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Moscow Jews Ask for Monument on ‘Babi Yar'; Hold Prayer for Israel

A demand that monuments be erected over unmarked Jewish mass graves in the Soviet Union, like Kiev’s Babi Yar, where many thousands of Jews were murdered during the Nazi occupation, was voiced publicly in Moscow’s Central Synagogue, according to information received here today from the Soviet capital.

The demand was advanced by Reb Gregory Manevich, one of the synagogue’s oldest worshipers, at solemn ceremonies held on May 9, in which 4, 000 Moscow Jews held their own celebration of V-E Day. He also pronounced, in Hebrew, a blessing over the State of Israel, pointing out that "the Jewish people has waited 1, 900 years to see a Jewish State." He added: "We must remember this fact, although we do not agree with all of Israel’s actions today."

Attending the ceremonies were Israel’s Ambassador Yosef Tekoah and the entire staff of his mission. The synagogue’s spiritual leader, Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin, conducted the services, and cantor Steinberg with his large choir chanted Hebrew litanies and sang Yiddish songs. Special honors were paid to 107 Jewish members of the Red Army who had received the highest military citation–Hero of the Soviet Union–for outstanding courage while serving with the Red Army during World War II.

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