviet Jewry movement buttons in Carol and Michael Bierman Papers

Marilyn Labendz (on the left) visiting Aba and Ida Taratuta, prominent Soviet Jewish Refusenik activists, in their home in Leningrad, USSR, circa mid 1980s.

The Papers of Marilyn Labendz represent one collection housed within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM). These papers reflect the effort, beginning in the 1960s through the late 1980s, of thousands of American Jews of all denominations and political orientations to stop the persecution and discrimination of Jews in the Soviet Union. The American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM) is considered to be the most influential Movement of the American Jewish community in the 20th century. The beginnings of the organized American Soviet Jewry Movement became a model for efforts to aid Soviet Jews in other countries, among them Great Britain, Canada, and France. The movement can be traced to the early 1960s, when the first organizations were created to address the specific problem of the persecution and isolation of Soviet Jews by the government of the Soviet Union.

Marilyn Labendz was active in the MetroWest Conference on Soviet Jewry during the 1980s. In mid 1980s she traveled to the Soviet Union and to meet and help Refuseniks in Moscow, Leningrad and Vilnius. Labendz chaired the Women's Interfaith Plea for Soviet Jewry. She also served as chairwoman for the Summit II March on Washington for the MetroWest area. She authored a manual for adopting Refuseniks that was distributed to synagogues and was an active speaker on the issues of Soviet Jewry.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains transcripts of Marilyn Labendz' speeches, a copy of a manual for adopting Refusenik families authored by Labendz, a copy of "Campaign for Soviet Jewry" brochure co-authored by Labends, her correspondence with political leaders and prominent Soviet Jewish Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience, photographs and clippings reflecting community events and travel to the USSR. The collection also contains transcript of Natan Sharansky’s closing words at his trial in 1978, autographed by Mr. Sharansky. A CD-ROM with approximately 100 scanned photos from Labendz' trip to USSR in mid 1980s is also included.

The collection consists of one folder.

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The collection is arranged into a single series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

This collection contains audiovisual or electronic media that requires special equipment to access. Please notify reference staff at 24 hours in advance of needing access.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, N.Y., 10011 email:

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Related Material

The Papers of Marilyn Labendz is one individual collection within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) located at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Other Soviet Jewry Movement collections at AJHS include the records of Action for Soviet Jewry (I-487), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (I-181 and I-181A), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal (I-505 and I-505A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry (I-507), The Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection (I-523), B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry Movement Collection (I-529), Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (I-530), Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (I-538), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (I-543), Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (I-547), Jewish Defense League (I-374) the papers of Joel Ackerman (P-787), Julia Mates Cheney (P-806), Jerry Goodman (P-863), Laurel and Alan J. Gould (P-866), Carolyn W. Sanger (P-870), Leah Lieberman (P-869), Si Frumkin (P-871), Elaine Pittell (P-873), Sanford A. Gradinger (P-880), Shaul Osadchey (P-882), Leonard S. Cahan (P-883), Doris H. Goldstein (P-887), David H. Hill (P-888), Margery Sanford (P-889), Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (P-891), David Waksberg (P-895), Pamela B. Cohen (P-897), Moshe Decter (P-899), William Korey (P-903), Morey Schapira (P-906), Charlotte Gerper Turner (P-907), Myrtle Sitowitz (P-908), Kathleen M. Hyman (P-911), Babette Wampold (P-912), Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein (P-918), Leslie Schaffer (P-923), Arthur Bernstein (P-925), Dolores Wilkenfeld (P-927), Sylvia Weinberg (P-928) , Irwin H. Krasna (P-934) , Constance S. Kreshtool (P-935), Betty Golomb (P-938), Grace Perlbinder (P-942), Mort Yadin (P-943), Ann Polunsky (P-886), Lillian Foreman (P-945), Abraham Silverstein(P-947), Bert Silver (P-949), Billie Kozolchyk (P-950), John Steinbruck (P-951), Lawrence I. Lerner (P-952), Ruth Geller Gold (P-953), Efry Spectre (P-954), Alan M. Kohn (P-956), Frank Brodsky (P-957), Victor Borden (P-959), Estelle Newman (P-960), Carol S. Kekst (P-961), Linda Rutta (P-965), Rachel Braun (P-967), Jack Forgash (P-968), Michael Greene (P-969), Judith A. Manelis (P-970), Fred Greene (P-971), Harry Lerner (P-972), Alan L. Cohen (P-973), Murray Levine (P-974), Jack Minker (P-975), Meta Joy Jacoby (P-992), Barry Marks (P-993), Harold and Judith S. Einhorn (P-996) and Carol and Michael Bierman(P-1007).

Additional materials from other collections include records dealing with the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) located within the North American Jewish Students Appeal (NAJSA, I-338) and the records of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC, I-172). Related records are also located at the AJHS in Newton Centre, MA including memorabilia and ephemera of the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (I-237) and the Records of the Student Coalition for Soviet Jewry – Brandeis University (I-493).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Marilyn Labendz Papers; *P-946; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Marilyn Labendz in 2012 and 2016.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Papers of Marilyn Labendz, undated, 1985-1989

The series is in English.
1 folder and one CD-ROM in AJHS AVC box 29.
Scope and Content:

See the collection Scope and Content Note.

CB-9 1 Marilyn Labendz Papers undated, 1985-1989 request_box
AVC Box 29 CD with scanned photographscirca 1985
  View the item 
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