East European Governments Asked to Permit Pilgrimmage to Israel

The Israel Ministry of Religion has made representations, through the Foreign Ministry, to East European governments to permit delegations of religious Jews to participate in a religious convocation in Israel to mark the end of the traditional sabbatical year.

This was disclosed here today by Rabbi David Kahane, director of the Ministry of Religion, who also revealed that the governments approached were those of Rumania, Hungary and Poland. None of them has yet replied, Rabbi Kahane said.

For the first time in the history of Jews in America a Hakhel ceremony–the public reading of the Torah to an assemblage of pilgrims during the Succoth holiday–will be held here next Wednesday Oct. 8. The ceremony will parallel a similar Hakhel in Jerusalem, which will be the first held in the 2,000 years since the dispersion. The ceremony was held at the conclusion of a sabbatical year.

Guest of honor at the New York observance, which will be held at the Commodore Hotel, will be Dr. Joseph Burg, Minister of Health in Israel and a Deputy Speaker of its Parliament. The ceremony is sponsored by the Rabbinical Council of America and the Jewish Agency.

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