Nationwide Petition Campaign for Soviet Jews Aims to Get One Million Signatures

The American Jewish Congress “hot line” for Soviet Jewry today made public a nationwide petition campaign urging President Nixon to intercede with the Kremlin on behalf of Soviet Jews during his forthcoming visit to the USSR. The campaign has a goal of one million signatures by April 30– “National Solidarity Day for Soviet Jews”–according to the announcement. The “hot line” is a recorded-message telephone number established by the AJ Congress in 1970.

In addition to the “hot line” in New York, other AJ Congress “hot lines” have been installed in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland, Newark and St. Louis. The petition campaign is being conducted by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. The AJ Congress is a constituent member of the Conference.

The petition urges Nixon to take advantage of his meeting in May with Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin and Communist Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev to “help redeem Soviet Jews, thus fulfilling the hopes of millions of Americans who have labored on their behalf.” The “hot line,” located in AJ Congress’ national headquarters in New York (212-870-4553), gives callers a recorded bulletin on the latest events in the USSR affecting Soviet Jewry and a report on local efforts on their behalf. The message is changed weekly and, on occasion, more frequently.

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