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(20) In the years when anti-war demonstrators led by Abbie Hoffman were trying to levitate the Pentagon to protest American military action in Vietnam, marchers with Jacob Birnbaum's SSSJ were following seven shofar-blowing rabbis as they circled the Soviet UN Mission seven times to bring the walls of oppression down "Jericho-style." (21) And later, when the Weather Underground was firebombing law-related sites across New York City and the Black Panther Party was ambushing police officers in Oakland, Meir Kahane's Jewish Defense League (JDL) was exploding pipe bombs at Soviet travel and tourism offices in Manhattan and harassing Soviet diplomats.
American activists could create media spectacles at home to provide the visuals that television demanded, and this they tried, mostly through the non-violent theatrics of groups like the SSSJ, but also for a brief moment, through acts of violence perpetrated by Meir Kahane's JDL.
As former SSSJ and JDL activist Yossi Klein Halevi wrote years later, "With Kochubiyevsky's arrest, we now had our own political prisoner--a 'prisoner of Zion.' Instead of protesting abstract human rights abuses like the ban on matza or the closing of synagogues, we now had a living symbol of Soviet oppression." (47)
SSSJ, already taking to the streets in front of Soviet diplomatic missions, moved some of its demonstrations to buildings housing Polish diplomatic offices.
(75) It followed this up with an ineffectual petition drive "respectfully calling upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to inscribe this issue [of Soviet Jewry] on the agenda of the General Assembly which is now in session." (76) For their part, local grassroots councils were introducing holiday mobilizations in 1968 that, even as they embraced the move toward religiously-inflected Jewish identity politics that SSSJ was leading, managed to reaffirm the value of American Jews' home-based, consumer-oriented religious folk culture.
Attending the AJCSJ biennial, Rosenblum gathered the leaders of the local councils and SSSJ's Jacob Birnbaum in his hotel room, where they began laying the groundwork for an alternative national agency that would circumvent the AJCSJ.
(95) While at the beginning of 1988, both the NCSJ and the UCSJ were dismayed that the 1987 figures were not higher, by the end of 1988 the NCSJ appeared cautiously optimistic while UCSJ and the SSSJ vehemently opposed liberalization of trade until the Soviets opened their gates entirely.
(11) Salida Sol solsticio diciembre (SSSD), Puesta Sol solsticio diciembre (PSSD), Salida Sol solsticio junio (SSSJ), Puesta Sol solsticio junio (PSSJ), Salida Sol equinoccio (SSEQ), Puesta Sol equinoccio (PSEQ), Salida Luna extrema norte (SLEN), Puesta Luna extrema norte (PLEN), Salida Luna extrema sur (SLES), Puesta Luna extrema sur (PLES), Salida Alfa Centauro (SAC), Puesta Alfa Centauro (PAC).
Grass roots organizations like the SSSJ understood that the most effective way of doing this was to activate the American Jewish establishment organizations, which explains why the SSSJ joined the NCSJ, invalidating the distinction Beckerman draws between grass roots and establishment activism on behalf of Soviet Jewry.
In 1975, for example, the SSSJ printed red posters and leaflets protesting a Soviet art exhibition at the Knoedler & Company art gallery with declarations such as "SSSJ protests the Soviet 'Art' of AntiSemitism." (33) Following the precedent set by the quarterly Jews in Eastern Europe in London, Soviet Jewry organizers took out full-page ads in The New York Times to reprint obscene Soviet propaganda that viewers would associate with Der Sturmer -type images from the Holocaust.
Posters issued by the British Board of Deputies in the 1970s and by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry and the SSSJ in the 1980s consistently used the singular color red metaphorically, conveying the impending danger of the Soviet culture's destruction of Jewish culture.
(33.) Organized in association with Fairleigh Dickinson University "SSSJ Protests the Soviet 'Art' of Antisemitism," Jewish Press, Sept 26, 1975, 17.
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- SSSS (disambiguation)