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LET MY PEOPLE GO! Exhibition travels in America


LET MY PEOPLE GO! Exhibition embarks on a journey across North America


The extraordinary Beit Hatfutsot exhibition Let My People Go! The Soviet Jewry Movement 1967-1989, is embarking on a journey traveling to museums across North America. The exhibition, which depicts a heroic chapter in Jewish history and a powerful example of international Jewish solidarity, was adapted for American audiences last year by the Museum of Jewish Heritage--A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York and was displayed there for ten months. 


Sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, the exhibition will travel later this year to Washington, DC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Freedom Sunday. It will also be displayed in other locations during 2013 among them the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, Montreal, Canada, and Miami, Florida.


Let my People Go! instills knowledge and understanding of the struggle by and on behalf of Soviet Jewry to make Aliyah, and the sacrifices made in the fight to assert Jewish identity and religious freedom. The Jews of the USSR were trapped in a totalitarian state that not only did not permit the existence of Jewish life or allow Jews to leave but also waged a vigorous campaign against them and denounced them as traitors.
The struggle waged by Soviet Jews captured headlines throughout the Jewish world and caught the attention of various Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, public figures, political leaders, and Christian clergy, who considered the Jewish policy of the USSR to be a violation of basic human rights.  As a result people of all backgrounds rallied to help Soviet Jewry on a scale previously unknown.

The exhibition consists of 50 photographs, posters and documentary film clips and provides an overview of Jewish nationalism in the Soviet Union from 1967 through 1989 and of the support it received from Israel, world Jewry and the general community. When Soviet Jews launched the open campaign to emigrate, it was almost inconceivable that within little more than two decades the face of history would change beyond recognition, the Soviet Union would disintegrate, and the gates of the Iron Curtain would be open widely for Jews to leave. The exhibition traces this fascinating chapter.

Let my People Go! has already been an engaging platform for programming opportunities including discussions with refuseniks and activists such as Christian clergy involved with the Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry; film series; sessions on advocacy; a musical program produced by the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND featuring songs that inspired the worldwide movement will be available for performances.


The exhibition facilitates outreach to the Russian speaking Jewish community and enables members of that community to add their own memorabilia, pertinent documents and artifacts to the exhibition as well as tell their unique narrative in panel discussions. Also available are performances of the play “Lost and Found Doroga” which explores personal stories of a Russian Jewish actors troupe whose members were born in the 70s-80s in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the US with their families. 


For further information on bringing this important exhibit to your community please contact:
Shula Bahat
CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America