NEW YORK (Dec. 29)
A two-hour citywide demonstration on behalf of the Leningrad Jews has been scheduled for tomorrow from 12 to 2 p.m. The rally, sponsored by the New York Conference on Soviet Jewry and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will be addressed by Mayor John V. Lindsay, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Dore Schary, Rabbi Steven Riskin of Lincoln Square Synagogue, labor leader Harry Van Arsdale, a representative of Terence Cardinal Cooke, the president of the Protestant Council of Churches and others. The co-sponsors of the demonstration have asked Jewish businesses in the city to close for the two hours. That appeal is being carried on the American Jewish Congress’ phone-in “hot line.” An Emergency Vigil to Help Save Soviet Jewry is planned for tonight at the East Meadow Jewish Center on Long Island, to be followed by a mile-and-a-half march to Temple Emanuel. Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue, president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Secretary of State William P. Rogers had told him in Washington yesterday that he and President Nixon had discussed the matter twice over the weekend and were initiating action that Rogers disclosed to him off the record.
Michael Harrington, chairman of the Socialist Party U.S.A., and A. Philip Randolph, honorary co-chairman and a top civil rights and labor leader, urged President Nixon and all other Americans yesterday to “speak out firmly and forcefully on the grave issue” of the Leningrad trial and sentences of “so-called hijackers.” They accused the Kremlin “of a return to outright use of terror to suppress all dissidence among its people and of conducting a campaign of anti-Semitism which has culminated in the trial, conviction and sentencing to death of two Jewish defendants for a ‘crime’ that was never committed.” The party called on President Nixon to “let the Soviet rulers know that they cannot pursue their outrageous course without paying a severe penalty in the court of world opinion,” and on “all freedom-loving Americans to protest this outrage by Communist Russia.” Harrington and Randolph said the Socialist Party U.S.A., the American affiliate of the Socialist International, was “gravely concerned with the implications in this case.” About 75 Jewish students marched in protest against the Leningrad sentences today around a gallows erected at the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations. A skull hanging from a noose was labeled Dymshitz and Kuznetzov, the two Russian Jews sentenced to death for their alleged role in a hijack plot. The demonstration was organized by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry.
There will be a rally in Philadelphia at noon tomorrow, coordinated by the Jewish Community Relations Council and the ad hoc Greater Philadelphia Emergency Council for Soviet Jewry. The latter was formed by Rabbi Sheldon C. Freedman, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Leonard Schuster, a retailer who wants communities across the country to Join in the “grass roots movement.” A dozen members of the Emergency Council–from the Philadelphia Union of Students, the Jewish Students Union of Philadelphia Community College and the Collegiate Council of Young Israel of Philadelphia–Draved freezing temperatures last night to demonstrate at Independence Hall. They lit eight flares for Soviet Jewry in the spirit of Chanukah. The Canadian Jewish Congress has arranged for a national march on the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa on Sunday, and has sent pleas to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Department of External Affairs, Soviet Consulates in Canada and Soviet President Nikolai V. Podgorny. The CJC said 15,000 Canadians had already sent appeals of their own. There was a rally in Winnipeg last night and others are scheduled for Toronto and Montreal. A nine-day daylight vigil continues at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, and a four-day 24-hour vigil continues outside the Soviet Consulate in Montreal.