Public Opinion Pressure on Moscow Seen As Aiding Soviet Jewry

Sen. Abraham Rioicoff, Connecticut Democrat who sponsored Congressional moves against Soviet anti-Jewish policies, today credited the pressure of world public opinion for the enjoyment by Soviet Jewry of a happier Passover this year. The Senator noted that matzoh was more easily available to Russian Jews during Passover. But he warned that despite some liberalizing tendencies, much remains to be done and the problem of the Jews in the Soviet Union remains far from solved. He spoke at the Jewish Community Center here.

Sen. Ribicoff enumerated injustices still imposed on Soviet Jewry and said protests would continue. He added that “at the same time we recognize any improvements that allow the Jews of the Soviet Union to live fuller and freer lives. It was heartening to learn that matzoh was available in the Soviet Union this Passover in much larger quantities than in previous years.”

He said that although many Jews were reluctant to “register” as purchasers of matzoh, “nevertheless, many thousands of Jews did this.” He revealed that Jews residing in small communities had to travel great distances in some instances to obtain matzoh. He stressed that it took the pressure of world public opinion to convince the Soviet Government that matzoh should be available for Passover this year. “Let us never underestimate the good that may come from protest when we know our cause is just, ” he said.

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