`Let Our People Go'
Word Went Out
the way for
The White Hats
Keith and Svetlana Braun: Continuing the fight.
The Battle Is Still in Jeopardy
For Jews In The Soviet Union
vetlana and I would like to express
our gratitude to the Detroit Jewish
community for the warm welcome
which it has extended Svetlana. It only
confirmed my assurances to her that this
was. a wonderful community to be part of
because of its friendliness.
The current Soviet-American summit
bears even greater meaning for us since we
are well aware that Svetlana received exit
permission only because of the summit, not
because of any claimed change in Soviet
emigration policy. It is clear that Svetlana
waited as long as she did, not because she
was Jewish, but because I was an
American. In fact, only about 25 percent
of the divided couples were Jewish.
Yet, Svetlana's attraction to me was
precisely her Jewishness, and the whole ex-
perience has served to strengthen my
Jewish identity. We American Jewish
spouses, though a minority, were the big-
gest fighters (to the benefit of all the
spouses). Unlike many of the non-Jewish
spouses, we fully understood (thanks to our
history) that to accomplish anything in this
world you must work for it. Further, we
knew that we could depend on each other
(even after our own situations had
As the leader of the Divided Spouses
Coalition, I attempted to wage a national
campaign on behalf of Svetlana and other
divided spouses. Senator Paul Simon was
instrumental in drawing national atten-
Soviet Jew Svetlana Braun was allowed to leave the
Soviet Union last month to join her American
Jewish husband in Detroit.
tion to our struggle. I was particularly for-
tunate in having congressional support on
a national scale and in having develped a
close relationship with a cadre of congres-
sional aides, many of whom were Jewish
(such as Noam Gelfond of Congressman
Levin's office and Diane Blagman of Con-
gressman Carr's office), who fought
ceaselessly for me, kept me informed of
what was happening in Washington and
gave me needed encouragement.
Although our personal struggle has
ended, we remain concerned for others
seeking to emigrate, including Svetlana's
parents (refuseniks since 1981). While
emigration numbers have risen this year
and I honestly believe that the Soviets
would like to allow all of the 10,000-25,000
refuseniks remaining in the Soviet Union
to emigrate, the picture seems far bleaker
(or at least uncertain), for those who have
not previously applied but now intend to.
Many would like to but are prevented by
ridiculous Soviet emigration regulations or
by fear of receiving a refusal and suffering
All is not well and we should not be
fooled by pre-summit ploys which, in fact,
only emphasize that the Soviets continue
to view people as pawns to be bargained
Finally, when Svetlana arrived in the
United States, we spent a week in
Washington before coming home to Detroit
in order to express our gratitude to State
Department officials (who were aware of us
at the highest levels) and members of Con-
gress and their aides because we realized
that saying thank you (and allowing peo-
ple to see their successes) encouraged peo-
ple to press for others.
Continued on Page 16
A Hadassah group expands
its annual holiday party.
Our new sports section debuts with
a look at our Israel tennis ties.
brings the old,
the young, the stars.
aa-111 . 41.
The Jewish News family section
focuses on the Chanukah festival.
Life In Israel
December 11, 1987 4:43 p.m.
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS