Jewish Communities in 18 Countries Issue Declaration on Soviet Jewry

An International Declaration on Soviet Jewry was simultaneously issued today throughout the world by central Jewish organizations in 18 countries, including such countries as the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Holland, Mexico and Ireland. The statement was issued in this country by Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, comprised of 25 national Jewish religious and secular groups.

Declaring that the Jewish communities of these 18 countries will “continue our protests and appeals until the Jewish minority is assured equality of treatment with all offer ethnic and national groups in the USSR,” the declaration presented a program to the Soviet Government urging the abolishment of current violations of human rights suffered by the three million Jews in Soviet Russia.

The International Declaration follows the publication Sunday of a similar statement signed by 90 U.S. Senators and precedes a nationwide series of protests in 32 communities throughout the United States to be held mainly on Sunday, December 11. A supplementary statement was also issued today by Rabbi Miller declaring:

“The American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry notes with great interest the positive statement made in Paris on December 3, 1966 by Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin that Soviet Jews who wish to do so will be allowed to be reunited with members of their families living outside the Soviet Union. The reunion of families has been one of the major requests of our Conference and we anxiously await the translation of the Premier’s promise into practical deeds.

“Too often in the past have promises failed to be followed by performance. The implementation of this promise would be in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and would be welcomed by men of good will throughout the world. We also reiterate our appeal, as expressed in the International Declaration on Soviet Jewry, that full cultural and religious rights be restored to the Jews of the USSR.”

CENTRAL JEWISH BODIES ARE SIGNATORIES OF THE DECLARATION

In addition to the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, the international statement was issued throughout the world by: the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Melbourne, Australia; the Jewish Community Center, Bridgetown, Barbados; the Centro Israelita de la Republica Dominicana Inc., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; the Eritrea Jewish Community, Asmara, Ethiopia; the Conseil Representatif des Juifs de France, Paris, France; the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; the National Council for Soviet Jewry in Israel; the Unione delle Comunita Israelitiche Italiane, Rome, Italy; the Jewish Community of Japan, Tokyo, Japan; the Comite Central Israelita de Mexico, Mexico City.

Also by the Netherlands Israelitisch Kerkgenootschap, Amsterdam; the Jewish Community Council, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles; the Federacion de Comunidades Judias de Centro America y Panama; the Jewish Community of the Philippines, Manilla; the Comunidade Israelita de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; the Central African Jewish Board of Deputies, Bulawayo, Rhodesia; the Comite Central Israelita del Uruguay, Montevideo; and the Federacion de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.

The International Declaration urges the Soviet Government: To restore its Jewish community to a position of equality with its citizens of all other nationalities; to permit its Jewish citizens freely to practice, enhance and perpetuate their culture and religion by removing all discriminatory measures designed to restrict this freedom; to make available the institutions, schools, textbooks and materials necessary to teach Jewish children the languages, the history, the beliefs, the practices and the aspirations of the Jewish people.

Also, to permit the Jews of the USSR freely to develop Jewish communal life and to associate and work with Jewish communities and groups inside and outside the Soviet Union; to use all the means at its disposal to eradicate any existing forms of anti-Sem- tism; and to permit Soviet Jewish families, separated as a result of the Nazi holocaust, to be reunited with their relatives abroad.”

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