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Fifty Leading Americans Appeal to Moscow on Soviet Treatment of Jews

A group of more than 50 leading Americans, Jews and Christians, today published a full-page appeal in the New York Times urging the Soviet Government to end discrimination against Jews in the USSR and calling for the restoration of religious and cultural rights to Soviet Jews.

The rights cited included permission for the free functioning of synagogues and central institutions to serve the religious needs of Soviet Jews, permission for Jewish education in all forms, including training of rabbis; removal of obstacles to performance of such rites as religious burial and circumcision; publication of Hebrew Bibles, prayerbooks, religious texts and manufacture of prayer shawls, phylacteries and mezuzahs and the reestablishment of Jewish cultural institutions so that Jewish artists could develop Jewish culture in Yiddish and Hebrew.

The appeal also urged Soviet authorities to permit Jews separated from their families to leave Russia to be reunited, to permit religious and cultural contacts by Soviet Jews with Jewish communities in other countries, official exchange visits and religious pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and elimination of “the anti-Jewish character that so strongly colors the official campaign against economic crimes.”

Signers of the appeal included Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, Senators Jacob Javits and Robert Kennedy of New York, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, former Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle, Jr., Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, the Protestant theologian; Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, playwright Arthur Miller, novelist Saul Bellow, architect Philip Johnson, David Callahan, editor of Commonweal, historian Richard Hoffstadter, poet Karl Shapiro and others.

As part of the same page it was announced that a rally will take place Sunday at Congregation Zichron Ephraim here which is situated opposite the Soviet mission to the United Nations. The rally will be the occasion for the dedication of “a living monument to the 3,000,000 suffering Jews of the Soviet Union, “Rabbi Arthur Schneier, spiritual leader of the congregation, announced.

The bronze plaque, bearing the inscription “Hear the Cry of the Oppressed–The Jewish Community in the Soviet Union,” will be attached permanently to the front of the synagogue under continuous illumination “so that passersby will be struck by the solemnity and seriousness of the tragic plight which confronts Soviet Jewry.” Several thousand persons were expected to attend the rally at which speakers will include Sen. Javits, Label Katz, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, and Sen. Kennedy.

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