Soviets Give Visas to Edelshteins

Yuli Edelshtein, an important figure in the unofficial Jewish education movement in the Soviet Union, has been granted an exit visa for Israel, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) reported Monday. Edelshtein’s wife Tatyana and daughter Yulia, 12, have also been given permission to leave.

The SSSJ received word of the Edelshteins’ visas during phone conversations with Moscow refuseniks Monday morning. Edelshtein, 29, served two-and-a-half years of a three-year sentence in Soviet labor camps on drug charges that were fabricated, according to SSSJ. In January 1986, Edelshtein suffered severe injuries when he fell 14 feet from a ladder in a labor camp in Siberia. He was hospitalized with a shattered pelvic bone and ruptured urethra.

Edelshtein was released last May because of poor health. Before his imprisonment, Edelshtein was a professor of English in Moscow. He was also a major teacher of Judaism and Hebrew in the underground Jewish education movement.

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