Online exhibit, Voices of the Vigil focuses on DC's Soviet Jewry Movement

From H-DC:

The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW), Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum has launched an online exhibit titled, Voices of the Vigil.  The project uses primary documents and images as well as oral histories and memoirs to explore the more than twenty-year protest—December, 1970 to January, 1991—waged by Washington DC Jews in support of Jews in the Soviet Union.  Soviet Jews, encouraged by the outcome of the Six-Day War in 1967, applied for permits to emigrate to Israel in increasing numbers.  The Soviet Union refused to grant many exit visas and the Jewish population experienced continued persecution and imprisonment.

On the website, users can explore this history in a couple of ways.  A series of headings run down the left side of the page: Introduction, Growing Concern, The Vigil, More Signs of Protest, and so forth.  A number of these expand, adding more detail to the narrative; for example, Growing Concern includes sections such as D.C. at Center Stage.  These secondary options only appear when one is in that specific heading.  Clickable blue buttons allow the user to dig deeper and get definitions to unfamiliar words and phrases.  Each section is accompanied by historic photos and primary documents that support the text.

The navigation bar in the header includes a link to a master gallery and gives users the option to dive into specific topics such as Congregations & Organizations, and Activists & Supporters.  In Community Memories, visitors are invited to share any memories they have of the protests.  A teacher’s guide with activities and a file of images for student use bring the exhibition into the classroom.

The website is an extension of an exhibition currently on view at the JHSGW.  Voices of the Vigil: DC’s Soviet Jewry Movement is on view until November 24, 2014.