Friday, May 31, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
first hand account
of visits with our
Soviet Jewish families.
BY ELSA A. SOLENDER
Special to The Jewish News
here was no James Bond
aura to our journey. We were
ten Jews traveling under the
aegis of the National Conference on
Soviet Jewry. We called ourselves the
American Tour Club.
We were tourists who would do what
tourists do in the Soviet Union. Visit
Red Square and the museums. See the
ballet, hear the symphony, eat caviar,
buy fur hats, meet the people.
Meet our people.
We were three teams of three persons
each, plus one "floater," my husband
Stephen Solender. Each team would con-
tact its own list of refuseniks.
On my team were Rabbi Donald Be-
rlin of Temple Oheb Shalom in Balti-
more, and his wife, Norma, my profes-
sional social worker.
My visa described me as a housewife.
Rabbi Berlin's visa described him as
an educator. Also true.
We had traveled thousands of miles to
explore the meaning behind the all too •
familiar words, "Soviet Jews."
We had all seen the placards on the