MONTREAL (Apr. 14)
More than 100 representatives of major Canadian Jewish organizations and institutions called yesterday on the Canadian government to intervene with the Soviet Union in behalf of Soviet Jewry. The Jewish leaders met in an all-day conference under the auspices of the Canadian Jewish Congress to consider means of combatting the repressive policies of the Soviet government toward Jews.
August Stern, the son of Dr. Mikhail Stern, the Vinnitsa physician who was sentenced to eight years in prison, told the conference that “My father’s trial was almost a re-enactment of the Dreyfus case.” He said the demonstrations are important because “if the Russians feel they can get away with the sentence of an innocent man without world reaction it will be a sign to them to conduct trials against Jewish dissidents.” Stern and a group of people demonstrated outside the Soviet Consulate here today. A solidarity day for Soviet Jews will be held in Montreal next week.
In the United States where “Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry” was held yesterday, some 1500-2000 marched in a candlelight parade in Washington in support of Soviet Jews. The marchers were addressed by Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization, and Viktor Polsky, a Soviet Jewish activist who recently immigrated to Israel.
POLICE ARREST 134 YOUTHS
Polsky described the plight of Vladimir Slepak who yesterday began a hunger strike to mark the fifth anniversary of the refusal of the Soviet government to give him and his family an exit visa. In the Miami, Fla. area, five dentists and their wives began a hunger strike in support of Slepak. The five American Jewish couples had attempted to hold a picnic with the Slepak family in a Moscow park last year and were harassed by Soviet police.
Polsky is also scheduled to speak next Sunday in Los Angeles during the midpoint of the second annual Am Yisrael Chai-Solidarity Walk. The walk climaxes a week of activities in Los Angeles in support of Soviet Jewry under the sponsorship of the Commission on Soviet Jewry of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation-Council.
Meanwhile, in New York, where some 200,000 persons marched yesterday in support of Soviet Jewry, police arrested 134 young people who had sat down on Second Avenue following the march in a Jewish Defense League-sponsored demonstration against American foreign policy in the Mideast. The sit-down occurred after police refused to let about 250 persons march to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The 134 young people did not resist being arrested.