BUDAPEST (Jun. 23)
Ten Soviet Jews have been authorized to come to Hungary to study at the Budapest Theological Seminary, according to unconfirmed reports here. If the reports prove to be true, the total of 12 students currently attending the seminary would be upped to a record high of 22 students. The seminary now counts two Soviets among its students, Chaim Levitish, 20, of Moscow, and Adolph Chaevitch, 20, of Birobidzhan.
Hungarian Jewish community leader Geza Seifert told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that while in New York recently, he had been informed of the news by an American Rabbi, Arthur Schneir of New York. He said, however, that Hungarian officials had not yet confirmed the information. There is no indication as to when the Soviet rabbinical students might be expected to arrive in Hungary and there is some speculation that their final number may be less than the announced ten.
Seifert said he expected to find out more details on the subject during his upcoming trip to Moscow. He is due to leave Thursday for a six-day trip to the Soviet capital where he will meet with community leaders. During his Moscow visit, the Jewish leader said he will attend a ceremony in honor of the Soviet community leader. Efroim Grigorievich Kaplun, who is celebrating his 80th birthday. Seifert said Kaplun is an old friend who could clarify the details concerning the ten prospective students from the USSR.
The Budapest Theological Seminary is the sole institution of its kind still operating in Eastern Europe and therefore must serve a wide radius. However, apart from the two Soviet students, there are no other foreigners attending the school. A few years back, the student body included two East Germans and two Czechoslovakians. In Western Europe, there are two such seminaries, in London and Rome.