Moscow (Sep. 20)
On the eve of the Jewish New Year the conversion of synagogues into clubs is again reported from various provinces, particularly in the small towns where the control of the central government is in the hands of the Jewish Communists. In Klintzi, the Horker synagogue was converted into a clubhouse for workers this week. In Olgopol a similar proceeding took place.
In the Uman region attempts to convert synagogues met with strenuous opposition from religious Jews who thus far remain in possession of their houses of worship on the plea that conversion can be carried out only with the approval of the higher authorities in Moscow. A bitter fight is being carried on in Nevel where Jewish religious sentiment is exceptionally strong.
A special Jewish Communist commission sent there from Moscow reports that despite heavy taxes amounting to 14,000 roubles which the local synagogues are obliged to pay, there are nevertheless still eight of them flourishing. A rabbinical seminary to which many Jewish students from the province come to prepare themselves for the rabbinate is also still functioning. The commission complains that the Jewish youth of Nevel is under religious influence, adding that even the Jewish children who attend the government schools are religious and carry out all the rituals.
It is believed that the report of this Jewish Communist commission will result in the arrest of many people in Nevel. In the meantime the Jewish Communists in Moscow are doing their best to save the anti-religious campaign from complete failure by sending artists and lecturers into the provincial towns for special performances on Rosh Hashanah. Groups of such performers were sent today to Zhmerinka, Nemirov, Sheptovka, Ovruth and 17 other cities in Ukrainia where the Jews are preparing to meet the High Holidays in the customary religious fashion.