Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jacob Birnbaum - We Salute You

I have signed on to this salute to Dr. Jacob Birnbaum:

CREATOR OF THE STUDENT STRUGGLE FOR SOVIET JEWRY (SSSJ), FIRST INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS THE PLIGHT OF SOVIET JEWRY -- WIDELY REGARDED AS THE FATHER OF THE MOVEMENT TO FREE SOVIET JEWRY, will be presented with the Torch of Freedom Award at the RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience) annual Gala, to be held on Thursday, March 15th 2012 at Gaustavino’s in Manhattan. This is the first time the Russian American Jewish community will have a chance to thank Dr. Birnbaum for his revolutionary and pioneering work on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Natan Sharansky, the famed Prisoner of Zion, human rights activist and current Chairman of the Jewish Agency, will deliver the Keynote address at the event and there will be a special Message from Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Here is a video prepared for the occasion:

And here are two outtakes of Betarim I caught:

That's Moshe Kiczales of Bronx Betar on the left and in the middle another Betari, Dov Skolnick, in 1964 1968 [? see comment] the first year of major mass public demonstrations that began:

The Betarim are carrying the Geula March sign:

Some other photos we've collected:



Some history:




here -

A group of former Betarim and other activist lawyers including Moshe Brodetzky, Morty Dolinsky, Yitzhak Heimowitz, Mel Stein and Judah Harris joined forces with SSSJ to set up the “Center for Russian Jewry” chaired by the movie mogul Spiros Skouras with a suite of offices in the Empire State Building. At its dedication the keynote speaker was Congressman (later President) Gerald Ford.



And my wife's blog post on Laura Bialis' "Refusenik" film.


Yitz Heimowitz said...

With all my heart I want to join in this salute to Jacob Birnbaum. No one deserves it more than he. We worked together from the early days and even had the honor of having him for our house guest on one of his visits to Israel. Yishar Koach!

Yitzhak Heimowitz

Anonymous said...

That first picture could not be in 1964 because Moshe Kiczales
didn't join Betar until 1965-6. I was the one who brought him
to Betar. The other Betari is my brother, Dov Skolnick, which
makes me think that the picture is from 1968 or so.

Dovid Skolnick

Batya said...

It was a privilige to have been a SSSJ activist. Jacob Birnbaum is one of the great heros of 20th Century Jewish History.

Chaim Fischgrund said...

In the picture entitled Pesach Redemption/Geula SSSJ March 1966 I recognize Eli Solomon Z"L on the left amd me on the right

Chaim Fischgrund