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Soviet Jewry: Lessons Learnt through a Retrospective Lens

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January 18, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This presentation will cover:

  • A retrospective look  at Refusenik Life in the former Soviet Union.
  • An encounter with the KGB following the Soviet downing of a Korean passenger airplane that strayed into Soviet airspace.
  • Soviet Jewry—destination America? A personal dilemma.
  • An absorption center for Soviet Jews in Erfurt Germany.
  • The publishing of the Diary of Anne Frank in Lithuania.
  • Advocacy lessons learned and how we can apply to worldwide Jewish concern.

Presented by: Jacques Lurie, Executive and Education Director of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim 

Jacques Lurie currently works as the Executive Director at Congregations of Shaare Shamayim in Philadelphia. Jacques has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and owned and operated a computer consulting business before following his ongoing passion stemming from his volunteer work  to serve the Jewish Community.  His passion eventually enticed him to a career change and now serves as the Executive and Education Director of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim.

He has served in many positions in numerous organizations locally, nationally, and internationally ranging from a position on the Philadelphia School Board, the local Soviet Jewry Council to the International Soviet Jewry Chairman for B’nai B’rith.

He has traveled numerous times to the Soviet Union including an encounter with the KGB. Then later helping form the first B’nai B’rith lodge in Moscow followed by numerous Jewish camps.

An ongoing passion has been to educate later generations about the struggle of Soviet Jews as it relates to today’s Jewish Community and it’s lessons learned concerning advocacy.

CLICK HERE to register for the program. 


We have created a new SPIRIT website with archives and upcoming programs! Now you can watch all of the SPIRIT presentations-geared toward retirees- on subjects such as history to exercise to mental health, all in one place! 

CLICK HERE to enjoy past programs on-demand at your convenience!

The information provided by the OU SPIRIT program is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice on any legal/medical/nutritional/mental health/ financial/halachic or other subject matter.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of the information you learn during a SPIRIT program without seeking legal/medical/nutritional/mental health/financial/Rabbinic or other appropriate professional advice.

Partnering Synagogues:
Anshei Chesed Congregation, Boynton Beach (FL)
Anshei Emuna Congregation, Delray Beach (FL)
Beth David Synagogue, West Hartford (CT)
Bialystoker Synagogue, New York (NY)
B’nai Israel-Ohev Zedek, Philadelphia (PA)
Congregation Agudath Sholom, Stamford (CT)
Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Columbus (OH)
Congregation Aitz Chaim, West Palm Beach (FL)
Congregation Anshe Sfard, New Orleans (LA)
Congregation Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah, Glendale (WI)
Congregation Beth Hamedrosh, Wynnewood (PA)
Congregation Beth Ora, Montreal (QUE)
Congregation Beth Sholom, Providence (RI)
Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck (NJ)
Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills (NY)
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, New York (NY)
Congregation Ohav Zedek, Wilkes-Barre (PA)
Congregation Tiferet Israel, Austin (TX)
Congregation Torah Ohr, Boca Raton (FL)
Congregation Zvi Jacob, Utica (NY)
Darchei Noam, Minneapolis (MN)
East Denver Orthodox Synagogue (EDOS), Denver (CO)
Fleetwood Synagogue, Fleetwood (NY)
Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach (NY)
Kehillat New Hempstead (NY)
Kehillat Shaarei Torah of Toronto (ONT)
Keneseth Beth Israel, Richmond (VA)
Ner Tamid Greenspring Valley Synagogue, Baltimore (MD)
Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim, Baltimore (MD)
Suburban Torah, Livingston (NJ)
United Orthodox Synagogues, Houston (TX)
Young Israel of Bal Harbour, Surfside (FL)
Young Israel of Brookline (MA)
Young Israel of Deerfield Beach (FL)
Young Israel of East Brunswick (NJ)
Young Israel of Elkins Park (PA)
Young Israel of Fort Lee (NJ)
Young Israel of Hillcrest (NY)
Young Israel of Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale (FL)
Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills (NY)
Young Israel of New Hyde Park (NY)
Young Israel of Plainview (NY)
Young Israel of Queens Valley (NY)
Young Israel of Southfield (MI)
Young Israel of Stamford (CT)
Young Israel of West Hartford (CT)

OU Privacy Policy
For all questions or to become a Partnering Synagogue, please contact Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, steinigj@ou.org


January 18, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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