U.S. Jewish Group Finds Situation of Soviet Jewry Unchanged

The American Conference on Soviet Jewry today issued a policy statement declaring that, “despite token concessions in recent months,” the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union “remains unchanged.” The statement reaffirmed the Conference’s “determination” to continue protest action in this country against Soviet anti-Jewish discriminations. “Soviet Jews continue to be the object of a policy of systematic attrition aimed at its forcible assimilation and its spiritual and cultural extinction,” the statement declared.

Rabbi Seymour J. Cohen, Conference steering committee chairman, expressed “hope that reports of new Soviet concessions for the printing of prayer books, housing for a seminary to train twenty rabbinic students, were accurate,” Such deeds, he said, would be a step in the right direction, However, he cautioned Jewish leaders and others not to be “overly optimistic” since the Soviet authorities have repeatedly made similar promises for propaganda purposes and then found convenient excuses to withdraw the initial permission.

The Conference announced an Eternal Light Vigil to take place in Washington, beginning on Sunday, September 19. On that day, special ceremonies in Lafayette Park will launch a nationwide campaign of similar meetings against the Soviet policy on Jews. The Vigil will be attended by leadership delegations from local and national Jewish agencies.

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