Our Soviet Sisters

Underground Kindergarten

The Jewish kindergarten started by the Moscow Women’s Committee is expected to open again this fall. During the past year, some dozen young children of Refuseniks and those who have not yet applied to leave the Soviet Union attended the unofficial school in a rambling wooden house outside Moscow.

Joshua Rubenstein, New England Coordinator for Amnesty International, observed on his way to the school, that parents were startled to hear their children start to sing Hebrew songs on the subway. Soviet Jews are taught to hide their Jewish origins, but, Rubenstein observed, “By organizing a kindergarten, they knew they were initiating a process they could not control.”

The adults have been learning Jewish history and traditions with their children. Rubenstein reports that on Jewish holidays such as Purim and Chanukah, as many as 70 children may attend the kindergarten. [Source: Matchbox)

Year of the Child

In response to the United Nations’ designating 1979 as The Year of the Child, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and Union of Councils for Soviet Jews are calling attention to the suffering of children of Prisoners of Conscience and Refuseniks.

The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry has compiled a list of 200 children, including address, age and birthday, for American children to write to. The list is available from SSSJ at 200 West 72 St., Suites 30-31, New York, NY 10023.

Ida Nudel in Siberia

by Amy Stone

Ida Nudel has survived a year in prison in an all-male barracks in the village of Krivosheyno in Siberia. Nudel, 48 and in poor health, was sentenced to four years in this Siberian prison after seven years of challenging the Soviet treatment of Jewish political prisoners.

Nudel had become known as the “guardian angel,” keeping track of exiled Prisoners of Conscience.

In Israel, “I WIN,” (Israeli Women for Ida Nudel) has been working through the Dutch foreign ministry to get medical attention for Nudel.

In the U.S., Women for Ida Nudel (WIN) is appealing to elected women officials to press for Nudel’s release. The group is chaired by Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder (D-Colorado). Its national coordinator is Lynn Singer. WIN is located at 91 North Franklin St., Hempstead, NY 11550.