NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
Reports reaching here today from Leningrad indicated that a campaign against the main synagogue in that city, charging it with “illegal activities,” had been started in the Soviet press as a result of Simchas Torah festivities in which many young Jews participated. The campaign was initiated by the director of a hospital near the synagogue.
According to those reports, several hundred Jewish young people gathered at the synagogue to participate in the customary rejoicing on the holiday, last October 20. For the first time in known history, Leningrad municipal officials appeared at the synagogue along with the hospital director, who denounced the “hooliganistic” observance and demanded that it be halted.
A week later, the newspaper Vechernya Leningrad published a denunciation of the synagogue and demanded action by authorities to put a halt to the alleged “illegal activities” at the synagogue.