VOL. LXVI, No. 17
THE EWISH NEWS
A Weekly Review
of Jewish Events
Michigan's Only English-Jewish Newspaper
44iii0' 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075 424-8833
$10.00 Per Year; This Issue 30c
January 3, 1975
Israel Denies U.S. Pressuring
1 ,.to Change Its Peace Positions
Death Decree Upheld;
New Leviev Appeal
LONDON (JTA)—Jewish sources in the Soviet Union report
that the Supreme Court of the Russian Soviet Republic dismissed
the appeal of Mikhail Leviev and confirmed the death sentence
passed on him by the Moscow City Court. Sophia Leviev, Mik-
hail's wife, is greatly perturbed because President Podgorny had
written to her, in reply to her appeal for clemency, that the
execution would be stayed and the case reopened at the Supreme
Court of the Russian Soviet Republic on appeal.
Podgorny's letter was received by her several days ago.
Leviev's lawyer, Semion Arye, has now appealed to the Supreme
Court of the Soviet Union.
In New York, Amnesty International of the United States
called on Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev
to commute Leviev's death sentence.
Dr. Ivan Morris, national chair-
man of the American Section of the
world-wide human rights organiza-
tion, termed the sentence "mon-
strously excessive" and urged Brez-
hnev to commute it "on_humanitarian
grounds and to grant this man per-
mission to join his family in Israel."
Leviev, 56, managed a large gov-
ernment store in Moscow from which
he resigned in 1971 before applying
for an exit visa to emigrate to Israel.
A visa was granted in 1972 but he
was arrested before he could leave
and held in detention until his trial
earlier this month. He was sentenced
(Continued on Page 6)
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Foreign Minister Yigal Allon told the Cabinet Sunday that there
was no American pressure on Israel to come forth with new proposals on which to base a
second stage of negotiations with Egypt. He said Israel has made none beyond what the
foreign minister conveyed during his visit to Washington earlier this month. Allon was
commenting on press reports that the U.S. was demanding new ideas from Israel. He said all
such reports, "both local and foreign," were incorrect.
Earlier "official sources" in Jerusalem also denied current reports from. Washington of
United States pressure on Israel for more generous concessions to Egypt in advance of
Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev's visit to Cairo next month. That trip
has now been cancelled. The sources said such reports were "without foundation."
The reports, citing sources in Washington, have been current in the Israeli press for
several days. They gained a measure of confirmation from the recent reports of President
Ford's meeting with pro-Israel lawmakers in which Ford reportedly implied that America
would like to see more generous Israeli offers which it could submit to Egyptian President
There have also been some private indications from well-placed officials in Jerusalem
that the U.S. was using the Brezhnev trip as a means of pressure or leverage in the on-going
dialogue with 'Israel to urge greater concessions.
The "official sources," in their statement,
however, asserted that "since Foreign Minister
Allon's return from Washington (two weeks ago)
Israel has not been asked, and has not intended,
to make any new proposals beyond those made by
Allon. All reports of U.S. pressure for concessions
by Allon are without foundation," the official
sources added. Observers noted that the statement
was carefully phrased. It did not rule out the pos-
sibility of an Israeli reconsideration of offers and
demands in the future.
Allon said last week that interim talks with
Egypt were "objectively possible" and there was
no room, therefore, for "complete pessimism which
(Continued on Page 8)
Publication of 'Genesis' Starts
Reform Commentaries on Torah
Reform Dissidents Endorse
Intermarriage, Hit Trends
Publication of the first Reform commentary on the Torah, under the auspices of
Union pf American Hebrew Congregations, was announced by Rabbi Alexander M.
. UAHC president. Written by Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut of Holy Blossom.
Temple in Toronto, with a board of distinguished Reform Jewish theologians and
scholars, the new commentary is the first biblical exegesis by Reform Judaism. The
UAHC celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, although the movement originated in
Germany in the mid-10th Century.
Published in both cloth and softcover editions, it is projected
to be five-volume commentary entitled, "The Torah—A Modern
Commentary." Four years in preparation, the first volume deals
with Genesis. Rabbi Plant has already completed work on the
Book of Numbers =and is currently working on Exodus and Deu-
teronomy. Leviticus has been completed by Dr. Bernard Bom-
berger, a leading Jewish scholar and rabbi. It is expected that
additional volumes in the commentary series will be published
in the next two years.
Members of the board of consultants who worked closely
with Rabbi Plaut were Professors Stanley Gevirtz and William
W. Hallo, of Yale University, and Matitiahu Tsevat of the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. In addi-
tion, a Torah Commentary Committee comprised of leading rabbis and scholars have
been painstakingly checking every work in the commentary.
Noting that the commentary provides yet "another step in bringing Reform Jews
(Continued on Page 12)
A dissident group of 42 Reform rabbis, a minute faction of the nearly 1,000
spiritual leaders in that Jewish grouping, undertook a nationwide campaign to propa-
gate approval of their performing mixed marriages. In the process, they also severely
criticized their associates in the Reform Jewish movement, charging that Reform was
moving towards Conservatism.
Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine of the Birmingham Temple in Farmington was one of the
six national signers of the statements, and Rabbi H. Philip Berkowitz of Temple Beth
Jacob, Pontiac, was listed as one of the 42 rabbis supporting the statements.
Their statement on intermarriage said:
a natural consequence of at
"Intermarriage is an American Jewish reality
liberal society in which individuals have the freedom to marry whomever they wish.
We affirm this freedom and this _right.
"We believe that the validity and moral worth of a marriage depend on the
quality of the human relationship — on the degree of mutual love and respect that
prevails — rather than on the respective ethnic or religious backgrounds of the
"We believe that rabbis who officiate at intermarriage ceremonies demonstrate
their commitment to human freedom, dignity and love. We hope that more rabbis
will choose to affirm these values."
Concerning Reform Judaism, the group said:
"The Reform movement is ceasing to be Reform. It is abandoning its historic roots.
"The Reform movement was born out of a confident affirmation of the power of
man to shape his destiny. It announced the right of man to freedom and personal
(Continuel on Page 12)