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Christians Picket Soviet Troupe on Eve of Sabbath to Help Jewish Friends

Some 30 Christians stood outside a theater in near freezing temperature handing out literature in behalf of Soviet Jews. Inside the theater, the Siberian Dancers and Singers of Omsk were appearing in concert. It was Friday evening – the Sabbath – when Jews could not picket. The group consisted of Catholic priests. Protestant ministers, high school and college students who chose to take a “silent stand in sympathy with our Jewish brothers.” The clergymen were members of the Interfaith Action Council of Greater Flint which represents Catholic and Protestant denominations, both black and white. By Bergman, Council chairman, said “It’s the first instance I know of non-Jews taking up the cause of Jews on a voluntary basis.” The Flint Jewish Community Council had reported earlier that Jewish teenagers contacted their friends who understood the importance of the Sabbath and the need for protest. Most of the estimated 1600 persons who attended the concert accepted the literature. There were no incidents.