A delegation of Jewish families with relatives long denied exit visas from the Soviet Union met yesterday with Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead and Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) to express fears that Soviet political reform, glasnost, has provided refuseniks few benefits.

The group from Israel received a "very, very warm" response from Whitehead, according to Chaim Chesler, the head of the delegation. "{He} said the U.S. commitment {to Soviet Jewry} remains firm and that the issue is to be raised at every opportunity." Chesler said he was told Secretary of State George P. Shultz will bring it up in talks with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze scheduled next month.

The four-member delegation comprises Soviet emigres with parents, spouses or children whom they have not seen for up to 14 years. They said their relatives, among thousands of Soviet Jews denied exit visas who are known as refuseniks, have been turned down on false official assertions that they hold state secrets.

Inna Levin Yachot said her mother, a former teacher whom she has not seen in 14 years, has been denied permission to emigrate because her father, who died three years ago, held state secrets. Yachot, wearing a bracelet inscribed with her parents' names, said, "I have a 12-year-old son my mother has never seen."

An estimated 400,000 Jews desire to emigrate from the Soviet Union, according to the National Council on Soviet Jewry. While the Soviets in recent months have allowed about 750 Jews per month to leave, the policy also keeps those who have not yet applied for a visa from ever applying and prevents the emigration of those the Soviet Union considers to have state secrets.