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Conservative Congregations to ‘adopt’ Soviet Jewish Family As Expression of Solidarity

The New York Metropolitan Region of the United Synagogue of America will ask its 165 member congregations in the Greater New York area to “adopt” a Soviet Jewish family as “an expression of solidarity, friendship and confidence” with Soviet Jewry. The project was announced yesterday at the organization’s first Leadership Conference for Soviet Jewry, at Temple Gates of Zion, Valley Stream, N. Y. attended by over 200 rabbis, community and youth leaders. The initial phase of the plan will be the dispatch of over 100,000 personal letters and greeting cards to selected Soviet Jewish families. A United Synagogue statement said, “We deem it desirable to create this ‘Adopt a Soviet Jewish Family’ project to establish a personal contact relationship, on an ongoing basis, between Soviet Jews and members of our Conservative congregations.” Participating congregations would be assigned a specific family–related to the convicted defendants at the recent Leningrad hijack trial. The congregation will encourage its members to write letters and send greeting cards to the family.