After his tenure at Leeds, Dennis visited a friend on a kibbutz in Israel.
He was introduced to a wealthy man who sponsored brief trips by young
non-Israeli Jews to the Soviet Union to smuggle in Jewish religious items
like prayer shawls, and smuggle out information about Russian Jews. It
was 1969, two years after the USSR had broken off relations with Israel.
Life was tough for Jews in the communist state.
"Seeing the world is usually a highly beneficial experience in killing
some naivete," said Prager on his radio show Dec. 1, 2009. "I
specialized in my studies in communist countries. I’ve been to many. That
shaped me more than almost anything in my life, seeing life under communism.
Reading about it is very important but experiencing it… When I had to
meet dissidents in the Soviet Union, they would tell me at which tree
in which park to meet them, to then continue walking. They would walk
behind me, catch up, and we will only talk while walking, because if we
stop to talk, it will be clear that they are talking to a Westerner. And
any other kind of conversation could be recorded, so we never met indoors.
I lost 14 pounds in four weeks in the Soviet Union. Biggest chunk of change
I ever lost. Because of that. I never sat."