NEW YORK (Oct. 21)
The arrest of another Soviet Jew for distributing “Zionist” material was reported to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today and was confirmed to the JTA by authoritative foreign sources. It was the second such arrest reported in the past two days. According to Rabbi Herschel Schachter, chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, the latest victim was Michael Shepshelovich, 24, of 42 Juglas St., Apt. 5 in Riga, Soviet Latvia. He was said to have been arrested on Oct. 16. Rabbi Schachter told the JTA that Mr. Shepshelovich and Mies Ruth Alexandrovitch, 24, also of Riga, were among nine Jews arrested in Riga since last June’s alleged attempt to hijack a Soviet airliner at Leningrad airport. Miss Alexandrovitch’s arrest, reported by the JTA yesterday, was also confirmed by authoritative foreign sources.
Rabbi Schacter said that all of those arrested had requested permission to emigrate to Israel and had signed petitions to that effect. He said that Mr. Shepshelovich’s arrest brought to 33 the number of Jewish political prisoners in the USSR. A Hassidic rabbi in Brooklyn claimed today that Sen. Charles Goodell, the Republican Senatorial candidate in New York, was instrumental in arranging the release from prison and the emigration of more than 100 Jews from Iron Curtain countries. Rabbi Eliezer Portugal, known to his Hassidic followers as the Scholener rabbi, said the Senator had carried out his efforts in secret to assure them success. He said that details of the operation cannot be revealed because negotiations with certain foreign governments are continuing.