Los Angeles (Oct. 18)
Prof. Mikhail Zand, the Soviet Jewish Orientalist whose struggle to obtain an exit visa won the support of academicians around the world, received an honorary doctorate in Hebrew Letters last night from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. More than 1,000 persons jammed Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills to see the bearded scholar accept the degree which was awarded to him in absentia while he was in a Moscow jail. Zand recalled that news of the award reached him in prison. “It came as a great moral support, not only to me and my family but to all Jews in the Soviet Union who strive for return to Zion,” Zand remarked.
“I was a slave among slaves. Now I am a free man among free men,” Zand told the audience at Temple Emanuel. He pleaded for constructive protest and continued pressure against the Soviet regime which he called “the most brutal proletarian machine of our time.” He said it was thanks to pressure that the Soviet Union was permitting Jews to emigrate to Israel though their numbers are “restricted compared to the number of those Jews who have asked for exit visas, a number which has now reached in the hundreds of thousands.” Zand has settled in Israel and is a member of the Hebrew University faculty in Jerusalem.