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Vigil Against Bolshoi

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One hundred Los Angeles Jews staged a silent protest in support of Soviet Jewry last night during the opening performance of the Bolshoi Ballet at the Shrine Auditorium. Dr. Robert Gerber, a spokesman for the group calling itself “The Committee of 100,” said they had bought a bloc of tickets and occupied rows three to seven in the auditorium.

Dressed in striped prison shirts and white yarmulkes, the 100 persons sat silently through the performance and then stood in a silent vigil during the intermissions. Earlier they had marched from the nearby Hebrew Union College to the auditorium.

Dr. Gerber said many people in the audience came over to the group to congratulate the participants for their “dignified, solemn and effective” demonstration. He said the purpose of the demonstration was for the participants “to be the conscience of Los Angeles on behalf of the ‘prisoners of conscience’ in the Soviet Union.”

Meanwhile, the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews demonstrated outside the auditorium. Zev Yaroslavsky and Si Frumkin, leaders of the SCCSJ, stated that “it is our obligation to continue to express our indignation at increased anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish activity which is part of daily life in the USSR.”

The two Jewish leaders recalled the recent demonstrations against the Moiseyev Dancers in Los Angeles in which some 1000 people participated. “The Bolshoi cannot be permitted to leave Los Angeles with the impression that people don’t know or don’t care about the heroic struggle of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union,” they said.

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