Three Rabbis Tour N.Y. County in ‘fast for Freedom for Soviet Jews

Three Rockland County rabbis–Orthodox, Conservative and Reform–have begun the second day of their three-day starvation diet, called the “Fast for Freedom,” on behalf of Soviet Jewry, Glen Richter, national coordinator of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) said here today. According to Mr. Richter, the three-day ordeal is an attempt to graphically portray to Rockland County residents the intolerable conditions under which Soviet prisoners live. The three rabbis, who were identified by Mr. Richter as Avraham Weiss, Hillel Friedman and Kalil Rosenberg, are dressed in prison garb and traveling to various points in Rockland County in upstate New York in a mobile trailer made up to look like a prison. Mr. Richter also told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that in an attempt to completely simulate prison conditions, the rabbis are subsisting on an 800-caloric diet of moldy bread and thin soup, which is believed the usual fare, he explained, Soviet prisoners receive. The mobile trailer, he added, which the rabbis are sleeping in, is unheated.

“Aside from portraying the conditions under which Soviet prisoners live,” he continued “the ‘Fast for Freedom’ is also a ploy to alert public opinion to the forthcoming trials of Soviet Jews in Riga, Leningrad and Kishinev.” He reported that due to the subfreezing temperatures and unhealthy diet, one of the rabbis had become ill. He said they are scheduled to park their trailer near the Soviet Mission to the United Nations this evening, where they will be joined by other rabbis in prayer and study.

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