Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington | Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

Exhibitions: Voices of the Vigil

Voices of the Vigil logoThis new exhibition tells the story of our community's role in the struggle for freedom for Soviet Jewry.

Rave reviews!

"The exhibit gave a wonderful understanding of how ordinary citizens came together and saved the Jews of the Soviet Union."

"Voices of the Vigil is an incredible exhibition that commemorates the struggle and triumph of the Greater Washington community's involvement in the Free Soviet Jewry movement."

"I am an immigrant from former Soviet Union and for me this exhibit clearly demonstrated tremendous efforts of American Jews to press Soviet government to allow Jewish people escape from USSR."

"[This story] affirms my belief that, despite America's inaction during the Holocaust, a small, committed group can appeal to the best in the American population and make a difference."

People looking at Voices of the Vigil"The exhibit is fantastic. A perfect subject for JHSGW, addressing the role of Jews in Washington influencing official Washington and the world. Great photos, interesting content. Nice programs involving the local participants."

"Very well done.  Would make a great teaching tool for a younger generation of Jews for whom the Soviet Jewry movement is only a footnote in history."
Henry M. Rosenbaum, Senior Philanthropic Officer,
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

"As with the civil rights movement, the Voices of the Vigil demonstrated how determined people, in a nonviolent manner, can achieve their goals."

"On behalf of your trusted committee of lay partners, I want to thank you and rest of your team for putting together such a moving, informative, inspiring and attractive exhibit.  The finished product surpassed anything any of us imagined and makes us all very proud…A sincere thank you for all your efforts."
Norman Goldstein, Chair, Exhibition Community Advisory Committee

Soviet Jewry buttons"Thank you very much for wonderful exhibition! Please pass my appreciation to everybody who was working hard on this project...I believe that young generation should learn about this movement."
Ella Kagan, Soviet émigré and Director of Shalom Education Center

"Thank you for yesterday's tour of the very impressive exhibition.  The Washington community played a central role in the ultimate success of the movement to free Soviet Jewry, and this exhibit demonstrates that wonderfully.
It was a privilege for me to be involved in this cause, and our time with you reminded me and my staff of some of the most important work we did together on Capitol Hill.  It definitely was a 'walk down memory lane.'"
Michael Barnes, former Maryland Congressman

"It's a great show—one that makes every single visitor proud and pleased that individually and collectively, the Washington Jewish community did, in fact, change millions of lives and—'students and housewives all'—helped liberate so many Jews as they helped bring an end to the failed Soviet Union...The story of the Vigil is told in perfect detail. I especially liked reading the success stories of some of the immigrants who came to the U.S. as a result of the pressure of the Vigil...Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to produce another JHSGW signature partnership achievement. Wow."
Margery Elsberg, JHSGW Board of Directors

"The display is truly impressive, and what a wonderful celebration of this important movement and the hope it holds for all justice efforts. "  
Schroeder Stribling, Executive Director, N Street Village