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Seven Muscovite Jews Send New Year’s Greetings to ‘brethren’ Throughout World

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In what is believed to be the first letter sent directly to an American Jewish organization by Soviet Jews, seven Muscovite Jews have written to the American Jewish Congress to proffer their “New Year’s greetings to all of our brethren and friends in the U.S.A. and in the entire world.” The seven signers, describing themselves as “a group of Jews demanding the right of emigrating to Israel and being detained by force on the territory of the USSR by the Soviet authorities,” asserted that “we are proud of the remarkable ability of our people to survive no matter what the circumstances and to retain our spiritual treasures.” Despite “all the trials and tribulations.” they continued, Jews “have remained one people tied by a common destiny.”

Their Rosh Hashana message concluded: Let the New Year be a year of peace and prosperity for the Jewish people in the entire world; We are approaching the New Year with the confidence that, in spite of the attempts to deprive us of our Jewishness and forcing us to live in for us, an alien country, we will attain our rights to live in, for us, the holy land, the land of Israel. And we are repeating our centuries-old words with a renewed feeling of reality: Next Year in Jerusalem!” The letter, two copies of which were received separately by AJCongress executive director Will Maslow, was signed by Anatoly Dekatov, Grigory Tartakowski, Michail Chersonski, Lev Sheinkar and Michail Yakobson. All gave their addresses. Mr. Maslow said that “This call from Russian Jewry is further demonstration of their indomitable will to remain a vital part of the Jewish people despite repression and threats of imprisonment.”

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