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Rabbi Goren Reports: Greek Church Patriarch Opposes Jerusalem Internationalization

Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Goren said today that during his visit to Rumania he was told by Patriarch Justinian, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, that he opposed the internationalization of Jerusalem because Jerusalem belongs to the “Jewish nation.” Rabbi Goren was one of a number of Jewish religious and lay leaders from various countries who came to Bucharest to participate in the celebration on July 30 of the 60th birthday of Rumanian Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen.

Rabbi Goren, who returned to Israel last Friday, said the Patriarch had also told him that “whoever opens the Bible can easily find that Jerusalem is Jewish and belongs to the Jewish nation.”

Rabbi Goren said he was enthusiastically received wherever he went in Rumania and that he also was cordially received by the Rumanian Religious Affairs Minister, Dimtriu Doganu and other Rumanian leaders. He said he was the only one of all the invited Jewish representatives from more than half a dozen countries, both East and West, who was allowed to address all of the Jewish communities in Rumania. He said he attended a meeting in Bucharest of Jewish community representatives from Yugoslavia, Hungary and Rumania.

Itzhak Koren, chairman of the Israeli-Rumanian Friendship League, who also participated in the Bucharest festivities, said on his return to Israel that the celebration turned into a demonstration of the existence of 68 Jewish communities in Rumania and into a demonstration of support for Israel. He said the most moving scene he found was at the Choral Synagogue in Bucharest on a Saturday when 1300 Jews, representing all Jewish communities in Rumania and 11 delegations from other nations, heard Rabbi Goren bring greetings to Dr. Rosen from President Shazar of Israel and Premier Golda Meir. Rabbi Goren spoke in Yiddish and hailed the work of Rabbi Rosen for Rumanian Jews. After his address, Rabbi Goren was encircled by hundreds of Jews who thanked him with great emotion, Koren said.

(The World Jewish Congress said in London that Dr. Gerhart Riegner, its secretary general, and Armand Kaplan, head of its international affairs department, were received by Minister Doganu and that a wide exchange of views took place on matters concerning the WJC and Rumanian and world Jewry. The WJC said that Dr. Riegner and Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the American Jewish Congress, were received by the Patriarch Justinian and that they discussed Jewish-Christian relations and related topics. The WJC said Rabbi Rosen offered special tribute, at the banquet in his honor, to the WJC for maintaining ties between Rumanian Jewry and the rest of the Jewish world.)

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