Soviet Jewry campaigner Michael Sherbourne dies

By Rosa Doherty, June 23, 2014

Soviet Jewry activist Michael Sherbourne, has died at the age of 97.

London-born Mr Sherman played an important role in the campaign to win Jews the right to emigrate from the Soviet Union during the 1070s.

And coined the term '"refusnik" to describes Jews who had been denied permission to leave.

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, himself a former refusnik, described Mr Sherbourne as “the primary channel of communication between Soviet Jewish activists and Jews all over the world.

“As part of his campaign he made thousands of telephone calls to organisations around the world to increase communication and awareness of the issue.“

Mr Sherbourne was born 1917 and served in the British armed forces during World War II.

He later joined the IDF as a foreign volunteer and fought in Israel's War of Independence in 1948.

He studied for a degree in Russian after his military service.

Last updated: 1:21pm, June 23 2014