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February 28, 1969 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-02-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

2 Rabbis, Jesuit Only American Clergymen to Visit Rabbi Levin on Birthday

LONDON (JTA)—Two New York
rabbis and an American Jesuit
priest were the only American
spiritual leaders in Moscow Sunday
to pay tribute to Rabbi Yehuda
Leib Levin of the Central Syna-
gogue on the occasion of his 75th
birthday.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the
Park East Synagogue spoke to the
congregation. Rev. C. J. McNaspy,
editor of the Jesuit weekly Amer-
ica, joined a crowd of 2,000 Moscow
Jews who jammed the synagogue
at special birthday services.
Rabbi David Hollander of the
Mount Eden Jewish Center in the
Bronx was delayed in London and
arrived in thet Soviet capital too
late for the services.
The New Yorkers, close friends
of Rabbi Levin, were the only
American rabbis who managed to
obtain Soviet visas. Visas were de-
nied the others although all had
been invited by the head of the
Moscow Jewish community with
the apparent approval of Soviet
authorities.
Rabbi Schneier brought Rabbi
Levin a book about New York from
Mayor John V. Lindsay, a silver
cup from the Rabbinical Council of
America and a curtain for the syna-
gogue ark. Addressing the throng
in the synagogue, he called for
greater contacts between Jews in
Russia and those in the West in
order to help bring Soviet Jews
"into the mainstream of Jewish
life."
"I would have liked with all

my heart to come and congratu-
late you personally but I have
been prevented from this by So-
viet authorities who have not
granted me a visa." Israel's
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Itzhak
Nissim cabled Rabbi Levin. Rab-
bi Nissim was another of the
spiritual leaders, including Chief
Rabbi Immanuel Jakabovits of
Britain, who were invited but did
not receive visas.

•Rabbi Nissim said that despite
the receipt of an invitation by the
chairman of the Central Syna-
gogue, he was not admitted be-
cause of a "fear that Jewish 'eel-
ing in the Soviet Union would have
erupted despite the walls of iron
set up around it." He called the
Moscow Jewish community a "show
window" designed to conceal the
real condition of Soviet Jewry.
Rabbi Schneier reportedly re-
ceived a visa before getting the in-
vitation. Chief Rabbi Jacob Kaplan
of France, Chief Rabbi emeritus
Israel Brodie of the British Com-
monwealth and Isser Untermann,
Israel's Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi
did not accept the bids.
More than a 1,000 Jews attended
a Sabbath service in the overflow-
ing 90-year-old Central Synagogue
Saturday. Among the participants
were Jews from Soviet Georgia and
Armenia and 'rom beyond the
iirals. Rabbi Levin voiced gratitude
to the Soviet government for de-
livering the .Jewish community from
the "barbarians" (Nazis).
Hungary was the only Socialist
country represented at the cere-
mony. Geza Seifert, head of Hun-
gary's Jewish community, drew
gasps of surprise from the congre-
gation when he told them that
there Were 30 synagogues -in-131de-
pest, a rabbinical seminary, a high
school, hospital and other institu-
tions.

Most In attendance were older
people. One young man denied
that he was there because he is
religious, but said "we are try-
ing to keep alive the Jewish na-
tional tradition."
Grigory Manevich, a member of

Rabbi Levin's congregation, said
that many American Jews had

"very strange ideas" about the life
of Soviet Jews. He said, "Many of
them think that all our rabbis have
died out and that our communities
are run by officials of the state
security service."
Meanwhile, a group of Scandi-
navian intellectuals who have de-
clared their solidarity with the

influenced not by
our experience but by our expecta-
tion of life. -
-George Bernard Shaw.

Our conduct is

Jews of Russia called on Soviet au- and representatives of the profes-

dons in other Eastern Euro-

the situa-

The resolution condemned official
anti-Semitic campaigns in the So.
viet Union, Poland and other East-
ern European countries and the

pean countries and to
to accord the Jewish com- sions and arts in Sweden, Norway,
tion in Arab countries where
munity the same rights and privi- Denmark and Finland. Observers
Jews have been deprived of citi- hangings of Jews in Iraq. Mosco w
legs that the Soviet constitution and were present from other countries.
zenship rights, imprisoned and Radio angrily assailed the gather-
Communist ideology grants to all
Speakers declared that Russia
ing.
executed.
other ethnic minorities.
was the source of anti-Semitism
Presiding at the symposium on which radiates to the "peoples" 6—Friday, February 28, 1969
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
the plight of Soviet Jews was Prof. democracies." They said the recent
Johannes Sanens of Oslo. The gath- Iraqi executions and the harass-
ering adopted a resolution urging ment of Jews in other Arab coun-
full rights for Jews in the USSR, tries generally was connected with
including the right to emigrate if the Soviet anti-Jewish campaign
they wished to join relatives abroad. which made anti-Semitism respect-
SUNDAY, MARCH 9th at 5 P.M.
The conclusion was reached at able in the eyes of some groups
the symposium organized by mem- and created an atmosphere in some
New Rizhiner Youth Center Bldg.
societies
in
which
barbarities
could
bers of Sweden's three major po-
14000 W. 9 MILE, OAK PARK
'
litical parties, the Social Demo- be perpetrated against Jews.

thorities

PURIM PARTY, GIVEN BY THE
RIZHINER PROGRESSIVE FAREIN

The Soviet government's al-
legedly official anti-Semitism was
linked to anti-Semitic manifesta-

crats, the Liberals and the Center
Party. The event was attended by
scholars, teachers, editors, writers

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