Britain and Commonwealth Chief Rabbi, Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits, left for Moscow on Monday ( 15?
SV INT Visnews reporter Lebrecht seated with Chief Rabbi Jakobvits (MUTE)
CU Reporter beginning interview
"Will you be dealing solely with the welfare of the jews in the Soviet Union or will you be interesting yourself in those who want to leave for Israel?
"I will obviously take an interest in everything of profound concern to us in Anglo-jewry, and indeed to Jews throughout the world, which includes the rights of the, the human rights of jews resident in the Soviet Union, as well as those who wish to live a fuller Jewish life by immigration to Israel or elsewhere. I'll be concerned with obtaining for Soviet Jews at least the same rights as a national minority as are currently enjoyed by other national minorities in the country. After all, jews are officially regarded and so entered in their own passports as an acknowledge national minority. As such they should have the right to have their own schools , their own culture, their own literature, teach the language of our people to our children, thus protecting the Jewish identity that is the essence of Jewish existence and the Jewish continuity of life. The mere fact that we would be able to restore the kind of relationship between communities that we have among all other Jewish communities elsewhere in the world will be an immense step forward. And if, additionally we can assure some relief from these present disabilities, then indeed it would be a very major breakthrough."
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Background: Britain and Commonwealth Chief Rabbi, Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits, left for Moscow on Monday ( 15 December) for a nine-day visit which he hopes will achieve freer Communication between Soviet Jews and their counterparts in the West.
Dr. Jokobovits, making the highest-level contact between Soviet and British Jewish communities for more than half a century, will be the guest of Mr. Mikhail Tendeitnik, chairman of Moscow's Jewish community and officially recognised by Soviet authorities.
Bur Dr. Jakobovits, while stressing that his mission is not political, has said he hoped to hold discussions with prominent "Refuseniks" -- Jews who have been denied permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel.
In particular, he said he hoped to attend scientific seminars organised in Moscow by Two Jewish professors. These are designed for Jewish academics who have lost their jobs after applying to go to Israel and who want to keep up their specialised knowledge.
Mr. Tandeitnik has said that Dr. Jakobovits would be free to meet anyone he wants but added "If he meets the so-called Refuseniks, you will understand that it will have to be in his free time, since we do not maintain contact with them."
He said the Chief Rabbi would have a full official programme and said he hoped the visit would bring a formal exchange agreement, "since such peaceful communication is always of use.
On Sunday , the day before his departure, Dr. Jakobovits spoke to visnews reporter, Norman Lebrecht about the purpose of his visit ... and what he hoped it would achieve. Part of this interview appears on film a transcript follows below: SYNOPSIS: Britain's Chief Rabbi, doctor Immanuel Jakobovits left London on Monday for a nine-day visit to Moscow.
One of the reasons behind his trip is to establish freer contact between Soviet Jews and their counterparts in the Western world. Visnews reporter, Norman Lebrecht, talked to Doctor Jakobovits on Sunday.