Jerry Goodman, executive director of the National Conference for Soviet Jewry, confirmed today that his organization had asked the Southern California Council for Soviet Jewry to “exercise caution” in its demonstrations for Soviet Jewry when Communist Party Secretary Leonid I, Brezhnev visits President Nixon at the Western White House in San Clemente next week.
Goodman rejected a charge by Sy Frumkin, head of the Southern California group, that the NCSJ had asked them to cancel a candle -light march to San Clemente June 20
Goodman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the plea for caution was motivated by what might happen to Jews in the Soviet Union should any untoward incident be construed as an insult to Brezhnev or harm him politically within Kremlin circles. He said this attitude was based on telephone discussions the NCSJ had had with the Jewish activists in Moscow a month ago.
Goodman said the matter was discussed with Frumkin in a conference telephone call in which the other participants were Richard Maass, NCSJ chairman; Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; and Isaiah Minkoff, of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council
FRUMKIN CHARGES WHITE HOUSE INTERFERENCE
Frumkin has reportedly charged that the “Establishment” is pulling its punches “at the suggestion of the White House and of the Government of Israel.” A letter circulated by Frumkin was said to charge that “The word is out from the White House” not to “embarrass our honored guest.”
Goodman told the JTA it was suggested to the Southern California group that they participate in a united effort by the Jewish community to bring their concern for Soviet Jewry to Brezhnev’s attention. He said they were invited specifically to participate in a mass rally organized by the NCSJ and the Los Angeles Jewish community, to be held in Hancock Square in downtown Los Angeles June 18.
Goodman said Frumkin was not asked to cancel the candlelight march. He conceded, however, that Frumkin might have inferred from his conversation with Maass that the NCSJ felt it might be best to cancel it.
Dr. Louis Rosenblum, of Cleveland, president of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry of which Southern California Council is a member, said in a telephone interview with the JTA’s Washington Bureau today that “We support everything the National Conference is doing except we do not think it is being carried out in a manner which is vigorous and forthright.”
It was learned, meanwhile, that security arrangements being worked out for Brezhnev’s eight-day U.S. visit will be so tight that the closest the American public will get to him will be a television screen. No announcement of Brezhnev’s schedule or itinerary has been made yet. But it appeared almost certain today that he will not visit New York City or any other major city for security reasons.
The two scheduled demonstrations–the “Freedom Assembly” in Washington this Sunday and the demonstrations in California–will take place at a time when Brezhnev will be far from the scene.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.