All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Jews and Immigrants: The Miami Response to Post-1980 Refugees from the Soviet Union, Cuba and Haiti|
| The refugee crisis of the 1980s marked a critical period for the city of Miami, Florida and her ethnic communities. Jewish Americans were no exception. As one of the most important ethnic voting blocks in the county – and in the state – Jews played a central role in local and national politics. Miami’s Jews were often among the most vocal advocates for the rights of minorities and refugees. Yet the 1980s proved a critical moment of decision-making. Torn apart by race riots in 1980, with a few short months the city of Miami experienced several renewed refugee crises as new waves of Cuban and Haitian refugees sought solace by way of Miami’s shores. Within a few years, renewed waves of Soviet Jewish refugees sought to make their homes in Miami as well.
For the most part, Jewish American Organizations – including the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and others – were silent on the issue of Soviet Jewry, as Fred Lazin and others have demonstrated, preferring instead that the largest numbers of these refugees go to Israel rather than the United States. In Miami, however, this issue resulted in tremendous debate. Drawing on the records of Miami’s HIAS chapter, and a range of other publications and papers from Jewish community organization in Miami and South Florida, this paper then explores these debates in detail. The contours of this debate demonstrate much about divides between Jewish liberal democrats who had come of age in the mid-20th century, and a newer generation who questioned the merits of more open borders, regardless of the ethnicity of those refugees. And they provide a window onto the shifting nature of debates within the United States about migration, nationalism, acculturation, and citizenship over the last two decades of the 20th century.