JERUSALEM (Feb. 15)
The Council of Progressive Rabbis of Israel, some of whose congregations have recently had difficulties in finding places to worship under alleged Orthodox pressures, charged the Religious Affairs Ministry today with either denying or ignoring their requests for help.
The Council made the charge in a statement issued here which asserted that public claims to the contrary by the Ministry did not “reflect the truth. ” The Council claimed that the Ministry had turned down or ignored requests from a number of its congregations for Torah Scrolls salvaged from the Nazi holocaust in Europe and sent to the Ministry.
A spokesman for the Ministry, commenting on the complaint, said that the number of such Torah scrolls was not sufficient for distribution to all applicants. The spokesman cited, as an example of its problems, the fact that most of the Scrolls recently received from the Westminster synagogue in London had been found to be unusable. He said they had been buried in accordance with tradition.