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20,000 Pounds of Matzo Caught in the Nyet of Soviet Officialdom Po Officials Ponder Fate of Matzo

March 28, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

US Postal authorities are pondering today what to do with some 20,000 pounds of Passover matzos intended for Soviet Jews which has been piling up since Friday in the basement of the main Post Office here and at various postal sub-stations in the area. One-pound boxes of matzos have been mailed by the thousands from various states to the Soviet Embassy here and to the Soviet Cultural Office building about seven blocks from the Embassy. Soviet officials refused to accept them.

The mail campaign was conceived by the Advisory Board of the B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League as a means of dramatizing the lack of freedom to emigrate of Soviet Jews. It was organized by the B’nai B’rith’s Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia region and coordinated by Robert C. Kohler, director of the ADL regional office in Newark, N.J. The Soviet Embassy had been asked to forward the matzos to the USSR for use by Russian Jews.

Kohler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Local 701 of the Teamsters Union in North Brunswick, N.J. has volunteered to provide the men and trucks to pick up the matzos at the Post Office and deliver it to any charitable institutions the ADL might name. But the Post Office says there are several obstacles blocking this procedure.

For one thing, the PO needs a formal waiver from the addressee, in this case the Soviet Mission to the US. If that problem is overcome, the PO has to weed out the matzo packages from hundreds of other parcels since they are not marked and many do not have return addresses. Finally, PO officials said, there was the problem of responsibility should anyone eating the matzo become sick. PO authorities said the matzo packages were in danger of becoming infested with rodents if they are kept in the basement much longer.

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