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Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Collection

 Collection — Box: 2019-049
Identifier: MSS-0149

Content Description

The collection of Shirley and Leonard "Buddy" Goldstein documents the work of Shirley Goldstein as she became an activist on behalf of Soviet Jewish dissidents (known as refuseniks) to help them leave the USSR for Israel and the U.S. In the 1970s, Shirley Goldstein made several trips to the Soviet Union where she met with dissidents and witnessed firsthand the oppression of Soviet Jews. Goldstein smuggled in products the dissidents could sell until she came under scrutiny of Soviet authorities and was denied visas to visit. In 1973, Shirley Goldstein and her friend, Miriam Simon, founded the Omaha Committee for Soviet Jewry, which sponsored the program, Freedom for Soviet Jews. Together, Shirley with her husband Leonard worked tirelessly for the resettlement of over 100 Jewish families in Nebraska.

In addition to the human rights work of the Goldsteins, the collection also has material about Shirley's parents Ben and Selma Gershun, Shirley's childhood in Council Bluffs, and the Goldsteins' children and family life. Shirley and Leonard were married during World War II and the collection holds their extensive correspondence and Leonard's photo albums from his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific theater.


  • Creation: circa 1920-2017


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: Donors irrevocably assigned to the university any and all copyrights they control in the donated material.

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


16.4 Cubic Feet (17 boxes) : Scrapbooks; Correspondence; Photographs

Language of Materials



Collection has not yet been arranged and described.

Custodial History

Donated to the UNO Libraries by Gail Raznick, Donald E. Goldstein, and Kathy Goldstein, the children of Shirley and Leonard Goldstein. The material was first loaned to UNO Libraries on December 19, 2018, and the formal donation was completed on August 10, 2019.

Related Materials

Shirley Goldstein Media Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries (MSS-0131). Oral histories conducted with Shirley and Leonard Goldstein and their son Donald Goldstein are available from the Nebraska Jewsish Historical Society along with other material about Shirley Goldstein and the Soviet Jewry project -


Gift made in honor of Shirley and Leonard Goldstein.


Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Papers
Amy Schindler; Angela Kroeger
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States