WASHINGTON (Nov. 7)
About a dozen pickets paraded near the Soviet Embassy today in protest against anti-Jewish policies of the Soviet Union, as the Embassy celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. The demonstrators represented an ad hoc group to voice concern for Jews in Russia.
At the same time, the Soviet Embassy alleged in a release by the Novosti News Service, an official, Moscow propaganda agency, that over 3,000 Jews crowded Moscow’s principal synagogue today to pay tribute to the Soviet Union on her 50th anniversary.
Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin was quoted as stating; “We Soviet Jews, who in Czarist days were oppressed and persecuted, have found our real place here.” He was said to have lauded the freedom accorded Jewry in Russia today. Novosti said the rabbi spoke glowingly of a yeshivas Moscow that “trains rabbis, shochetim and others.” (It is known that no such institution exists in Moscow now.)
Novosti said that the synagogue choir and rabbi “sang a prayer to the glory of the Soviet State” and that in his sermon, the rabbi stressed the prophecy of Issiah and the devotion of Jews to peace. A Novosti reporter was said to have asked the rabbi to explain the alleged enthusiasm of the Jews for the 50th anniversary. The rabbi was quoted as replying: “Infinite love for the Soviet Mother Country, the country that gave us freedom and happiness.”
The Embassy’s release was one of series that sought to quieten the outcry in world public opinion because of the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel campaign in Russia, and mounting evidence of the systematic destruction of Russian Judaism as a faith and culture.