Warhaftig, Pimen Confer on Soviet Issues

Dr. Zerach Warhaftig, the Minister for Religious Affairs, and Patriarch Pimen, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, conferred today and each had a petition for the other. Dr. Warhaftig asked the Russian cleric to persuade Soviet authorities to allow Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel. The Patriarch asked the Israeli Minister to support the Russian Orthodox community in Israel in its dispute with the White Russian patriarchate which involves property claims.

Dr. Warhaftig urged the visitor from Moscow to explain to his government that Soviet Jews have the right to fulfill their religious commandments in the land of their tradition. He also expressed sorrow that Russian Jews have neither a chief rabbi nor yeshivot to train rabbis. In reply to Pimen’s request, he assured the Patriarch that his Church could rely on Israeli justice. Should the judges find that the Soviet Orthodox Church is right in its dispute with the White Russian Church, there is no cause to worry, he said.

Eight Jewish Defense League members were arrested today when they tried to force their way into the Intercontinental Hotel where Patriarch Pimen, Dr. Warhaftig and Justice Minister Yaacov Shimshon Shapiro were guests at a luncheon tendered by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in honor of the visiting Patriarch from Moscow.

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