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Rapaport Charges Rabbi Levin Visit Allowed Only Under Anti-zionist Sponsorship

May 28, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Henry N. Rapaport, president of the United Synagogue of America, charged today that Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin, who is to head a Soviet Jewish religious delegation to this country next month, had been allowed to accept an invitation to come here “only when the sponsorship came from anti-Zionist groups in America.” Rabbi Levin and the delegation are coming in response to an invitation from the American Council for Judaism, an anti-Zionist organization. He will address a special meeting of the Council on June 13.

Mr. Rapaport told a regional conference of the United Synagogues at Bloomfield that repeated written and personal invitations to Rabbi Levin to attend international Jewish conferences in Europe and America had been turned down allegedly because of Rabbi Levin’s ill health. He also commented on the fact that initial announcement of Rabbi Levin’s visit had been made by a Soviet Embassy information officer rather than by direct response from Rabbi Levin.

He charged that “huge quantities” of Torah scrolls, Megilloth. Talmudie volumes and Judaie scholarly works were “rotting and decaying” in various parts of the Soviet Union but, he said. Soviet authorities had not accepted offers by Jewish delegations to raise funds for the restoration work required. Meanwhile, he said, the Soviet Union was permitting “this mass of cultural and religious treasures to disintegrate.”

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