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April 21, 1989 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-04-21

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

The real push must begin in
the Soviet Union, where
potential emigrants have not
yet decided to come to
America. Officially and unof-
ficially, Israel should
establish a presence there,
with talented Israelis and
Soviet Jews who have been
successful in their aliyah
meeting with people and
describing the realities of life
in Israel and the benefits of
living in a Jewish nation.
Clearly, for this effort to be
successful, Israel will have to
do a far better job of absorp-
tion so that Soviet Jews who
do settle in Israel will be
writing back letters of a
positive experience rather
than horror stories of
bureaucratic inefficiencies.
For those emigrants who
come to America, the Jewish
community must be prepared
to offer a religious component
to the resettlement process.
Families should be encourag-
ed rather than discouraged to
send their children to Jewish
day schools, and the com-
munity must find a way to
provide the funding to under-
write this expense.
Synagogues must be urged to
provide a welcome hand, not
only when the emigrants first
arrive, but six months or a
year later when they may be
more willing to explore their
heritage and customs.
Otherwise, we will be doing
admirable humanitarian

Most Jewish
officials agree that
the Jewish Agency's
presence in
Ladispoli is entirely
inadequate.

work in resettling emigrants
but accomplishing little in
the way of Jewish survival.
The solutions are not sim-
ple, and they will be costly.
But we must be mindful of
this historic opportunity to
save thousands of Jewish
souls. This Passover, my
thoughts will be of the
youngsters I met in Ladispoli,
excitedly preparing for their
first seder in freedom, albeit
in an overcrowded transit
camp. They, too, will be
reading the words of the
Haggadah:

"Whoever is need, let him
come and celebrate Passover.
Now we are here; next year
may we be in the land of
Israel. Now we are slaves;
next year may we be free
men."

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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