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Kosygin Challenged to Let Young Jews Leave to Study in Rabbinical Schools

January 26, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin was challenged here yesterday to let 100 young Jews leave the USSR each year for the next 10 years to study in American and Israeli rabbinical schools and teachers seminaries or else promise to permit such education on Soviet soil under Jewish auspices. The challenge came from Dr. Bernard Mandelbaum, president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism, in an address to 350 American Jewish leaders assembled to pay tribute to the Seminary on the opening of its 85th year and to mark its annual drive for endowment and maintenance funds.

Dr. Mandelbaum, who is professor of Midrash and Homiletics at the Seminary’s main school in New York, said that “in addition to welcoming Jews to Israel from the Soviet Union–and Soviet Jews should have the freedom to leave if they wish to–American and Israeli Jews have the resources to heal the breach in religious commitment and practice that has been opened up by the Soviet government’s severe restrictions on Jewish communal institutions.”

Dr. Mandelbaum in his remarks expressed the hope that President Nixon “would use his good offices to prevail upon Soviet leaders” during his forthcoming visit to Moscow “to let those Jews live as Jews who wish to remain in the USSR or to let them emigrate to Israel and other free countries of their choice.”

Dr. Mandelbaum called upon Americans of all faiths to protest the maltreatment of Jews through the Soviet UN Mission, the Soviet Ambassador in Washington, Russian Consuls in principal cities, Soviet trade missions and visiting Soviet cultural groups and other delegations. Fred P. Pomerantz of New York, a philanthropist and apparel manufacturer, received the Jewish Theological Seminary’s 1972 Eternal Light Award.

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