GENEVA (Jul. 13)
Although there had been some “rectifications” in the Soviet discriminations against Jews in religious and cultural affairs, they were “far from offering a solution of the problem in all its magnitude, ” an Israeli representative today told the United Nations Economic and Social Council at its session here.
In making the statement, David I. Marmor, Israel’s observer at the UNESCO, did not refer by name to the Soviet Union, as is the protocol at United Nations meetings. He referred only to “a large Jewish community subjected to disabilities, particularly in the fields of Jewish culture and religion.”
He called the rectifications “few in number and limited in scope” and mentioned specifically, “the printing of a number of books in Yiddish, or books of Jewish interest, permission for baking unleavened bread for Passover and the reported promise, yet to be implemented to allow the printing of an edition of the Jewish prayer book.”
He said that while these changes indicated “a positive responsiveness” on the part of Soviet authorities “to certain aspects of the question, ” they did not begin to provide for “the preservation of the religious and cultural identity and heritage of a Jewish community of three million.”
He expressed the hope that the Jewish community in the Soviet Union would be assured, “in an officially proclaimed policy, and in practice, the right to preserve its national identity and cultural heritage and traditions by means of Jewish education and Jewish cultural expression in literature and art.”
He also requested that the Soviet Jewish community would be allowed to maintain synagogues, provide religious education, publish sacred texts and “communicate with their co-religionists on a national and international level, and be accorded opportunities and facilities equal to those of other religious groups” in the Soviet Union.
He noted that many of the Jewish families in the Soviet Union had been separated from members during the Nazi holocaust and that in Israel “many thousands of families have been appealing to the government for assistance” in bringing about reunion of such families. He called it a “manifest, humane duty” for the Soviet authorities to grant the members of these separated families the freedom to re-unite.”