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European Jewish Leaders Focus on Soviet Jewry Plight, Exodus of Jews from Oppressors

Leaders of European Jewry issued greetings on the eve of Rosh Hashana. Dr. Emanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth called attention to “the dire straits of our brethren in the Soviet Union” whose plight has worsened, he said. But the year also brought ‘heartening evidence of a most remarkable resurgence of Jewish feeling and identification among Russian Jewry, surely one of the miracles of our age.” In Bucharest, Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen of Rumania envisaged Rosh Hashana as “a time for clear thinking, for looking at ourselves and at the world for public and private dedication to peace and justice and the service of the Almighty.” It is a time, he said, “when we try to mend our ways and pray that the world at large mends its ways.” Louis D. Horowitz, director general of the Joint Distribution Committee reviewed the relief agency’s activities of the past year in a New Year message issued in Geneva. “In recent months the most dramatic exodus has been that of 12,000 Polish Jews who sought asylum in Israel, North America. Scandinavia and other European countries,” he said. He noted that “much more gradually, Jews continue to leave North Africa and the Middle East and Eastern Europe where their children will have a better life.”

In Dusseldorf, the Central Council of Jews in Germany issued a Rosh Hashana message observing that at this time of the year “we must reflect that suffering, misery, was and desolation cannot be confined to one territory. Wherever they happen they affect us all. As Jews we must strive to make our contribution toward the improvement of society and toward better relations between man and man and nation and nation.” The message was signed by the Council’s chairman, Werner Nachmann and its general secretary, H. G. Van Dam. Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the Keren Hayesod, United Israel Appeal, emphasized Israel’s dependence on the support of world Jewry in a Rosh Hashana message issued in Jerusalem. “Israel has but one inalienable brother, the Jewish people.” he said, “the eternal people both blessed and cursed by being small in size and mighty in spirit..,Our brethren in Israel have learned the lesson of their history; there is no relaxing in the eternal struggle of the Jewish people for survival, security and progress. Our Jewish brethren in the four corners of the earth should not forget it either.” New Year’s greetings from the president of the Hungarian Union of Jewish Communities were received at the offices of the Hebrew World Union in Jerusalem, the chairman of the union’s executive, professor Arieh Tartakover reported.

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