Conference on Soviet Jewry Calls Kazakov’s Fast the Conscience for Others

The fast of Yasha Kazakov, a 23 year-old Soviet-Jewish emigre now in its seventh day, was described today as “a demonstration reflective of the oppressive conditions under which three million Jews in the Soviet Union are forced to live.” Rabbi Herschel Schacter, chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, called on “all men of conscience” to join in demanding an end to the repression of Soviet Jews that the Kazakov fast dramatizes. Young Kazakov camped outside United Nations headquarters here a week ago and announced that he would go on a hunger strike until Soviet authorities granted exit visas to his family in Moscow enabling them to join him in Israel. The young man was permitted to go to Israel a year ago. He came to New York recently, he said, to arouse world opinion to the plight of his family and other Jews in the USSR. Rabbi Schacter said, “That this young man should feel driven to this desperate means of seeking freedom for members of his family to leave the Soviet Union” should summon men of conscience “to join in demanding that not only his family but all Soviet Jews be granted the freedoms accorded other minorities in that country to worship as they choose, maintain their cultural traditions and perpetuate their deepest human beliefs and leave if they so desire.”

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