JTA News Dispatch on Soviet Jewry Sparks Telegrams to Nixon, Brezhnev
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JTA News Dispatch on Soviet Jewry Sparks Telegrams to Nixon, Brezhnev

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Responding to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report that 300 Moscow police dispersed and arrested Jews trying to enter the Choral Synagogue on Passover, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia sent telegrams of protest to President Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev, chairman of the Soviet Communist Party. The telegrams were signed by Benjamin S. Loewenstein, president of the JCRC.

The message to Nixon stated: “Soviet police attack on Moscow synagogue worshipers shocking. Urge President to convey concern.” The cable to Brezhnev called the attack a “flagrant violation of international covenants signed by the USSR.” Similar telegrams were sent by Loewenstein to the entire Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.

The dispatch which appeared in the JTA Daily News Bulletin on April 3 reported that on Passover eve Moscow police refused to permit late arriving worshipers to enter the synagogue after it was full or to congregate outside it as they had in past years. After the services, the worshipers leaving the synagogue were ordered to disperse and those who did not move fast enough were arrested.

A collective Kaddish for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust was recited in Buenos Aires at services arranged by the Argentine Association of Nazism’s Survivors. Nearly 1000 persons attended. Most Jewish organizations closed their offices to mark the 29th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto tragedy.

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