Rabbis from Moscow and Leningrad Arrive on First Visit to Israel

The chief rabbis of Moscow and Leningrad arrived in Israel Tuesday, in what is believed to be the first visit of Soviet rabbis to the Jewish state.

Rabbi Adolph Shayevich of Moscow and Rabbi Haim Levitis of Leningrad arrived at the invitation of the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv. The chief rabbi of Odessa was originally also scheduled to arrive with the delegation. It could not immediately be confirmed if he arrived with the others.

Avraham Chetzroni, president of the synagogue, said the invitations had been sent annually for some years.

“We cabled an invitation to Moscow five months ago, but only now has an acceptance arrived.

“We received a phone call from Moscow two weeks ago informing us they would be arriving today,” he said.

The Soviet Union broke off ties with Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War, but there has been an increase in diplomatic and cultural exchanges over the last year.

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