CHICAGO (Sep. 21)
An open letter to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev asking for a “change” in the treatment of Soviet Jewry was made public here today by the Chicago Board of Rabbis in connection with the Premier’s visit to the Middle Western section of the United States.
The letter told the Soviet Premier that during the forthcoming High Holy Days Jews in hundreds of synagogues in the Middle West “will manifest sorrowful concern for more than 2,000,000 of our fellow-Jews in Russia.” It emphasized that although the Soviet authorities continue to claim that the Jews in the Soviet Union enjoy religious freedom, the Jews of America and the people of America “know that this is not so,” and that “Jews of Russia have been singled out for religious discrimination.”
“We pray that your peaceful declarations will bear fruit,” the appeal of the Chicago rabbis said. “There will be many tests of those declarations in the days ahead. One of those tests will be whether there will come about a healthy change in the religious conditions of Russia’s Jews. We will earnestly watch for this change as we enter upon the New Year in the freedom of our religious institutions. While we are mindful of the special religious discrimination to which Russian Jewry is subjected, our concern goes out to all victims of such discrimination in Russia regardless of their religion,” the appeal concluded.