The event paid tribute to the memory of Congressman Charles Vanik, whose commitment to the cause of Soviet Jewry, allowed for millions of Russian Jews to make Israel their home. In 1974, Charles Vanik sponsored the Jackson-Vanik Act in the House of Representatives which helped refugees, particularly minorities and Jews, to immigrate from the Soviet Bloc to Israel. The Jackson-Vanik amendment was credited with pressuring the Soviet leadership with allowing immigration to Israel. The late Congressman’s wife Betty Vanik, and daughter Phyllis Vanik, attended the luncheon. Chairman of Shuvu, Abe Biderman, Chairman of Shuvu, said "Vanik’s leadership was instrumental in facilitating tens of thousands of Jews to immigrate to Israel where Shuvu is educating thousands of children in the spirit of our forefather”.
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