JEWS IN AMERICA
The new book entitled "Russian Jews in America" was published (in Russian) in 2005 by the Publishing House Gesharim. The book was a
part of publishing efforts undertaken by the Research Center for
Russian Jewry Abroad for the last several years.
The Center was founded in 1997 in Israel by Dr.M.Parkhomovsky with
the mandate to collect, study and disseminate information on the input into the
economy, arts, science and politics made by Russian Jews emigrated to various
countries. As apart of this mandate, the Center also collects and studies
documents related to the role of Russian Jews in the formation and
development44 of the state of Israel. The Center published two series
of books namely “Jews in the Culture of Russia Abroad” (volume 1 to 5, Jerusalem,
1992-1996) and “Russian Jewry Abroad” (volumes 1(6) to 5(10), Jerusalem,
Besides the extensive publishing activity, the Center organizes
lectures, conferences and seminars on various topics related to Russian Jews
abroad. Thus, in September 2005 the conference dedicated to the scientific and
cultural importance of the Concise Jewish Encyclopedia was held in Jerusalem. Another
subject discussed at the conference was the input into Judaic studies made by
The book “Russian Jews in America” is a
collection of articles, essays and documents. The initial compilers’ intention
was to publish as many as possible articles on such general topics as the
overview of the Russian Jewish community in the USA and/or Canada; adaptation
of Russian Jews into the American society; the role of Russian Jews in
formation and development of the socialist/trade union movement in the USA;
Russian Jews in Hollywood; the role of Russian Jews in agricultural development
of the Canadian North, and others. Due to various reasons, this intention was
not fully fulfilled. However, we hope to revisit these subjects in the future.
The book includes articles on such personalities as “a financier of
American Revolution” H.Salomon, President F.D. Roosevelt’s adviser on labor
relations V. Voytinsky, a film maker A. Drankov, an art collector M.Karolik, a
composer A.Lourie, a computer “guru” S.Brin, and others.
Of special interest is an essay on history of the Hebrew
Immigration Aid Society (HIAS). With the HIAS’s help, in the 19th and 20th centuries approximately 3,
6 millions Jews (mainly from Eastern Europe) immigrated to the USA. Thanks to
the HIAS’s heroic efforts, during World War II approximately 300 000 European
Jews escaped the Holocaust and immigrated to the USA.
Among documents presented in the book, are letters from L.Trotsky
to his wife N.Sedova. These are important for understanding Trotsky’s personality,
his likes and dislikes, and for reconstructing his psychological profile. The
book also contains 20 letters primarily from M.S.Tsetlina, the publisher of the
journal “Opyty” (New York, 1953-1959), to the journal editor Y.Ivask, published
here at the first time.
Among book’s contributors were journalists, writers and scholars
from the USA, Russia, Canada and Israel. The book
was sponsored by the HIAS (New York) and four private donors from the
USA and Israel. As far as
I know, the book sell goes well and all copies are sold out in Moscow and New York.
Currently I am soliciting articles and documents for the second
volume of the book on Russian Jews in America. All
potential contributors as well as sponsors are welcome to participate in this