Buffalo Rabbis Urge Soviet Clergymen to Help Improve Lot of Russian Jews

A delegation representing the Buffalo Board of Rabbis yesterday appealed to a visiting group of Russian clergymen to use their “good offices to improve conditions for Jewish religious living in the Soviet Union. ” The Soviet clergymen here, part of a larger group visiting this country as guests of the National Council of Churches, included Archpriest Vitaly Borovoy, professor of theology at the University of Leningrad; Bishop Denisenko Philaret; and the Rev. A.N. Stoyan. All are dignitaries of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The rabbis welcomed the visit by the Soviet clergymen to this country and expressed the hope that the Soviet Government would “extend the same courtesy to rabbis in Russia to visit their Jewish brethren in the United States.”

The Soviet clergymen attributed the lack of religious facilities among Soviet Jews to the fact that the younger Jews there were assimilated and failed to demand improvement. They said that certain restrictions imposed by the Soviet Government applied to all religions, not only to Jews. They said that Soviet Government refusal to baketratzos in state bakeries last year was due to Government opposition to any religious practice carried out by the State. They said, however, that all groups were equal before the law.

The delegation representing the Buffalo Board of Rabbis included: Rabbi Justin Hofmann, president; and Rabbis Isaac Klein, Milton Feierstein, Alvin Marcus, Martin Goldberg and Daniel Kerman.

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