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Jakobovits to Visit the USSR for 10 Days; a First for a Jewish Religious Leader Outside the Communis

Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits of the British Commonwealth, will visit the Soviet Union for 10 days next month at the invitation of the Moscow Synagogue congregation and a wide range of other Jewish groups in the USSR, the Chief Rabbi’s office announced today, His visit will mark the first time that a religious leader of a Jewish community outside the Communist has been invited Union.

The announcement said that Rabbi Jakobovits “hopes to visit a number of centers including Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev,” He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “I hope to meet as wide a spectrum of Russian Jews as possible.”


The British Chief Rabbi, who is 64, has been active on behalf of Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate as well as for the religious and civil rights of Jews who opt to stay in Russia. “Our slogan for Soviet Jewry should not be limited solely to “let my people go” but ‘let my people live,’ “he told reporters recently.

The Chief Rabbi noted that there are no rabbinical training seminaries in the USSR, that 750,000 Jews in Moscow have only three synagogues and that if a young Jew attended synagogue he could be expelled from the university. He said the condition of Jews was very similar in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria but that Hungary was more tolerant and that Rumania, of all the Communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe, allowed Jews the most freedom of worship.