A two-part documentary that vividly brings to life the struggles experienced by Soviet-era Jews received a premiere this week (Monday 18 June 2018) at a meeting of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.
Produced by the Israeli TV Channel 9 with support from Genesis Philanthropy Group, Gazin Family Fund and other sponsors, the documentary “From Slavery to Freedom” explores the struggle for freedom by Soviet Jews through the life story of Natan Sharansky. It tells the story of how Sharansky was imprisoned in the Soviet Union for nine years before being granted a hard-won freedom and making aliyah to Israel.љ Sharansky would become Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and receive the Israeli Prize, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Together with more than 150 guests, the premiere in the Knesset Auditorium was attended by esteemed Knesset members, including Chairman Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Immigration and Absorption Sofa Landver and Committee Chairman, Dr. Avraham Neguise.љ They were joined by Gena Gazin, Chairman of Genesis Philanthropy Group’s Board of Directors, Ilia Salita, President and CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, Yuri Kaganovich, CEO of Channel 9,љ as well as businessman and philanthropist Aaron Frenkel.
Almost 30 years since the gates of the Soviet Union were fully and finally open to Jewish emigration, “From Slavery to Freedom” tells the incredible story of a tiny Jewish minority’s determination to pursue freedom and their stand against a brutal totalitarian regime in spite of privations, social isolation, arrests and imprisonment.
“The most important thing for me in this project is an opportunity to pass on the story to the younger generation. Our children should know what we did and at what cost freedom – ours and theirs – was obtained” – said Natan Sharansky during the post-screening discussion.
The film was produced by 9.DOC studio from Channel 9, the Russian-language Israeli TV channel.
President and CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group Ilia Salita said at the plenary discussion after the screening:
“Looking back at the history of this struggle today, when Russian-speaking Jews around the world can decide for themselves, freely and willingly, how and where they want to live their Jewish lives, when Russian Jewish voices are heard throughout the whole Jewish world, we realize how important it is that this tremendous story is preserved for posterity to inspire new generations of Jews and supporters of freedom everywhere. We are confident that this film will be a great contribution toward such goal, and are proud that Genesis Philanthropy Group has played a part in making it possible.”