NEW YORK (May. 16)
Mrs. Rivka Aleksandrovich, whose daughter Ruth is a prisoner in Riga expecting to go on trial May 24, appeared at her first American press conference here today. The 47-year-old former language teacher said she came here to mobilize opinion on behalf of her daughter and other Soviet Jews in jail or on trial “not for deeds but for their ideas.” Mrs. Aleksandrovich arrived here this morning from London. She said she intended to remain in the U.S. as long as the Riga trial was in session and will speak in Washington and other American cities. Her trip was arranged by the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry. Her press conference was held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel where the American Jewish Committee, holding its annual meeting, made its facilities available. Mrs. Aleksandrovich said she spoke to Riga by telephone as soon as she arrived this morning. She said she was informed that her daughter, who suffers from asthma, was in poor health but high morale.
Asked if speaking out against the Soviet trials might not place her daughter in further jeopardy, Mrs. Aleksandrovich said the only way to arouse world opinion for Soviet Jews was to tell the story and the risk must be taken. She said that Soviet Jewish youth, more and more, was willing to demonstrate, petition and write letters for their right to emigrate, She said they were becoming well informed on Soviet law and were basing their cases on the Soviet law and constitutional guarantees. According to Mrs. Aleksandrovich, Jewish youth in Russia are determined to seek “repatriation” to Israel even if they have no families there. Mrs. Aleksandrovich went to Israel with her 18-year-old son Avigdor last month. She has a sister in that country. Her husband, an economist, remained in Riga for their daughter’s trial. Later today Mrs. Aleksandrovich appeared at a rally for Soviet Jews at the Park East Synagogue, organized by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. The rally was attended by about 800 persons.