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April 10, 1987 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-04-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

HAPPY PASSOVER

I'm ready to serve the Jewish Community with beautiful flow-
ers and prompt delivery. I'm hoping to serve many of my
past customers and I'm looking forward to your future busi-
ness.

546-9500

22173 Coolidge

ROSE FLOWER SHOP

Oak Park, Ml

osins

Uptown • Lathrup Village, Southfield at 111/2 Mile • Phone 559-3900
Big & Tall • Lathrup Village, Southfield at 11 Mile • Phone 569-6930
Toledo, Ohio. 4840 Monroe Street
Next to the Willows Restaurant. (419) 472-2651

Wishing You & Yours

A Happy Passover

David Wachler & Sons

Internationally famous award winning Jewelers

100 S. Woodward
Birmingham, Michigan 48011
(313) 540-4622
Mon.-Sat. 10-5; Thurs. 10-8:30

Renaissance Center • Tower 200
Suite 275 Detroit, Michigan -48243
(313) 259-6922

L Ideal Cut
Diamond Jeweler

22

Friday, April 10, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Certified Gemologist
American Gem Society

OP-ED

Detroiter Responds

Continued from Page 9

Soviet Jews are so starved for
their culture that they study
it in secret, always fearful
that the KGB will pay them
a visit and confiscate their
books which manage to get
into the U.S.S.R. from the
West.
Ask Iosef Begun what it is
like to teach Hebrew in the
Soviet Union. He spent years
in jail because he insisted on
doing so.
Lotshtein presents the case
that Jews are well off in the
Soviet Union. His statement
that 45 percent of the people
with advanced degrees are
Jews must be an error in
translation, since Jews repre-
sent less than 1 percent of
the total population. Scholars
do agree that approximately
one-half of the Jewish adults
have advanced education of
some form or another. What
Lotshtein forgets to tell us is
that the Jewish enrollment in
the first class Universities (as
opposed to trade schools and
technical schools) has been
decreasing over the past sev-
eral decades and is now at a
minimum. It is now virtually
impossible for anyone with
"Jew" stamped on his or her
internal Soviet passport to
enroll in a top notch univer-
sity.
We are told that during the
1930s the Soviet Union
"opened its borders" to Jews
from Western Europe that
were being persecuted by the
Nazis. A more accurate
statement would be the
Soviets permitted Com-
munists (many of whom were
Jews) who were fleeing from
fascist governments to enter
the Soviet Union. Most of the
Jews in the USSR became
Soviets when the USSR an-
nexed the areas that were
once part of Poland,
Lithuania, Estonia, the Uk-
raine, etc.
The author states the
USSR helped Jewish families
reunite. The article goes on
to state that "gradually, the
number of applications for
exit to Israel and other West-
ern countries dropped" as
"the majority of those who
- wished to, had left." Lotsh-
tein contends that the real
number of applications for
exit visas is only about
10,000 and that "those who
made up their minds to leave
were never detained against
their will." His only dis-
claimer is that there are
some restrictions with respect
to state security, state sec-
rets, and those charged with
criminal offenses.
The simple facts of the
matter are that Soviet emig-
ration policies may appear to

William Graham is active
with the Detroit Soviet Jewry
Committee and the Friends
of the Soviet Jewry
Education and Information
Center.

be well-written and just, but
in implementation the Soviet
emigration procedures can
virtually eliminate free emig-
ration.
The author neglects to
mention the several steps
needed in order to apply for
emigration: One needs an of-
ficial invitation ("Vuzov")
from a relative in Israel to
emigrate; anyone who has
tried to correspond with fam-
ily or friends in the Soviet
Union knows how difficult it
can be to get mail delivered
to a Soviet citizen. One must
have written permission to
emigrate by both parents
(and in-laws in a case of the
married couple); this re-
quirement applies even if the
individuals seeking emigra-
tion are grown adults.
Permission is also required
of the superintendent of one's
apartment building and one's
superiors at place of employ-
ment must also give permis-
sion to emigrate. After all
this is collected, the applicant
must appear at the OVIR
office (the bureau which
handles emigration permits).
The reward one usually gets
is "refusal," followed by dis-
missal from one's job or de-
motion.
The pretenses used to re-
fuse permission are so legen-
dary they literally have be-
come jokes: Lev Sud, the
musician, whose only mili-
tary service was to play in a
marching band, was told he
possesses state secrets. Lev
Blitshtein was told for years
he possessed state secrets be-
cause he knew the bologna
production of a certain meat
processing facility.

Lotshtein is correct about
one thing — the numbe of
requests for emigration have
fallen in recent years. With
the yearly emigraton down to
a trickle, who in their right
mind would go through the
process when their "chances
of refusal" are 99 percent and
the consequences are so
harsh?
Yakov Lotshtein concludes
his analysis by stating that a
growing number of the
400,000 of the recent emigres
has asked to return to the
Soviet Union. He quotes the
figure "several thousands." In
fact, only 100 have returned.
Historians tell us that in
great periods of emigration to
the United States approx-
imately one out of every
three emigrants elected to re-
turn to their native country.
The question before us is
not how many would return
if they were granted free
emigration. The question is,
"Who wants to leave the
USSR and why?" As my
friend Yuli Kosharovsky said,
"Why won't they let me live
as a Jew observing my reli-
gion, language and culture or
let me go so that I can?"

JI

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