Jews' Next Dor

Congregation Beth David's Young Adult Group for Jewish 20 & 30 Somethings

Natan Sharansky in Palo Alto July 15, 2008

Posted by challahbackgirl on July 9, 2008

Natan Sharansky: Defending Identit y

in conversation with David Waksberg

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1:00 pm

at Kehillah Jewish High School

3900 Fabian Way / Palo Alto, CA 94303


Complimentary light lunch catered by Izzy’s Bagels

RSVP to Jennifer Eisenbud Sawle ( at 415.751.6983 x108

Co-sponsored by:

ALSJCC, Jewish Community Federation, , Kehillah Jewish High School,

Congregations Beth Jacob, Etz Chayim, and Kol Emeth

BJE Jewish Community Library and BJE Peninsula Learning Resource Center.

Autographed books will be available for sale by bob and bob fine jewish books and gifts.

Identity gave me the strength to become free.

When Jews abandon identity in the pursuit of universal freedom, they end up with neither.

Yet when they embrace identity in the name of freedom, as Soviet Jews did in the 1970s, they end up securing both.

Natan Sharansky, Defending Identity

Natan Sharansky is an internationally renowned human rights activist, political leader, and author. He is the Chairman of the Shalem Center’s Institute for Strategic Studies. Natan Sharansky was born in 1948 in Donetzk, Ukraine. After graduating from the Physical Technical Institute in Moscow, he became active in the human rights movement. At the same time he applied for an exit visa to Israel, which he was denied for “security reasons”. In 1977, a Soviet newspaper alleged that Mr. Sharansky was collaborating with the CIA. Despite denials from every level of the U.S. Government, including President Carter himself, Mr. Sharansky was found guilty and sentenced to thirteen years in prison, including solitary confinement and hard labor. In the courtroom prior to the announcement of his verdict, Mr. Sharansky in a public statement said: “To the court I have nothing to say – to my wife and the Jewish people I say ‘Next Year in Jerusalem.'” After nine years of imprisonment, due to intense international pressure, Mr. Sharansky was released on February 11, 1986, emigrated to Israel, and arrived in Jerusalem on that very day.

David Waksberg is the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education. A leader in the Soviet Jewry movement, David was the Executive Director of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and Vice President of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.  David worked with Natan Sharansky and other leaders of the Soviet Jewish emigration and human rights movements to promote freedom and Jewish Identity for Soviet Jews.  David was one of the founders of the first human rights bureau in Moscow in 1990, and helped establish the first JCC in St. Petersburg.


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