Guide to the Papers of Bert Silver,
undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982

*P-949

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

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, 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 December 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Silver, Bert
Title: Bert Silver Papers
Dates:undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982
Abstract: The collection documents the activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry of Bert Silver who served as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chaired the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 1/4 linear foot (1 half manuscript box).
Identification: *P-949
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note

The Papers of Bert Silver is 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.

Mr. Silver served as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chaired the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.

Bert Silver organized a multitude of vigils and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. He urged United States government officials and congressmen to join in the efforts of the Soviet Jewry movement.

As an Assistant Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Mr. Silver assisted an influential civil rights attorney, the Honorable Frankie Muse Freeman in creating an article on Soviet Jewry for the Commission's publication Civil Rights Digest. The article served as the basis for several speeches Mrs. Freeman delivered on the subject of Soviet Jewry.

In 1980 Bert Silver represented American Jewry in a three-faith delegation to the U.S.S.R. The delegation also included Lutheran pastor Rev. John Steinbruck and Roman Catholic Priest Father Eugene Brake. The delegation met with the Soviet Jewish Refuseniks in Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad, and Pentecostals taking refuge in the American embassy in Moscow.

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Scope and Content Note

The papers of Bert Silver document his activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and early 1980s as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington and as chair of the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C. The collection also includes materials pertaining to the article for the Civil Rights Digest and speeches on Jews in the U.S.S.R. by the civil rights attorney—and first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights—Frankie Muse Freeman. Bert Silver assisted Mrs. Freeman when he worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the early 1970s.

The materials include correspondence, news clippings, audio recordings, memorandums, reports and photographs.

The collection consists of one half manuscript box.

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Arrangement

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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.

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: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

The Papers of Bert Silver 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 (NCSJ; I-181 and I-181A), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews (I-505), 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), 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), Marilyn Labendz(P-946) and Abraham Silverstein(P-947).

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); Bert Silver Papers; *P-949; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Bert Silver in 2006.

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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.

 

Papers of Bert Silver, undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982

The series is in English.
1 half manuscript box.
Scope and Content:

See the collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 B'nai Israel Congregation Materials Related to Soviet Jewry 1972
1 2 Freeman, Frankie Muse, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 1971-1972
1 3 Jewish Community Council Materials Related to Soviet Jewry undated, 1978, 1980-1982
1 4 Trip to the Soviet Union: Announcements of Public Meetings Pertaining to the Trip 1980-1981
1 5 Trip to the Soviet Union: Arrest of the Refusenik Dr. Vladimir Kislik in Kiev Following the Trip 1980-1981
1 6 Trip to the Soviet Union: Audiocassettes (2)-Debriefing and Report by Bert Silver 1980
1 7 Trip to the Soviet Union: Congressional and Government Correspondence, Letters to the Parishioners of Pastor John Steinbruck 1980-1981
1 8 Trip to the Soviet Union: Letters from the Visited Refuseniks and Family Members 1980-1981
1 9 Trip to the Soviet Union: News Clippings 1980
1 10 Trip to the Soviet Union: Photos 1980
1 11 Trip to the Soviet Union: Report by Samuel "Buddy" Sislen, JCC Staff 1980
1 12 Vigils and Demonstrations on Behalf of Soviet Jewry 1971, 1973, 1978, 1980-1981, 1987
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