WASHINGTON (Nov. 28)
The State Department said it could not confirm a report that Rabbi Moses Rosen, Chief Rabbi of Rumania, said that the education tax the Rumanian government had imposed last month on would-be immigrants does not affect Jews. But Department spokesman John Hughes noted that the U.S. government is keeping close contact with the Rumanian government on the issue and the problem is “essentially a serious one for United States-Rumanian relations.”
Rosen said that the education tax, which requires all emigrants to reimburse the government for the free secondary and higher education they had received, does not affect Jews because the Rumanian government, for many decades, has made a distinction between “emigration” and “aliya.” A Jew seeking to go to Israel is not viewed as an “emigrant,” Rosen reported.
The State Department had earlier warned Rumania that the tax could affect U.S. approval for a continuation of the most favored nation trade status for Rumania.