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Chief Rabbi Denies Trying to Ease Jewish Pressure on Rumania over Emigration Issue

Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen of Rumania denied here today reports that he was seeking to soften Jewish pressure on Rumania–particularly in the United States–on the question of Jewish emigration from Rumania, Rabbi Rosen arrived here yesterday for a brief–and unexpected–visit and conferred today with officials of the government and the Jewish Agency on the situation of the Rumanian Jewish community.

President Nicolai Ceausescu of Rumania met with Jewish leaders and with Congressional leaders during his recent visit to Washington, He is seeking to win most favored nation trade status for Rumania but the obstacle has been Rumania’s alleged restrictions on Jewish emigration. The Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Foreign Trade Act links the emigration practice of Communist bloc nations to trade benefits granted them by the U.S. Ceausescu reportedly told both the Jewish leaders and the Congressmen that Rumanian Jews who wish to leave may do so but that not many exercise that option. He also reportedly disputed Jewish estimates that some 70,000 Jews currently live in Rumania. He placed the Jewish population at a somewhat lower figure.

According to informed sources, the Rumanian President had little success in persuading either group that their complaint that Rumanian Jews were not being permitted to leave for Israel in any substantial numbers was unjustified.

(According to informed sources in New York, but unconfirmed, there was a sudden spurt in the number of exit visas issued to Rumanian Jews between June 4-16, The sources said that 1255 Rumanians received visas in that period, half of them Jews, The approximately 600 visas issued in that eight-day period brought the total number of exit visas given to Rumanian Jews during the first six months of this year to 900, the sources said. That was about one-fourth of the 3500 exit visas granted to Rumanian Jews in 1974.)

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