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U.S. Jews Cautioned About Comments Which Would Harm Rumania’s Jews Emigration Chances

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Rumanian Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen has urged American Jews not to make any statements in the upcoming U.S. Congressional hearings on most-favored-nation trade status for Rumania which might “damage” the “vital interests” of Rumanian Jews and their right to emigrate to Israel.

In a cable sent last Friday to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Rosen said that “nobody has the right to give statements on our behalf without consulting us.” He said he has invited Theodore Mann, chairman of the Presidents Conference, and other American Jewish leaders to come to Rumania.

Rosen was apparently referring to the scheduled testimony by American Jewish leaders before the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade which will be holding hearings soon on the special U.S. trade status for Rumania and Hungary. According to reports from the subcommittee, headed by Rep. Charles Vanik (D. Ohio), Jewish emigration from Rumania was down by 40 percent since last year, the lowest number since most favored-nation status was granted Rumania in 1975.

The Chief Rabbi also issued a statement here last Friday declaring that more than 90 percent of Rumania’s Jews have emigrated to Israel in the last 35 years. “There are 350,000 Rumanian Jews in Israel and 38,000 left in Rumania,” he said.

Rosen stressed that no one who has registered for aliya has last his job or encountered any other difficulties. The exit visa is issued” sooner or later,” he added.

“I am authorized to say that every Jew who wants to emigrate to Israel can register for emigration through (Jewish) federation communities while he uses the usual legal ways,” Rosen said. “Rumanian Jewry is grateful to the Rumanian government for full religious freedom and equality of rights and for treating all their problems with humanitarian feelings. Over 10,000 old and ill Jews, remnants of Auschwitz, are helped by the Joint Distribution Committee through the goodwill of the Rumanian government.”

Rosen stressed in his statement that in contacts with “important leaders of American Jewry” he was assured they support the most-favored-nation trade status for Rumania as well as the Rumanian Jewish community’s position.

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