Refusenik on Rare Visit to West Appeals at Rally for U.S. Support

Galina Zelichonok, one of the few Soviet refuseniks to be granted a temporary visitors visa to the West, and the first to speak out in public abroad, quietly thanked a crowd rallying for Soviet Jewry for its continued support.

“It’s a very strange feeling because I can’t believe that I have the opportunity to be here, to see the people who support and help us,” said Zelichonok. She and her husband, Roald, a former prisoner of Zion, have been refused permission to emigrate for 10 years.

Zelichonok, whose remarks ended with the familiar words “This year in Jerusalem,” appeared with 75 demonstrators Sunday at a pre-Simchat Torah Celebration of Solidarity with Soviet Jewry and Israel at the Isaiah Peace Wall, across from the United Nations.

Another speaker at the small but sprightly rally, 19-year-old Elena Sheiba, appealed for help in trying to pressure the Soviet government to allow her parents, Lev and Vera Sheiba of Leningrad, to emigrate.

The rally was sponsored by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, the Zionist Organization of America and the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry.

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