a journey – russia to the promised land

Just published a book on blurb that documents my family’s amazing trip to the Soviet Union in 1974. We made the first contact by western activists with Natan Sharansky. It’s the story of one American family and the larger story of the awakening of Soviet Jews. How the voice of a few troublemakers, joined by the voice of students and housewives helped bring down the most powerful totalitarian regime…. the original spring awakening! It is a journey that changed my life.

The story of an Ame…
By Jerome Stern &…

The miracle of the Six Day War gave birth to a no less miraculous discovery by Soviet Jews of their Jewish roots.

These courageous Jews applied for, but were refused permission to emigrate to Israel and came to be known as Refuseniks.

In the early seventies Americans and Israelis came to offer support.

KGB agents would harass these activist-tourists and confiscate the educational materials and blue jeans they brought to provide cultural and financial support.

The role played by foreigners, especially Americans, in making the refusenik issue an international story, was significant.

This is the story of one American family (Jane, Jerome, Michael and Geoffrey Stern) who travel to the Former Soviet Union in July of 1974 to lend support.

A theretofore unknown activist; Anatoly Sharansky had married his wife Avital on July 3rd, put her on a plane to Israel on the 4th and joined the other Refuseniks that Shabbat outside of the Moscow Synagogue to trade stories of their recent lock-up during the Nixon state visit the previous week.

The Sterns meet Sharansky on Saturday July 6th outside of the Moscow Synagogue and their journey begins.  Along the way they meet Vladmir Slepak, Aba Taratuta, Alexander Lerner, Mark Azbel, a young Tom Lantos, and in Israel they search and find Avital on the banks of the Kineret.

This is the story of that journey:  from russia to the promised land…  with an epilogue that continues through the present.

Here’s the original audio of the interview of Natan Sharansky and Jerome Stern conducted by Ezra Bookstein in 2009 for the movie Chutzpa with Charm

Natan Sharansky and Jerome Stern 2009

Sharansky-Stern audio interview 2009

To view or download original images click here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffreystern/sets/72157628188621747

Here’s how to get this book on to your iPad or iPhone:

  1. Open the link below on your iPad, iPhone or iTouch:
  2.  http://tinyurl.com/7mful49 (This is the .epub file for the book)
  3. Your ebook will be downloaded and will open in the iBooks app. If you do not have the free Apple iBooks app you’ll need to do so prior to downloading your book.Here’s an audio recording of introductory remarks by Jane Stern at reception for Joseph and Kati Mendelevich on 12/12/1981 at the home of Jane & Jerome Stern in New York City. Introductory Comments Jane SternSSSJ 1981parlor meeting and here’s an audio recording of closing remarks of Refusenik Joseph Mendelevich and  closing comments and pitch made by Jerome Stern at same reception ClosingJosephMendelovichand Jerome Stern and the story of the Stern’s “infiltrating” the Bolshoi Ballet Glen Richter-JLS comments at JosephMendelovich parlor meeting

    Jane Stern listens to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at 1981 Mendelevich reception

2 Comments

Filed under Israel, Religion, social commentary, Uncategorized

2 responses to “a journey – russia to the promised land

  1. I am totally blown away. want to read the WHOLE story!

  2. Pingback: first refusnik | madlik

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s