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.