MOSCOW — Former Soviet refusenik Alex Goldfarb, ending a weeklong visit to his homeland after 12 years in the United States, said today he believes Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev "is a real, genuine phenomenon."
After meeting with dissidents and supporters of the communist system, Goldfarb also said many Jews--for the first time since the 1920s--believe organized Jewish life is possible again in the Soviet Union.
In addition, Goldfarb, an assistant professor and microbiologist at Columbia University, said he is changing his mind about opposing East-West scientific cooperation.
Goldfarb, 40, left Moscow today and planned a stopover in West Germany before returning to New York on Tuesday. He said he traveled to the Soviet Union on an Israeli passport to test Gorbachev's much vaunted glasnost, or openness, reform program.