International Symposium: The Jewish National Movement in the USSR

Marking the 50th Anniversary of “Operation Wedding”

21 December 2020, 19:00 
Live on Zoom 
The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of Yona and Natan Schwartzman

Five of the convicted in the Leningrad trials before they left for Israel, Moscow, Russia (USSR), The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of Yona and Natan Schwartzman

The Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research CenterThe Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot and The Jewish Agency for Israel are pleased to invite you to the online international symposium:


The Jewish National Movement in the USSR, Marking the 50th Anniversary of “Operation Wedding”


The event will take place on Monday-Wednesday, 21-23 December, 2020 (Israel Time), between 19:00 – 21:00 and will be broadcast Live on Zoom.


Kindly view the attached invitation.


For your attention – the conference will be held in English.


Please register in advance >



21 December, 2020



Simha Goldin, Director of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University


Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel & Member of the Board, Beit Hatfutsot


Soviet Authorities, Jews, and the Jewish National Movement in the USSR before and after World War II

Moderator: Velvl Chernin (EAJC) 

Topics for Discussion:

  • "Classical” Russian Zionism in the USSR in 1920s-1940s: Destiny and Heritage
  • State Anti-Semitism and Zionist Activity in the USSR in the 1950s and the First Half of the 1960s
  • Zionist Activity in the Soviet Union, 1948 - 1967
  • Identity, Ideology and Community Structures in the Zionist Movement of the Late USSR


Presenters: Boris Morozov (TAU); Gennady Kostyrchenko (RAS); Yaacov Ro’i (TAU); Ze’ev Khanin (MoAI & BIU)



Visual presentation: Haim Ghiuzeli (Beit Hatfutsot)


Personal items of the prisoner of Zion Zvi Preigerzon, which are part the Museum's new permanent display



22 December, 2020


Despite Common Sense: Testimonies on the Jewish Underground in Leningrad and Riga and “Operation Wedding” 


Moderator: Izabella Tabarovsky (Wilson Center)


Participants: Eduard Kuznetsov; Josef Mendelevich; Sylva Zalmanson; Israel Zalmanson; Elie Valk; Anatoly Goldfeld; Boris Penson; Arie Hanoch; Wolf Zalmanson


Visual presentation: Haim Ghiuzeli (Beit Hatfutsot)


Collection of photographs by Joseph Schneider, a prisoner of Zion



23 December, 2020


Soviet Jewry, the USSR Zionist Movement, and “Operation Wedding”: Responses from Israel and the West


Moderator: Semion Goldin (HUJI)


Topics for Discussion:

  • Israel and Soviet Jewry in 1948-1953 Zeh hakatan gadol yihyeh
  • The Emergence and Evolution of a Jewish Movement in the Late USSR
  • The State of Israel Struggle for Soviet Jewry 1952-1970


Presenters: Yacov Livne (MFA); Zvi Gitelman (UM); Nati Cantorovich (NATIV)


Visual presentation: Haim Ghiuzeli (Beit Hatfutsot)

Interview with Constance Smukler, one of the pillars of the Jewish-American struggle for the release of prisoners of Zion


Official invitation (PDF) >

Registration >



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