60,000 Soviet Jews Celebrate
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60,000 Soviet Jews Celebrate

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More than 60,000 Soviet Jews gathered in the streets of Moscow and in the Choral Synagogue on Monday night to celebrate Simchat Torah, Jewish sources here reported today. The gathering, which included delegations from Georgia, Rostov, Vilna, Kiev and Riga was the largest gathering of Jews in recent memory. The previous high was 40,000. The celebration was under way before 6 pm (local time), but at 9:30 pm the lights were suddenly turned off, despite the protests of thousands of those present. Police cars pushed their way through the crowd but there were no reported incidents.

Dr. Yuri Nudelman, a Moscovite Jew who has petitioned the government for permission to emigrate to Israel, returned home after the demonstration to find all the windows in his apartment smashed and high school students gathered outside his home shouting anti-Semitic slogans, according to Richard Maass, chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry. After he called the police five times an officer finally arrived and told him nothing would be done about the incident because “You are going to a fascist state (Israel).” According to Maass, Dr. Nudelman’s 17-year-old daughter has dropped out of high school to avoid incidents there, and the family fears for its safety.

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