Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Soviet Jewry Demonstration or "What Were We Thinking"

In the early 70's a group of Betarim (Johnny Brown, Jeff Maas, Stan Levine, Marty Kaplan, David Tewrsky and I) attended a WUJS conference in Asbury Park New Jersey, staying at the Berkley Carteret Hotel from Friday - Sunday. The conference is attended by many different groups - Zionist and others. The purpose of the conference was to come up with a plan of activism for Jewish students and I seem to remember a publication coming out at the end, though I do not have a copy. Of course, we came to Shabbat diner in out tilboshot - kind of freaked some people out!

So, on Sunday as we were packing to leave, someone suggested that we stop at the Soviet Mission to demonstrate our activism. Well, some of us did (don't remember what we did with our luggage) with some hastily created signs.

When we got to 67th street, there was a school bus outside the mission. One of us says "lets takeover the bus", so we get on. Once on board we notice that it was full of kids ( happened to be kids of the mission staff who were coming back from school). So we get off the bus and notice that the doors to the mission are open to let the kids in and we walk right in with them and sit down near the outside wall.

I don't remember how long we sat there with our signs before some ugly looking security staff approached us. After a while we left ( did we finally realize where we were, or did someone see a shoulder holster?) As I said, "what were we thinking?"

Tel Hai



YMedad said...

You were thinking Betar-Hadar-Tagr, obviously.

Shachna Waxman said...

Being so committed, sometimes I think we did things without realizing the potential consequences of our actions. But, we survived to demonstrate another day

Tel Hai


maybe said...

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