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Avital Schcharansky, Two Months Pregnant, Won’t Accompany Anatoly on His 10-day Visit to the U.S.

Avital Shcharansky will not accompany her husband Anatoly Shcharansky on his first visit to the United States next week because she is in her second month of pregnancy and her doctors have told her to rest. According to friends, Avital, 35, expects to give birth next fall.

Anatoly Shcharansky, 38, a leading aliya activist, arrived in Israel on February 11 from the Soviet Union where he had served nine years of a 13-year prison sentence for alleged treason and anti-Soviet propaganda. He was released in an East-West prisoner exchange.

His 10-day visit to the U.S. will begin May 11 when he will participate in Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry. He will tour the country to thank the many Americans and U.S. officials who helped gain his releas from prison.

Anatoly, a computer scientist, was asked by reporters recently if he intended to become an Orthodox Jew like his wife. He shrugged his shoulders. “Not yet. Maybe in three or four or five years. Who knows?” he said. During the tumultuous welcome he received on his arrival here, Avital was seen placing a kippa on his bare head and he was seen removing it.