JFN member organization Genesis Philanthropy Group is commemorating Freedom Sunday, the US Jewish community's march for Soviet Jewry.
Mikhail Fridman, JTA
Thirty years ago, Jews in the Soviet Union were not allowed to study Hebrew, eat kosher food, talk about Zionism, go to a synagogue or, most important, leave the country. If they tried to emigrate, they would almost certainly be refused, lose their jobs and be blackballed in their professions. They would then be put on trial and imprisoned for being unemployed.
Thirty years ago, American Jews understood that if Soviet Jews were being silenced, American Jews would have to be loud.
I am here today as a proud and grateful Russian-speaking Jewish American and as someone who has the privilege of leading Genesis Philanthropy Group, a foundation inspired by the vision of Mikhail Fridman and his partners and dedicated to strengthening Russian-Jewish communities around the world. And so, please allow me, on behalf of Russian-speaking Jewish Americans of today and tomorrow, for the first time, from this remarkable stage, to thank you all.