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Jewish Congress Says Russia Refuses Tourist Visas to U.S. Rabbis

Ira Guilden, American Jewish Congress leader, reported today that the Soviet Embassy in Washington had refused every request for permission to travel in Russia this past summer when the visa applicant designated himself a rabbi.

This information, Mr. Guilden said, flatly contradicts statements by S. S. Nikitin, vice-chairman of the Soviet Intourist travel organization, who told a press conference in New York that an American tourist could get a Soviet visa in less time than it took a Russian citizen to obtain permission to travel in the United States. The Jewish Congress leader said the only rabbi granted a visa by the Washington Embassy listed his occupation as “clergyman.” Another rabbi, who described himself as a “lecturer,” received a Russian visa last year.