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December 28, 1984 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-28

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, December 28, 1984


Refusenik Yuli Edelstein jailed

New York (JTA) — Yuli Edels-
tein was convicted of allegedly
"possessing drugs," and sentenced
to three years in a labor camp, the
National Conference on Soviet
Jewry reported. Only his mother
and his wife, Tanya, were permit-
ted inside the courtroom during
his trial.
Edelstein, a Hebrew teacher
who had long been warned by the
KGB to end his teaching activi-
ties, was arrested on Sept. 4, after ,
a house search in which Hebrew
books and a small container were
Following the search, Soviet
authorities claimed to have faund
drugs in the container, and
claimed that Edelstein was in-
volved with "foreigners who cor-
rupt Jewish youth with medieval
and mystical drug rituals."
Since his arrest, allegations
that link Judaism with drug use
were repeated, and religious arti-
cles were confiscated and torn
apart in several house searches
conducted under the guise of look-
ing for drugs.
Edelstein, who has been on a
hunger strike since Dec. 1, and his
wife repeatedly denied the charge
against him, and maintained the
drugs were planted in his apart-
ment during the search to provide
the grounds for his arrest. He is
one of six Soviet Jewish Hebrew
teachers and cultural activists ar-
rested since July in a Soviet cam-
paign seemingly intended to
eliminate Jewish educational and
religious activity.
Meanwhile, Leningrad re-
fusenik Nadezhda Fradkova was
convicted of "parasitism" and sen-
tenced to two years in a labor
camp, the Greater New York Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry reported.
The 39-year-old Jewish ac-
tivist, who first applied to emi-
grate to Israel in 1978, has been
periodically confined to a
psychiatric hospital since April
1983 because Soviet authorities
insisted that "she must be suffer-
ing from hallucinations since she
insists on receiving an exit visa
for Israel."
Fradkova was denied a visa on
the grounds of the secrecy of her
father's work, although she has
not lived with her father since she
was six years old, the conference
In March 1983 and again in De-
cember 1983, Fradkova went on a
hunger strike, saying life in the
Soviet Union had become intoler-
able for her, as she was being vis-
ited daily by the police and the
KGB. While in the psychiatric
hospital, Fradkova was brutally
force-fed and drugged by hospital
authorities. Fradkova is one often
Soviet Jewish activists recently
arrested and imprisoned because
of a desire to live in Isarel, the
conference stated.
In a related development, at
least ten Soviet Jewish families
from Moscow, all long-term re-
fuseniks, have received exit visas
to Israel this week, the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry re-
The news, which the NCSJ said
it sees as a "small but significant
reversal in annual emigration
trends," marks only the second
time in over eight months that

Jews from the Soviet capital were
granted permission to emigrate.
The first visas issued in that city
came in November, when 12 Mus-
covite Jews were permitted to
Included in the report, and
being confirmed by the NCSJ, is
news that an additional 30
families from Tbilisi and one fam-
ily from Kaunus, in Lithuania,
have also received exit permits.
All are long-term refuseniks who
have sought emigration to Israel
for more than eight years.
Although the identities and th
size of each family are unknown
at this time, the NCSJ noted that
the total number could well sur-
pass the monthly emigration av-
erage of 73 which has distin-
guished 1984 as the "worst year
for emigration in nearly 20
years." To date, only 805 Soviet
Jews have been permitted to emi-
grate to Israel.
A spokesman for the NCSJ
suggested that the "sudden in-
crease, most welcome by those in-
volved, may be intended as a ges-
ture of goodwill by the Soviets" in
advance of the meetings
scheduled for January between
Secretary of State George Shultz
and Soviet Foreign Minister An-
drei Gromyko. He added it is
"hopefully the first step in a trend
which will continue well beyond
those sessions."
In Tel A'iv, the ministerial com-
mittee on immigration and ab-
sorption held a special debate on
the deterioration in the situation
of aliyah activists in the USSR.
In recent weeks, Soviet Jews
and aliyah activists have filed a
number of appeals to Israel, urg-
ing the government to take up
their cases, since they have now
been granted Israeli citizenship.
Among those whose cases were
discussed were Yosef Begun,
Yosef Bernstein and Yuli Edels-
In a related development,
Miriam Servetter, religious
school secretary at Cong. Beth
Shalom, recently received a let-
ter, written in Hebrew, from the
congregation's adopted Soviet
Jewish family, the Volvovskys,
Mila, Ari and Kira, in Gorky,
Translated by the synagogue's
ritual director, Sami Semp, the
letter reads in part:
"To my great misfortune I am
not fluent with English. I under-
stand there are many books writ-
ten in English that I would be in-
terested in. It's already a year
that I am working on my English
but I still have a lot of problems
with the language. But I am try-
ing to read English all the time.
"I don't have the opportunity to
learn with a teacher. My husband,
also, cannot help me because he
speaks English very poorly yet
reads easily. This is a very press-
ing matter and depends on the
method of studying.
"Generally speaking here,
there is no teaching of expressing
ideas to speak and to write; but
only to read and to translate. Of
course to reach such a goal is very
difficult because to read requires
a treasure of words larger than
that used to speak. Therefore, one
who learns in this method is not


1 78



able to read and to speak! Only a
few succeed.
"When once you begin to speak
the lesson progresses easier and
more quickly. A person who
speaks a foreign language feels
the structure of it, but in order to
know speech you need to know
how to speak it. But with whom?
The best situation is with those
who speak the language. But for
now I do not have this opportu-
"What about with a teacher?
Obviously a teacher needs to
know how to speak, but again I
don't have the chance at this time.
Last year I studied English for
two months with a group with a
good teacher. This helped me
greatly, but it wasn't enough. I
need to continue. I try but it is
very hard.
"Kira, our daughter, knows to
speak English quite well, but her
knowledge is not sufficient to help
me. She becomes very sad when
she hears my mistakes for she
feels something is not good, but to
correct oneself is difficult. It
seems it's also a matter of self-
respect .. .
"It was so easy for me to learn
Hebrew. The main thing of course
was a greater interest, a good
teacher and opportunities to
speak. And, also, I was ten years
younger, actually 11 years. Be-
sides that I began to learn when it
was not good. I know of course
that I need to improve my Hebrew
also, but I can express myself in
Hebrew and this is most impor-
tant! Perhaps English really is


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Arab detained
in attack plot


Tel Aviv (JTA) — An Arab resi-
dent of Rafah in the Gaza Strip
was detained by order of a Tel
Aviv magistrate Tuesday as a
suspect in a plot to attack the U.S.
Embassy in Tel Aviv. He was re-
manded in custody for three days
pending further investigation by
He is the seventh suspect in the
plot. Six other Gaza Strip resi-
dents were detained several
weeks ago. News of the arrests
and of the alleged plot was barred
from the Israeli press by court
order until this week, although
widely published abroad. The ban
was lifted Sunday.
The six men detained earlier
are said to have confessed. The
latest detainee admitted he had
been with the group but denied he
was part of any plan to attack the
embassy. Foreign media accounts
quoted Police Minister Haim Bar-
ley as saying the plot did not con-
stitute a serious threat, although
the embassy was informed and
tighter --security measures were
instituted, including the con-
struction of a wall around the
American compound.
The foreign press reports said
Barley described the suspects as a
group of Arab youths who had
possession of a grenade and were
contemplating a target, one of
which was the embassy :

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