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Hadassah Convention Hears Report on Soviet Campaign Against Jews

The “ever-mounting campaign against Judaism and individual Jews” which is now being conducted by newspapers in the Soviet Union was deplored here tonight, at the opening session of the 46th national convention of Hadassah, by Dr. Miriam K. Freund, president of the organization. A total of 2, 500 delegates, representing 318, 000 members are participating in the four-day convention.

Dr, Freund, who just returned from the Soviet Union, where she participated in the 25th International Congress of Orientalists in Moscow, said that “during the last year alone, the major newspapers in different Soviet republics have carried about 100 articles that were clearly anti-Jewish in content and intent,”

“I am referring to articles where no doubt was left as to the Jewishness of the person pilloried by stress upon all Jewish aspects of his given name and surname; upon his Jewish friends and relatives, upon his contact with the synagogue,” she said. “No one knows how many more such articles have appeared in the more obscure newspapers of the Soviet Union. They all have this in common: They emphasize that the Jewish religion is subservient to a foreign state and therefore is treasonous; that pious Jews are drunkards, hooligans and embezzlers; that Jews are anti-social mercenary characters who do wrong to innocent Russians and Ukrainians.

“I must stress with all the gravity I can muster that these articles in the Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Moldavian languages, are fraught with potential disaster and cannot but destroy any cannot but destroy any possibility of achieving amity between Jews and non-Jews in the Soviet Union,” Dr. Freund warned.

“The Jews of the Soviet Union should have restored to them not only full equality of treatment, both as individuals and as an ethnic and religious group, but they should be permitted to have contacts with their fellow Jews abroad as well as reunion with the remnants of their families elsewhere,” the Hadassah president continued. “The Soviet Union can earn nothing but good will everywhere by a change of ‘line’ in this respect.”

The opening session was also addressed by Avraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, and Bruce McDaniel, former administrator of the United States Operations Mission in Israel. In a special message to the convention, President Eisenhower characterized Hadassah as an organization whose health and social welfare programs have brought strength and hope to many abroad. “At the same time,” said the President, “the efforts of this organization to promote greater understanding of the major issues confronting our country have done much to advance responsible citizenship at home.”

Mrs. Benjamin Cottesman, national treasurer, reported that Hadassah has raised $10,900,000 during the last 12 months. This figure, she said, represents an increase of almost $500, 000 over the monies raised during Hadassah’s 1958-59 fiscal year. The Hadassah goal for the fiscal year 1959-60 was $9, 335,000.

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