Menu JTA Search

Rallies for Soviet Jewry This Weekend and Next; Special Yom Kippur Prayers Scheduled

Herman L. Weisman, president of the Zionist Organization of America, called today on American Jews to show their concern for the plight of Soviet Jews by participating in demonstrations this weekend and next in scores of communities throughout the nation demanding that “Soviet Jews be freed from the yoke of anti-Semitism and that they be granted the freedom to stay or emigrate to other lands of their choice. Mr. Weisman noted that traditionally on Simchat Torah there is an outpouring of Jews in front of synagogues in the Soviet Union to demonstrate their abiding Jewishness in the face of oppressive anti-Semitism. “We who are blessed to live in a democracy must demonstrate our support of their struggle,” he said. Approximately 3000 students from more than 30 communities are expected to mobilize in Washington on Oct. 11-12 to protest Soviet suppression of Jewish rights. These students are members of 22 national Jewish youth movements affiliated with the North American Jewish Youth Council. The mobilization will take place near the Soviet Embassy according to Eric Yaffe and Margy-Ruth Greenbaum, Council co-chairmen. It will conclude with a candle-lighting ceremony in a Washington synagogue.

Rabbi Joseph C. Teichman. chairman of the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, said today that rabbis throughout the city have agreed to offer a special prayer for Soviet Jews during Yom Kippur services this weekend and to urge their congregants to attend a rally in Philadelphia on Oct. 17. This demonstration, marking the Simchat Torah holiday and a follow-up of this weekend’s Washington mobilization, will be conducted at the Memorial to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs. Albert D. Chernin, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia executive director, said that while visiting Russia last year during Simchat Torah he was told by young Jews that they were aware and encouraged by the solidarity celebrations conducted in the United States. “I know from first-hand experience.” Mr. Chernin said, “that Soviet Jews take heart from these demonstrations and become more determined to act on their own behalf.”

NEXT STORY