NEW YORK (Sep. 13)
A group of 28 American businessmen, now in the Soviet Union on a trade mission, took with them an ancient Torah originally from India for presentation to Moscow’s Jewish community. However, because they were not sure they would be allowed to give the Torah to the Russian Jews, the businessmen declined to accept a second Torah for the Leningrad Jewish community. But the leader of the business delegation, former San Francisco Mayor George Christopher, said that if he succeeds in giving the Moscow Jews the first scroll, he will send for the second one, an 85-year-old scroll which was rescued from a desecrated synagogue in Germany during World War II. The Torah taken to Moscow was sent by the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, a national grass-roots organization campaigning on behalf of Soviet Jewry. It is intended as a New Year’s present from the Jews in America to Jews in the Soviet Union.