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Vitaly Rubin Dead at 58

Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for Prof. Vitaly Rubin, a former Jewish activist who emigrated from the Soviet Union five years ago and settled in Israel. He was killed last Sunday in a car accident near Beersheba. He was 58 years old.

Rubin, an expert on Chinese history, gained world prominence for his long struggle to receive an exit visa from the Soviet authorities to go to Israel. He was one of the founding members of the Helsinki Watch Committee, a group established in Moscow in 1975 to monitor Soviet compliance with the accords on East-West cooperation signed in Helsinki that year. Rubin received an exit visa to Israel three weeks after he helped to establish the Helsinki Committee.

During his long struggle for human rights and the right to emigrate, Rubin was dismissed from his post at Moscow’s Institute of Oriental Studies. His plight drew international attention. Columbia University invited him as a guest lecturer and American scholars threatened to boycott American-Soviet seminars.

In Israel, Rubin joined the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, teaching Chinese philosophy. His wife, Inessa, who was injured in the accident that killed her husband, has been working as a librarian at the university.

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