Jewish Leaders in London Confer with Soviet Ambassador on Russian Jewry

Anglo-Jewry’s “deep concern over the situation of their fellow-Jews in the USSR” was expressed personally to Soviet Ambassador Mikhail Smirnovsky, at a conference at the Soviet embassy here last Friday, it was reported today by Sir Barnett Janner, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Ambassador Smirnovsky, said Sir Barnett, had granted the Board of Deputies delegation a two-hour meeting, in which he was requested to forward the views of Anglo-Jewry to his Government in Moscow. The deputation, according to the report, raised the following principal points about the Jews in the Soviet Union:

1) A request that the USSR permit Soviet Jewish families, “torn apart by the Nazi war and oppression, ” to reunite with their families abroad. The Jewish delegation cited in this context a promise made in Paris last December by Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, who had pledged to facilitate such family reunifications,

2) A request that the Jewish minority in the USSR be granted the same opportunities for cultural and religious self-expression permitted to other national minorities in the Soviet Union.

3) A request that the Soviet Jews be given the opportunities to teach Jewish history, literature, languages and Jewish national practices.

4) A request to permit an organized Jewish community in the USSR as well as to allow Soviet Jews to cooperate with Jewish communities abroad on matters of common concern.

Members of the delegation headed by Sir Barnett included Sol Teff, president of the Board of Deputies, and other officers of this central Jewish representative organization.

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