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Soviet Jewry 1981  
Policies Headlines
Jun 1, 1981 -- ON SOVIET JEWRY

The Rabbinical Council of America in convention assembled,

NOTES with pride and acclaims the renaissance of Jewish identity among many Jews especially young Jews within the Soviet Union;

GIVES THANKS for the release this past year of one of the best-known Prisoners of Zion, Iosif Mendelevich; may God guard and protect him and guide him in straight paths;

PROTESTS recent Soviet policy with regard to the Jewish population, noting that the number of Jews allowed to leave the Soviet Union has been significantly decreased;

IS OUTRAGED at the unspeakable misery of the “refuseniks” and their families;

CALLS UPON THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT to uphold its pledges under the Helsinki agreements, and to release immediately the Prisoners of Conscience languishing in Soviet exile, notably Viktor Brailovsky, Vladimir Slepak and his wife Maria, Vladimir Kislik, Kim Fridman, Ida Nudel, and most particularly Mr. Anatoly Scharansky, as well as all other prisoners or persons in the Soviet Union who seek to emigrate to national homelands or to rejoin members of their families living in other countries. The persons named have lost the freedoms accorded to the majority of Soviet citizens, and guaranteed to them by the law of the land. We believe their very lives are in danger.

URGES THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES to use its good offices to obtain the speedy release of all Prisoners of Conscience, especially the individuals named in the preceding paragraph.

SALUTES the efforts of the United States Government at the Madrid Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and at other such forums, to impress upon the Soviet Union the urgency of a liberal revision of their policy towards Soviet Jews and Jewish immigration;

INSISTS that the hope for more constructive relations between the US and the USSR will require tangible actions of goodwill, meaningful changes in Soviet treatment of its Jewish population, and the conscious eradication of anti-Semitism as an integral part of Soviet policy;

HOPES FOR the time when the Soviet Union, in keeping with its own constitution, will permit the full enjoyment of religious privileges to those who wish them, including the right of Jewish communities to publish prayer books, educate their children in the Hebrew and Yiddish languages, and train spiritual leaders for Jewish communities in seminaries the world over.

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