The Modern Exodus: Webinar to Explore the Struggle and Liberation of Soviet Jews
Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 9 pm Israel Daylight Time (UTC+3)
A generation after collapse of the Soviet Union, The Genesis 123 Foundation is hosting of a webinar addressing the persecution and modern Exodus of Soviet Jews. “Jewish Slavery and Redemption in Our Lifetime: The Struggle and Exodus of Soviet Jews” will take place on Wednesday, March 31 at 9:00pm Israel time (2:00pm Eastern/11:00am Pacific time in the US).
For generations, Jews in Russia were persecuted endlessly. Antisemitism was rampant. In the Soviet Union, antisemitism became state policy, purging and preventing Jews from studying Hebrew, celebrating holidays and other lifecycle events, and persecuting Jews “religiously.” It was a religious and cultural genocide. When Soviet Jews had an awakening, they began engaging in Jewish life, albeit secretly, and launched a movement to be able leave the USSR, suffering added consequences and persecution. In solidarity, many Jews and Christians around the world became parallel partners in their struggle.
Noting what’s special about this event, Jonathan Feldstein, president of Genesis 123, commented, “A generation later, there are tens of thousands of Jews under 30 who don’t know about the persecution of Soviet Jews, the suffering that their struggle caused, or how Jews and Christians worldwide fought for their freedom. There are many older people who simply forgot about the modern enslavement of the Jewish people and their eventual freedom. These are stories that must be told and passed down from generation to generation, no less significant than the Biblical Exodus that we celebrate on Passover.”
“During the struggle to free Soviet Jews, at Passover, Jews overseas set an empty seat for our Jewish brothers and sisters in the USSR with the prayer that one day they would be free. Now, they are free, and we need to tell their stories,” Feldstein added.
During the program, the Genesis 123 Foundation will host four former refuseniks (Jews prohibited from leaving the USSR), each with unique experiences and stories to tell about how they preserved their Jewish identity, and ultimately were able to come home to Israel.
The program will discuss a range of issues including: How did Jews in the USSR observe Passover when religious celebrations were prohibited? What did that mean to them there, under those circumstances?
Did they feel uniquely part of the story, that they were IN FACT slaves as in Egypt? Did the liberation of Passover give them strength? Since coming to Israel how has Passover changed for them? How do they relate their own spiritual enslavement to their children and grandchildren? What lessons need to be learned from this modern slavery and Exodus?
This program is being hosted by the Genesis 123 Foundation as part of the Global Passover Prayer for Israel. The Genesis 123 Foundation’s mission is to build bridges between Jews and Christians and Christians with Israel in ways that are new, unique, and meaningful.
Join the Genesis 123 Foundation for this special event. Limited participation will be available by Zoom, Those interested should contact the Genesis 123 Foundation. The program will be broadcast live on the Genesis 123 Foundation Facebook and YouTube pages. For details, to join by Zoom, to learn about the other programs part of the Global Passover Prayer for Israel, to sponsor or partner with us, please contact Gen123Fdn@gmail.com.