World Jewry Prays for Jews in Russia on Yom Kippur During Services
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World Jewry Prays for Jews in Russia on Yom Kippur During Services

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Special prayers for the welfare of Soviet Jewry were incorporated in Yom Kippur services throughout the United States and Canada as well as in other countries, according to reports received here by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Congregations in the United States are using the special prayer for Soviet Jews prepared and distributed by the Synagogue Council of America to its Orthodox, Conservative and Reform affiliates. In Canada, rabbis used the text prepared for the National Day of Prayer for Soviet Jews held earlier this year under auspices of the all-Canadian Rabbinic Conference.

A similar special prayer for Soviet Jews was recited in synagogues throughout Britain during the services. The prayer was distributed through the office of Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie.

In a proclamation issued in connection with the call for prayers for Soviet Jewry, the Synagogue Council declared that “we cannot be silent while Soviet Jewry is threatened with ultimate extinction through the repression of religious freedom and of the opportunity for communal cultural activities.”

The statement was issued by the SCA in behalf of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Assembly of America, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the United Synagogue of America, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.


Radio Liberty announced that its programming for Yom Kippur and Succoth had been prepared to attract the interest of the average Soviet citizen as well as the 3,000,000 Jews in Russia. Some of the traditional songs are being broadcast in Yiddish and the narration is in Russian. The programs include a Russian summary of the Hebrew prayers and the Yiddish songs.

“The special Holy Day programs are being broadcast in Russian by the privately sponsored radio station to convey to millions of Soviet citizens an idea of the history of the Jewish faith and its message of brotherhood and spiritual freedom. The programs also intend to bring a message of hope to Jewish listeners in the Soviet Union and to enable them to join with Jews throughout the rest of the world in listening to the sound of the Shofar, the chanting of Kol Nidre and other High Holy Day prayers,” a spokesman said.

In Bethesda, Maryland, a newly formed Jewish congregation held its Yom Kippur Eve services in temporary facilities in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The 30-family congregation was offered the church facilities for all of its High Holy Day services, as well as for its Saturday kindergarten school and mid-week programs for Bar and Nat Mitzvah candidates.

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