Commemorating the 31st Anniversary of the March on Washington for Soviet Jewry
The March on Washington for Soviet Jewry, December 6, 1987. Source: www.sovietjewry.org.
WASHINGTON, D.C. December 06, 2018
TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Daniel Rubin, Chairman; Alexander Smukler, President; Mark B. Levin, CEO
Today is the 31st anniversary of the March on Washington for Soviet Jewry. On Sunday March 06, 1987, over 250,000 Americans marched on Washington, DC to demand freedom for Soviet Jews.
It was a watershed moment in the Soviet Jewry movement that led to the ultimate departure of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world.
The massive mobilization ensured President Reagan’s intention to keep human rights on the summit agenda. At the rally, Vice-President George H.W. Bush spoke about the significance of the 1975 Helsinki Accords when 35 countries, including the Soviet Union, agreed to principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms . Bush declared “I will not be satisfied until the promise of Helsinki is a reality.”
As we reflect on the life of President Bush as he is laid to rest today, we remember the key role he played in ending the Cold War and in the Soviet Jewry movement.
As one of the co-sponsors of the Rally and March, it is our honor to share with you a short video of Presidents Bush’s remarks at the historic event.
Founded in 1971, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union.