Youth End Three-week Vigil at Soviet Photo Exhibit; Protested Plight of Soviet Jews

A three-week vigil by Jewish youth at a Soviet photographic exhibit here, in protest against Russian mistreatment of Jews, will end tomorrow when the exhibit leaves for its last stop at New Orleans, a spokesman for the youth said today. Mike Duchin. president of the San Antonio chapter of the Reform Federation of Temple Youth, one of the project co-chairmen, said the effort was decided on July 6 at a meeting attended by leaders of the local Masada, youth affiliate of the Zionist Organization of America; the Reform Youth Federation; and the United Synagogue Youth, the Conservative youth agency. Representatives of other local groups and unaffiliated individuals also attended. The participants approved a continuing program of distributing leaflets in front of the “U.S.S.R. Photo 70″ exhibit, which is a section of the United States-Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Cultural Exchange program. Assignments were made at a second meeting on July 12 to cover every session of the exhibit. Protesters took up positions on the opening day at the Hemisphere Convention Center, site of the program, and have been present-since throughout each period of the day when the exhibit has been open, Mr. Duchin said.

The youths have pursued members of the touring Soviet delegation whenever and wherever they have appeared in public, the co-chairman reported. Two of the Soviet members were confronted with a barrage of questions on the plight of Russian Jewry when they appeared on a radio interview program. Leaflets also were distributed at a panel on Soviet life held at Trinity University. The co-chairman complained that none of the protesters were called on during the question-and-answer session which followed the panel discussion. The demonstrators passed out more than 5.000 leaflets at the exhibition site to both local visitors and tourists from other parts of the United States and from overseas countries, he reported. The young Jews obtained financing for their materials from the San Antonio ZOA chapter and particularly from the Jewish Social Service Federation, which placed half-page advertisements in the three San Antonio daily newspapers on the plight of Russian Jews. The exhibit previously had been staged in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco.

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