Accession file consists of letters, posters, press releases, minutes of meeting and policy statements regarding Israeli prisoners of War in Syria. The documents are from many organizations such as the Labor Zionist Alliance, National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, Toronto Jewish Youth Council and the Canada Israel Committee.
There is no information on the acquisition of this material.
Canadian Jewish Congress, Central Region (Toronto, Ont.)
11 photographs (3 negatives) : b&w ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic records that trace Natan Sharansky's history as a prisoner of political conscience; the broader Refusenik issue; and the community advocacy efforts of Debby and Stan Solomon from 1976 and into the late 1980s at the local, national and international scales. Included are memos and newsletters from the Committee for Soviet Jewry (Ontario Region and national-level); background information as well as petition templates, speeches and planning documentation produced by the Committee to Release Anatoly Sharansky and the Beth Tikvah Synagogue in conjunction with community organizations, including the CJC and its Soviet Jewry social action committees, to support on-going advocacy efforts; correspondence with Canadian and American political representatives at the provincial/state and national levels; white papers/grey literature from non-governmental organizations about the persecution of the Soviet Jewry; planning documentation from the First Annual Sharansky Lectureship on Human Rights in 1980; correspondence, articles and ephemera associated with the granting of Sharansky's honourary law doctorate from York University in 1982; 1985 Freedom Rally/Weekend in Ottawa planning documentation and correspondence; 1987 National Conference on the Soviet Jewry and Mobilization for Freedom planning documentation; 1987 Community Rally at Massey Hall promotional materials; and promotional materials from Sharansky's autobiographical "Fear No Evil" 1988 book launch. Graphic material includes photographs of Sharansky's release during the February 11, 1986 American-Soviet prisoner exchange on the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.
Identified in the photographs are: Debby Solomon; Alan Solomon; Natan Sharansky; Avital Sharansky; U.S. Ambassador Richard Burt;
Material was collected and/or created by Debby Solomon, Natan Sharansky's cousin. Debby donated it to the OJA.
Debby Solomon is the cousin of Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, the Soviet born Israeli politician, human activist and author who spent nine years in Soviet prisons. Debby's father Boris Landis (born 1900) and Sharansky's father were first cousins.Their grandfathers were brothers. Debby's father immigrated 1929 to Toronto from Russia as his older brothers were already in Toronto. Debby and her husband Stan Solomon got involved in the community's activism efforts to free Sharansky and other Refuseniks.They were worked for many years on these efforts by planning programs through their synagogue Beth Tikvah and with Sam Filer, a lawyer and volunteer at the CJC who was also a member of Beth Tikvah.
Activities undertaken by the Committee for Soviet Jewry in Ontario and its affiliated partner organizations included political lobbying, telephone and letter-writing campaigns, product boycotting, symposiums, public rallies, petitions, marches and demonstrations. Among the highest profile activities were the annual Simcha Torah rallies in October and the annual commemorations of the execution of twenty-four Soviet Jewish writers and intellectuals, which had occurred on August 12, 1952 at Moscow's Liubianka prison. As well as organizing public protest activities, the Committee for Soviet Jewry established, in the 1980s, the Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award which emphasized the humanitarian work of a number of prominent Canadian women. Other non-protest activities included bar/ bat mitzvah twinning, family and prisoner sponsorships, and holiday greetings, all programmes that tied the daily lives of Soviet Jews to their Canadian counterparts.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of records documenting the wide range of above-listed protest activities in which the CJC and various affiliated organizations participated. The files include numerous photographs of mass rallies and group demonstrations, planning notes, correspondence, event notices and other promotional materials.
Records of protest activities in this sub-series have been organized chronologically and by event. Indicated date ranges at the file level are of the documents themselves and are not necessarily indicative of the dates of specific events, such as rallies or marches, though such dates are noted in the file description where known.
File consists of detailed documentation about the public meeting and demonstration by the Canadian Nazi Party at Allan Gardens, May 30, 1965. This event provoked a a much larger same-day counter-demonstration at the park by members of Toronto's Jewish community, actions sometimes referred to as the Allan Gardens riot. Documentation of these events and the reactions of Toronto's Jewish community and the general populace are also contained within this file.
File consists of one news clipping documenting a rally held by John Beattie (leader of the Canadian National Socialist Party or Nazi Party of Canada) and one letter written by Beattie to apply for a salesclerk job.