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3000 Jewish High School Students Stage Rally to Demand Right of Soviet Jews to Emigrate

December 4, 1970
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Three thousand students from more than ten Jewish parochial high schools in the metropolitan area marched today for an hour around the Soviet United Nations Mission in midtown Manhattan to demand that the Soviet government honor a pledge made by Premier Alexei Kosygin four years ago to allow Soviet Jews to emigrate if they wished to. The demonstration was organized by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry in cooperation with the principals of the yeshiva high schools. They noted that on Dec. 3, 1966, Mr. Kosygin said at a press conference in Paris that there was no problem for Soviet Jews who wanted to leave and that the government would “open the road” for those who wanted to re-unite with their families abroad. Since then thousands of Soviet Jews have reportedly taken Mr. Kosygin at his word and applied for emigration only to be rejected by the authorities and, in some cases, arrested. The student demonstrators carried enlarged photographs of eight Russian Jews who face imminent trial on charges of attempted aerial hijacking. The demonstrators demanded that the “show trials” be called off and the prisoners released. A delegation attempted to deliver a petition to the Soviet Mission but they were not admitted. Mission personnel were spotted on the roof of the building, some of them taking photographs of the demonstrators. The demonstration, called a “Jericho March,” caused nine blocks to be temporarily closed to traffic. The march ended with a mass pledge never to forget Soviet Jewry.

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