Noted Soviet Emigrant Says Almost All Soviet Jews Want to Leave

Dr. Vitaly Rubin, noted Soviet Jewish authority on ancient Chinese philosophy, had a busy schedule here last week addressing the Public Affairs Committee of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago holding a press conference and appearing on NBC. Rubin and his wife were permitted to emigrate to Israel last June after a four-and-a-half year struggle. Speaking at a press conference sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, he expressed the opinion that “almost all Russian Jews want to emigrate Jews are insulted every day.” The primary victims of the Soviet policy of “locked borders.” Rubin said, are the Jews and Germans. “They have been invited to Israel and West Germany,” he observed. “Other Russians would have to find a country to accept them before they could hope to emigrate.” Rubin thanked the American Jewish community and academic community, without whose efforts he is convinced he would not have been permitted to emigrate.

In an interview with NBC, Rubin expressed his joy at living in freedom in Israel. His wife pointed out that Tuesday, when these public meetings were taking place here, was their 20th wedding anniversary and “20 years ago we never dreamed to hope that we would be permitted to live in Israel, among our people, and visit the United States.” When the NBC reporter asked just what the Rubins meant about “feeling free,” Rubin explained “freedom is freedom of expression and freedom of movement. I had neither in Russia. Now I am a free man.”

At a meeting of the Public Affairs Committee of the JUF, an umbrella group encompassing 37 major Jewish organizations, Rubin was quizzed about the widely publicized issue of Soviet Jews who leave the USSR with visas to Israel and then choose to go elsewhere.

When asked whether it would be wise for Israel to make a more thorough investigation, into the intentions of whether applicants for visas really want to settle in Israel, Rubin, who now lives in Jerusalem, replied that “it would be wrong to withhold the means of saving a man’s life just because he does not want to go where we want him to go.”

NEXT STORY