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October 13, 1989 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-13

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


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'Passage' Is Halfway, But
Faces Challenges


Special to The Jewish News


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he United Jewish Ap-
peal's Passage to
Freedom campaign
has raised $38.4 million, or a
little over half of what UJA
hopes to raise by Dec. 31 to
help resettle Soviet Jews in
the United States and Israel.
UJA officials say they are
pleased with the total and
are confident the year-end
goal will be reached.
Nevertheless, fund-raising
officials around the country
say the special Soviet Jewry
campaign has not ignited
grassroots enthusiasm
among small and medium-
sized donors, those who con-
tribute $5,000 or less to the
regular UJA campaign.
Most of the money col-
lected so far has come from
"big givers," those willing to
contribute $100,000 or more
to the regular UJA cam-
To reach a broader base of
contributors, UJA and
Jewish community federa-
tions around the country
have undertaken large- scale
educational efforts to
counter what they describe
as the Jewish public's
"misconceptions" about the
size of the Soviet influx and
the needs of the individual
Passage to Freedom was
launched in March; with the
intention of raising money
for federations overwhelmed
by record numbers of Jews
being allowed out of the
Soviet Union.
- Some 30,000 Soviet Jews
have arrived in the United
States since October 1988.
Federation-funded agencies
often provide vocational
training and other social
services for Jewish im-
migrants, at an average cost
per immigrant of $2,250.
Proceeds from the special
campaign are to be divided
equally for the resettlement
of Soviet Jews in the United
States and Israel, and will be
used to supplement cost-
saving measures being
implemented by the federa-
These include offering
Soviet Jews aid in the form
of loans, rather than grants,
and encouraging Soviet
Jews already settled in the
United States to house and
aid the new arrivals.
According to Marvin
Lender, the Connecticut
businessman who chairs the
campaign, 12 of the largest

42 cities participating in the
campaign have already
reached or exceeded their
fund-raising goals.
Detroit completed its
Passage To Freedom cam-
paign in June, raising $2.25
million. "There is not only
enthusiasm for this historic
challenge, but there is addi-
tional momentum as we pro-
vide more and more edu-
cation as to what the issues
are," Lender said.
The need for increased
public awareness led UJA to
plan "Call for Freedom
Week," which begins on Oct.
29 with a nationwide tele-
"Our feeling is that the
bulk of the money has come
from large givers and from
leadership," said Lender.
"That's where the lion's

Still, many
potential donors
have expressed
ambivalence about
helping Soviet
Jews settle in the
United States
rather than in

share is coming from. But we
are certainly going to the
grass roots -- the so-called
lower giving levels -- to help
them understand what the
issues are."
A UJA official explained
that fund-raising campaigns
usually follow the same pat-
tern and that large givers
"set the pace" for the lower
giving levels.
Fund-raising officials also
say the special campaign has
not cut into the regular an-
nual campaign, which they
say is running ahead of last
year's $730 million pace.
"We have enough experi-
ence to indicate that any
special campaign enhances
the regular campaign,"
Carmi Schwartz, executive
vice president of the Council
of Jewish Federations; said
in a recent address to
members of the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Still, many potential do-
nors have expressed am-
bivalence about helping
Soviet Jews settle in the
United States rather than in
Others feel less compas-
sion for the sometimes
highly skilled Russian
emigres than they did for the
often destitute Ethiopian

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