Hillel Sponsors Write-A-Thon
The Harvard Radcliffe Committee on Oppressed Jewry held its seventh annual write-a-thon yesterday, sending out about 2000 letters urging Soviet authorities to allow a dissident to emigrate, said committee co-chair Max Kanevsky '90.
For the second year in a row, the write-a-thon focused on Georgi M. Belitsky, an applied physicist who has been demanding to leave the Soviet Union since 1980.
"The Committee chose him because Max [Kanevesky] knows intimately the plight of Belitsky," said Ivan J. Dominguez '91, also a committee co-chair. "We have always chosen someone who has a connection with a student here at Harvard."
The Oppressed Jewry Committee, part of Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel, organizes the write-a-thon every year to encourage Soviet officials to allow Jews to emigrate to Israel, said Kanevsky.
"This mass of letters might be a catalyst for some official to decide that it is no longer a risk to allow [Belitsky] to leave the Soviet Union," Kanevsky said.
"The attention from the West is acutely felt," Kanevsky added. "The refuseniks themselves have told us that the officials are very aware of these letters when dealing with their cases."
The letters written yesterday were addresssed to 26 different Soviet officials. The letter states that Belitsky has never produced any classified work, yet he is still being denied permission to emigrate to Israel and join his family, who have been living there since 1987.