This week on History of Israel Explained, we’re visiting the Soviet Union and recapping the history of Soviet Jewry. The campaign to free the Jews of the USSR grew into a global phenomenon that motivated Jews across the world to fight for their fellow Jews. With incredible results. With a history that included pogroms, rampant anti-Semitism and the harsh dictates of Communism, it’s hardly surprising many Jews wanted to leave. But there was a catch. Those who applied for an exit visa risked losing their jobs, their livelihoods and their freedom. These Jews became known as Refuseniks, the most famous of whom was Natan Sharansky who would later go on to become a prominent Israeli politician. While the campaign to free the Refuseniks had its roots in a grassroots movement started by Jewish students, it grew into a global phenomenon that led to the largest gathering ever of American Jews and helped inspire the path to freedom for millions of Russian Jews. Let us know what you think of this week’s episode. Drop your reactions in the comments section below. Subscribe and check out more awesome UNPACKED videos! GET SOCIAL @ UNPACKED

———– Photo/Video Credit: – GPO/Moshe Milner/Nati Harnik/Yaacov Sa’ar/Teddy Brauner/Avi Ohayon – Eugene Zelenko – Central Zionist Archives – RIA Novosti – Cohen Fritz – NARA – Rob C. Croes / Anefo – Jewish Historical Society – Center for Jewish History – John Mathew Smith THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS: Executive Producers: – Shevi Peters – Adam Milstein Platinum Level: – Rachel & Jack ז”ל Gindi Family Foundation – Meryl and Sam Solomon, Beit Zayit – Lily and Kam Babaoff – Dr. Shmuel and Evelyn Katz This series would not be possible without the generous support of: – The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation ———– #Israel #Education #History Russian Jewry: The Refuseniks