Freedom Sunday: The Power of Protest Opening Reception

On December 6, 1987, an estimated crowd of 250,000 Jews and their supporters gathered at a march and rally on the Mall in Washington DC to demonstrate their solidarity with Soviet Jewry. This massive undertaking was achieved through the hard work and cooperation of a broad-based coalition of Jewish organizations such as the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the Greater New York Coalition on Soviet Jewry, UJA, and many others. The event, known as “Freedom Sunday,” took place on the eve of the first summit meeting in the US capital between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan. It marked the apex of the movement to free Soviet Jewry. Shortly after this historic gathering, Soviet Jews received the right to leave and eventually they flocked in large numbers to Israel, the United States, and elsewhere.

The exhibition uses art, texts, and artifacts to commemorate the enormous contributions of members of our own community to bring about the success of Freedom Sunday. The exhibit also acknowledges the stories of Russian émigrés in our community who experienced first-hand the hardships of life as Jews in the Soviet Union and the challenges of starting new lives in the United States.