MONTREAL (Dec. 18)
The Canadian Jewish Congress appealed today to the Soviet Government to remove the disabilities hampering the religious and cultural freedom of the Jews in the Soviet Union. The Congress appeal was in the form of a letter transmitted through Soviet Ambassador Ivan F. Shpedke and linked the plea to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
The letter, signed by Michael Garber, president, and Saul Hayes, executive vice-president, noted that “Jews throughout the world saw in that epoch-making event of the revolution the end of the long era of persecution, suffering and denial of rights and freedoms inflicted upon the Jews of Russia and the anti-Semitic policies and practices of the despotic regimes of Imperialist Russia which made their life intolerable.” It pointed out that “the promise of equality of citizenship, religious and cultural liberty for all national groups,” in the new Constitution and in Lenin’s declaration had given the Russian Jewish minority “new heart and the bright hope of a happy future” which Jews everywhere shared with them.
However, the letter declared, “the Jewish people are obliged to record their deep distress that the harbinger of the new world was not allowed to complete its mission for Russian Jewry. Its situation has suffered deterioration by reasons of restriction on the free exercise and maintenance of their cultural, religious and communal life and institutions.”
In greeting the Soviet people on the anniversary of the revolution, the letter voiced the appeal to the Soviet Government “to fulfill the spirit and terms of the magnificent expression of liberty contained in the Soviet constitution by removing the disabilities and inequities which now hamper the religious and cultural freedoms of Russian Jewry. We plead that Russian Jewry be accorded full facilities to pursue its communal way of life and to maintain contact with their fellow Jews abroad, in the same way as these rights and facilities are enjoyed by other national minorities in the Soviet Union.”