NEW YORK (Oct. 5)
A two month “Freedom Bus” tour of the United States on behalf of Soviet Jewry will begin in Seattle Oct. 13. According to the American Zionist Youth Conference and the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, co-sponsors of the tour, the bus will visit 33 cities and arrive in Washington, D.C. Dec. 13. Two young Soviet Jewish activists now living in Israel; Ilia Wolk, 27, and Tsipora Wolf, 25, will accompany the bus, joined by three American Jewish student leaders. They will organize mass rallies, motorcades, campus teach-ins and other activities in support of the rights of Soviet Jews, the sponsors said.
According to Mrs. Shirley Kalb, acting chairman of the AZYC board of trustees, one of the major objectives of the tour will be to “collect a half million signatures to a ‘Let My People Go’ manifesto urging Soviet authorities to allow Jews who want to emigrate to Israel to do so.” The manifesto will be presented to officials in Washington at the end of the tour. Both Wolk and Miss Wolf represent, by their personal experiences, the struggle of Soviet Jews. Wolk’s family sought for 14 years to emigrate to Israel before finally being granted permission. The young man, who was born in Burnsk, Tataria, was denied admission to the University of Minsk to study medicine and studied chemistry instead. He is presently a student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Miss Wolf was born in Legnispza, Poland, but moved with her family to Perm in the USSR in 1959. She was active in the Zionist movement, taught Hebrew surreptitiously in Leningrad, Moscow and Kishinev. Her family received permission to emigrate after ten years of fruitless applications. The American youngsters accompanying them are David Twersky, 21, co-editor of the Jewish Students News Service; Jay Blum, 22, a leader of the Jewish Students Union of Philadelphia and Mona Goldman, 22, a member of the Speakers Bureau on Soviet Jewry of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council. The “Freedom Bus” will carry about 500,000 pieces of literature, slides, films, records and other audio-visual equipment and an exhibit on Soviet Jewry produced by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.