Fight to Save Soviet Jews! ‘Refusenik’ Documentary Now Playing
Posted by Oyster on April 14, 2008
Growing up in the Bay Area Jewish community, I noticed that a good chunk of us were Russian Jews. It took me a few years to realize that this was atypical. It was by virtue of the fierce activism to free Soviet Jews from the oppression behind the Iron Curtain by the local Jewish community that so many of them, upon their release, were settled here. In fact, 45,000 Russian Jews settled in the Bay Area; third only to NY & LA. Local heroes like Regina Waldman (herself a Jewish refugee from Arab persecution) and Morey Schapira fought Russians & apathetic Jews alike to make sure that our brothers and sisters in Russia would have the simple chance to live a proud Jewish life.
Finally, their story is being told. A documentary called ‘Refusenik’ (that’s the expression for the Soviet Jews who were refused an exit visa) has opened up nationally, and is playing up in SF until this Thursday. The SF Chron wrote up a great article about it (does a very good job making the story very local; check out the pics!), and the J Weekly has some coverage too. Be sure to see this film (PDF flyer below).