NEW YORK (May. 24)
The 70-year-old mother-in-law of Soviet Jewish activist Vladimir Slepak appealed yesterday to Soviet authorities to “free her children.” Mrs. Bertha Roshkovsky, went to Israel a year ago, left behind her son-in-law; his wife, Masha; and their two sons, Aleksander and Leonid. “I need family.” Mrs. Roshkovsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at a two-hour peaceful demonstration across from the Soviet Mission. Six American scientists and social scientists joined her in protesting the USSR’s Jewish policy.
The scientists were volunteering to take the places of the six Jewish scientists arrested Sunday in Moscow on the eve of President Nixon’s arrival. Those volunteering were Prof. Yitzchak Greenberg of Yeshiva University; Zvi Szubin and Joseph Danto, City College; Philip Baum, American Jewish Congress; Lester Macktez, B’nai B’rith; and Shoshana Epstein, Women’s American ORT. Others demonstrating included Vitaly Svenchinsky, a former activist in the USSR, Stanley Lowell, chairman-elect of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry which organized the vigil and several Conference members wearing simulated prison garb.
The Conference chairman, Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, said: “We must make it clear that while we favor better relations and pray for the success of the President’s trip (to the USSR), Soviet Jews must not be penalized. President Nixon’s trip must not be used as a pretext for destroying the Soviet Jewry freedom movement.”