(By telegram to Secretary of State James Baker, February 6, 1990)
The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing 840 Reform synagogues in North America with a combined total of over 1,200,000 members, has followed the dramatic progress of glasnost and perestroika with fervent hope and solemn prayer. We have been deeply gratified by the historic steps toward greater freedom, democracy and pluralism and toward codification of the right of emigration.
At the same time, we are deeply distressed by ominous evidence that violent anti-Semitism is being spread and exploited by extremist groups within the Soviet Union, creating anxiety and near-panic among many Soviet Jewish citizens. We are profoundly troubled as well that there has been a failure by the highest Soviet authorities to condemn such dangerous provocations as violations of the humane values President Gorbachev is seeking to enshrine in Soviet law and practice.
We urge you to press Mr. Gorbachev to use his immense personal prestige publicly to condemn such acts of bigotry, to prevent violence, and to place such actions without question beyond the pale of acceptable behavior in the USSR.