NEW YORK (Oct. 17)
Chief Rabbi Solomon Shleifer of Moscow was requested by an American rabbinical organization to supply concrete information on various aspects of Jewish life in the Soviet Union, it was announced here today. The organization–Associated Legislative Rabbinate of America–also appealed to Soviet Ambassador Alexander Paniushkin in Washington to facilitate the reply by the Moscow rabbi.
The spiritual leader of Soviet Jewry was asked by the American Orthodox group to report the number of Jews living in the U.S.S.R. and the Jewish population of such major cities as Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, Odessa, Riga, Lemberg, and Kharkov. In addition, the Moscow Chief Rabbi was requested to furnish information on the number of Jews who attended daily services, holiday and High Holy Day services in the various cities. Also requested were reports on the number of rabbis in the Soviet Union, the number of synagogues functioning in the various major cities and the number of prayer books and Scrolls in the various cities.
The Associated Legislative Rabbinate also asked the Moscow Chief Rabbi for his opinion on whether the Soviet authorities would permit the acceptance by him, or by the various Jewish communities or any other authorities of shipments of prayer and sacred books and religious articles as a gift of the Jews of America.