not permitted to maintain a centralized structure of national federation. Such permission is granted other religious groups in the USSR.
Effect of the order, Mr. Katz said, will be that the Jewish religious community “must now seek additional sacrifices from its individual members, many of whom are old persons in retirement.” Another alternative is for the rabbi, cantor and other functionaries to pay the assessments out of their meager incomes. “In either event, the assessment poses a further discouragement to the practice of Judaism in the Soviet Union,” Mr. Katz declared.
The B’nai B’rith president said that another heretofore undisclosed fact is that in 1958 the Jews of Moscow contributed the equivalent in rubles of $135, 000 for the construction of a new Yeshiva building. But the plan to construct the new building was never consummated, although at the time the funds were collected it was understood Soviet authorities had approved the plan, Mr. Katz reported. The disposal of the funds is unknown.
“The willingness of the religious Jews of Moscow to raise what for them must have been an extraordinary sum of money is further evidence of the strong Jewish consciousness that exists in the Soviet Union,” Mr. Katz said.