Natan Sharansky is a prominent Israeli politician, human rights activist and author who spent nine years in a Soviet prison for allegedly spying for the United States.  He is one of the heroes of the struggle of Jews to immigrate to Israel during the Soviet era.  Sharansky is the author of The Case for Democracy, Fear No Evil and Defending Identity. He is currently chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and was recently in the news in his attempt to resolve the ongoing tensions between fundamentalist Jewish groups and Conservative and Reform women’s groups with regard to the right of women to lead their own services at the Western Wall.

The Yale University Library recently had the honor of welcoming him to the Judaica Collection in which Nanette Stahl, Librarian for Judaic Studies, showed him several of the illuminated Hebrew manuscripts she had recently acquired. Joining them are Harvey Goldblatt, Professor of Medieval and Slavic Literature and Chairman of the Slavic Language and Literature Department as well as Master of Pierson College, and Tatjana Lorkovic, Librarian for Slavic Studies.