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Soviet Anti-semitism is Limited, International Rabbis Tell Confab

May 18, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union affects only a small part of the population, Moscow’s Rabbi Adolf Shayevitch told more than 100 rabbis from 17 countries at a three-day meeting which ended here Wednesday.

The biennial Conference of European Rabbis brought together rabbis from Western and Eastern Europe, as well as a large delegation from the United States.

They discussed resurgent anti-Semitism, the physical and spiritual well-being of Soviet Jews, and religious Jewry’s relations with the European Community, among other topics.

The conference, chaired by Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, outgoing chief rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth, was held at E.C. headquarters under strict security measures.

According to Rabbi Albert Guigui of Brussels, its primary objective is recognition by the E.C. that it is the main voice for religious Judaism in Europe.

The rabbis met only a few days after the brutal desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Carpentras in southern France.

They took note of the horror expressed by European heads of state and other leading personalities over that incident, and said they appreciated the demonstrations of solidarity with Jews against all forms of anti-Semitism.

The outbreak of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union was a topic of lively debate. The Soviet rabbis recognized as community heads by the Soviet government, Shayevitch of Moscow and Chaim Levitis of Leningrad, were reported to have said there is not really an upsurge of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.

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