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The 1980 Olympics

Yitzhak Caspi, secretary of the Israel Olympic Team, on the way home from the International Olympic Committee meetings held simultaneously with the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico; stopped in at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency offices and chatted with me concerning the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. To say the least, Caspi was very excited and enthused over the reception he and his associate, Yitzhak Ofek, president of the Israel Olympic Committee, received from the Russian delegation.

“The two Russian delegates assured us that there would be no problems what ever in so far as Israel and its participation in the Games is concerned,” Caspi related. “As a matter of fact, the Russian delegation, on two occasions, once during the international Olympic Committee meeting itself, and then in the complete assembly, which calls for two delegates from each of the 100-plus countries present, repeated the fact that it is the intention of the Russian sports committee to build a church, a synagogue, and a Moslem mosque, in the Olympic compound. All three faiths will be able to pray in their respective houses of worship right on the premises where the athletes will be housed.” In addition. Caspi said, “The Russians advised us that Israel will be permitted a total of 170 tourists, all of whom will be permitted to pray in the main synagogue. located in Moscow.”

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