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200 Jewish Congregations Exist in Russia, Justice Douglas Reports

Judaism is suffering from the Communist campaign against religion in the Soviet Union, but active congregations still exist, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said today.

Writing on “Religion in the Godless State” in the new issue of Look magazine, Justice Douglas said that he found that religion still survives in the Soviet Union despite an incessant Communist campaign against it, His comments were made as the result of a trip he took last summer to that country.

There are about 3,000,000 Jews in Russia, Justice Douglas noted, and about 200 congregations. In most of the cities he visited, the congregations were active ones. “But not many of the younger generation are being taught the precepts of Judaism,” he said. “And the rabbis complain of the difficulty of getting cantors.” However, he added, in synagogues, the confirmation of young boys is still customary and other of the old rituals continue.