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Soviet War on Religion Reaches Zenith As High Holidays Near; Jews Making New Year Plans

September 18, 1930
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The revived anti-religious campaign, particularly aimed at the Jews, is now reaching its zenith as the Jewish High Holidays approach. While the average Jewish Communist is manifesting no interest in the campaign, openly saying that the time is past when fighting God could be considered a revolutionary act, the Jewish Communist press is making strenuous efforts to stimulate such a campaign, especially in the small townships and in the Jewish colonies.

Notwithstanding the war on religion, Russian Jewry is going ahead with its customary arrangements for celebrating Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur. In every town the Jews are establishing minyanim (religious quorums of at least ten men over 13) and registering for seats at the synagogues. They feel that the propaganda in the Jewish Communist press means little since the government’s own attitude toward religion has become milder.

The campaign was officially opened yesterday in Ukrainia with a demonstration of marchers urging the Jewish workers and employes to work on the holidays and the Jewish colonists to remain at work in the fields. For this procession every available Jewish writer was mobilized but several of them have refused to participate, this being the first time that Jewish writers under the Soviet regime have had the courage to disobey such a summons.


The Moscow Emes, organ of the Moscow Jewish Communists, furiously attacks these recalcitrant writers saying they must be fought with the severest measures for their evasive attitude. The Emes also publishes a half page article containing instructions to the provincial Communists for conducting the anti-Rosh Hashonah campaign. The paper points out that this year because of the lack of food and the weakening of the Five Year Plan, the “Jewish clericals will seek to utilize the High Holidays for anti-Soviet propaganda and for an attack on the Soviet’s industrialization program.”

Similar sentiments are voiced in the Charkov Shtern and the Minsk Oktiabre which admit that the Jewish workers this year are not interested in the anti-religious drive. The Oktiabre enumerates a list of factories in Minsk, Homel and Bobroisk in which the Jewish workers flatly refuse to participate in the campaign, considering it foolish and unnecessary. Even the League of the Godless in White Russia is not making any effort to help in the campaign, the Oktiabre complains.


The Shtern is concentrating its propaganda on the Jewish colonists, saying that the central idea of the drive is to get the Jewish workers to remain in their fields and thus make impossible the establishment of minyanim. The paper

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