15,000 Celebrated Simhat Torah in Moscow Rally; 10,000 in Leningrad

Large Jewish crowds assembled to celebrate Simhat Torah last week in front of the synagogues of Moscow and Leningrad, it was reported here today in the influential daily, Le Monde.

The paper said that in Moscow, 15,000 Jews, a majority of whom were young people, sang and danced in front of the synagogue. The crowd, which, in spite of official anti-Jewish measures, tried to open y demonstrate its attachment to Judaism, was far larger and more enthusiastic than in previous years.

The open-air demonstration, which was watched by thousands of onlookers, reached its climax when the crowd broke into the popular Israeli song, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem (We Brought Peace).

In Leningrad, the president of the local Jewish community announced that the synagogue will be open only for four hours from four to eight o’clock in the evening. Some 10,000 persons crowded into the synagogue and into neighboring streets. Two hours later, 30 to 40 militiamen tried to disperse the crowd under the pretext that the noise was disturbing the quiet of an adjacent hospital. However, no one was arrested and the crowd dispersed quietly shortly before midnight.

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