NEW YORK (Apr. 16)
Prof. Sergie Gurevitz, a Jewish physicist in Moscow, faces a year in prison unless he accepts a job in a factory. “It is a punishment.” he told Mrs. Faye Schenk, national president of Hadassah, who telephoned the professor Friday to let him know that her organization was concerned with his plight.
“A punishment for what?” Mrs. Schenk asked. “For asking for an exit visa,” Prof. Gurevitz replied. Fired from his teaching post at Moscow University eight months ago after applying for a visa to go to Israel, he was supporting himself by private tutoring when he was summoned to the local employment office last week and ordered to accept a job in a factory. He was given three days to decide.
According to the Soviet penal code, an unemployed person who refuses to accept a job faces up to a year in jail for “parasitism.” Prof. Gurevitz told Mrs. Schenk he didn’t know what Hadassah could do for him. “The problem is the work I am assigned to do,” he said.