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News Brief

August 13, 2004
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A U.N. agency is pressuring Tajik authorities to preserve the only synagogue in that nation’s capital, which is slated for demolition. In response to a request in June by the World Jewish Congress, UNESCO — the U.N. arm that deals with historic preservation matters — contacted authorities in Tajikistan to advise them that demolishing the synagogue would “be in contradiction with existing international standards for the protection of cultural heritage.” The synagogue in Dushanbe is to be razed to make room for a presidential palace, and the government has offered to give the Jewish community, which is small and mostly elderly, a plot of land for a new synagogue, but the community finds the proffered plot undesirable. Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said UNESCO’s action on the matter was “an excellent response” to the congress’ request.

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