NEW YORK (Feb. 7)
An official of the Soviet Embassy in Washington today assured leaders of Young Israel, an association of Orthodox congregations in this country, that Soviet Jews will be permitted this year to bake matzoth for Passover.
The delegation, led by Rabbi David H. Hill, national president of Young Israel, met with Genardy Gavrikov, a Secretary of the Soviet Embassy at Washington, to discuss the matzoth situation in the USSR. The Young Israel leaders also discussed plans for a visit by Young Israel officials to the Soviet Union this year, to observe the freedom granted to Jews in the baking of matzoth, and also requested that Soviet authorities make flour for matzoth available to Russian Jews.
After the conference, Mr. Gavrikov issued the following statement: “The Jews of the Soviet Union are entitled to practice their religious rituals as freely as any other nationality in the Soviet Union. The same idea applies to the program of baking matzoth for the Jews for Passover.”
Last year, Soviet Government factories were forbidden to bake matzoth. In some cities–Kiev, Riga and Leningrad–Jews did bake their own matzoth. Later, some Jews in those cities were arrested for “illegal activities” after selling matzoth to nearby Jewish communities, but those arrested were soon released.