NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
A Soviet immigrant now living in Israel said today that all Jewish emigrants from the USSR should be helped regardless of whether they go to Israel or not, Mrs. Natasha Rubinstein, who is in the United States for a lecture tour, made her remarks in response to questions at a press conference called by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Mrs. Rubinstein, speaking for herself, said it was urgent to get Jews out of the Soviet Union before they are all assimilated and Soviet Jewry disappears. “In Russia they can’t be Jews,” she said. “Maybe in other countries they will be Jews again.”
A former philologist at the Pushkin Memorial Museum, Mrs. Rubinstein and her husband, Boris, and their two children, immigrated to Israel in 1974 after a three-year struggle. She said that she and her husband had been assimilationists, too, until their Judaism was awakened by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the “anti-Semitic” Leningrad trial in 1970.
Robert Abrams, GNYCSJ chairman, said that the Soviet Union will test Jimmy Carter after he takes office in January to see how he responds to the Soviet Jewry issue. He said the Soviet Jewry movement in the U.S. will seek to maintain “maximum visible exposure” of the issue.
Margy-Ruth Davis, the organization’s executive director, announced upcoming events, including a program of the “Women’s Plea for Soviet Jewry” to be new at congregation B’nai Brith on Dec. 9 and an all-day symposium Dec. 21 at the Graduate Center of City University of New York to coincide with a symposium on Jewish culture being held by Jewish activists in Moscow Dec. 21-23.