Letter from R. Yehuda Leib Seltzer, head of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, regarding the education of the children of Teheran, with a handwritten addition by R. Naftali Zvi Yehuda Riff. 1943.
The letter is printed on the letterhead of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, and was sent to many rabbis. It decries the forced secular education of these Holocaust refugee children who were being handed over to leftist activists. The affair became known as the “Children of Tehran” affair, and shook up the religious community in Israel. Rabbi Seltzer writes that it is up to the rabbis to stand up and strongly protest so that the children be transferred to educational institutions under the supervision of Chief Rabbi A.Y. Herzog. In a meeting of the general committee convened to deal with the affair, it was decided to disseminate the letter among all members, so they in turn could register their protest with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, which would take up the matter with the Jewish Agency. Added on the side is a call for urgency in responding by letter or telegram.
In a handwritten addition to the letter are words of agreement by R. Naftali Zvi Yehuda Riff. Rabbi Riff was Rabbi of Camden, New Jersey, and later Rosh Yeshiva in Torah Vadaas in New York.