Communist Campaign Against High Holiday Observance Fails in Russia

“Exchange your taleisim (praying shawls) for overalls,” is the appeal in the Communist Yiddish daily “Emes,” on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

Judging by reports reaching Moscow, the campaign against observing the High Holidays is meeting with little success. In the provinces and even in Moscow very few Jewish workers replied to the call to report to work on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. At a meeting of Jewish workers held in Leningrad, many of the audience openly declared that they are ready to pay a day’s wages for the aeroplane, “Bira-Bidjan,” but they are unwilling to work on Rosh Hashanah. The “Emes” accuses the Leningrad branch of the Ozet, society for Jewish land settlement, and the Atheists Association, of ignoring the anti-High Holiday campaign. A similar passive attitude was displayed by the Moscow Ozet, although the proceeds of the Rosh Hashanah working day are to go for the Bidjan aeroplane.

The Soviet press is entirely ignoring the campaign. The “Pravda” as well as the “Izvestia” have not published any notice of the campaign, while the “Comsomolskaya Pravda” has devoted only a few lines to an announcement to the effect that “Jewish workers are now conducting a campaign among themselves against the Jewish religious holidays.”

Reports from White Russia and the Ukraine show that the campaign against Rosh Hashanah there is a total failure. However, the Jewish colonies are worried about Yom Kippur, which falls on the day proclaimed as “Collectivization Day” for the entire country, regardless of nationalities. The Collectivization Day was proclaimed by the Wzik, Central Executive Committee, not by the Yevsektzia, Jewish section of the Communist party.

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