Seminar for Soviet Jewish Leaders Goes on Despite Turmoil in USSR

The aborted coup in the Soviet Union did not deter a seminar for Soviet Jewish leaders with their counterparts from Western Europe.

A two-week seminar began Sunday aboard a motorship, the Lev Tolstoi, cruising the Volga River. It will continue in Moscow until Sept. 5.

The project, undertaken by the European Jewish Congress, a World Jewish Congress affiliate, was planned some time ago. It started on schedule despite the turmoil arising from the aborted coup, which began Aug. 19 and ended 72 hours later with the Soviet government in disarray.

The seminar was organized in cooperation with the Vaad, the federation of Jewish organizations and communities in the Soviet Union.

The Western Jewish leaders are headed by Jean Kahn, president of the EJC, and accompanied by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.

The seminar was inaugurated in the presence of Soviet government officials and the mayor of Moscow, Gavriil Popov.

It includes discussions on contemporary world Jewry and Judaism, the history of Jews in Russia, Israel today and women in Judaism, as well as a screening of the documentary film, “Pillar of Fire,” about the establishment of the Zionist movement and the Jewish state.

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