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February 16, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-16

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

I LOCAL NEWS

LEATHER SALE

Emigres

20-50% OFF ttiz:::

Continued from Page 1

Everything in Stock
F
-
k
i
\
O
VAV rs

tion process. The Detroiters
are Joel Tauber and David
Hermelin.
"We want to evaluate the
kinds of numbers that might
be coming out of Russia and
Romania," Tauber said on
Monday. "We want to verify
what we've been told be-
cause the number of persons
who will get out will be
directly related to the
dollars that we raise."
Tauber, who is a national
UJA vice chairman, said he
also wants to gauge the rise
in anti-Semitism and lobby
Soviet officials on starting
the direct airline flights
between Moscow and Tel
Aviv which are expected to
speed the immigration pro-
cess. "Direct flights," he
said, "mean 100,000 will get
out this year instead of
60,000 to 80,000."

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The UJA delegation will
meet with Israeli officials,
including Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir. Tauber
said the group will raise
issues which hurt fundrais-
ing here, including Israeli
policies on the West Bank
and multiple fundraising
appeals.
The group will also pro-
pose capital projects in Israel
to help in the resettlement
process, direct settlement in
Israeli communities that
would bypass absorption
centers and direct linkage of
Israeli and American com-
munities to fund absorption.
The ideas mirror the Project
Renewal program which
raises additional funds from
Detroit's Allied Jewish
Campaign contributors for
specific projects in Yavne,
Israel. El

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4

oviet Jews now living
in the Detroit area are
concerned by reports
about increasing anti-
Semitism in the Soviet
Union.
News reports of an upsw-
ing in anti-Semitic
statements by rightwing na-
tionalist groups in the Soviet
Union have been confirmed
by Jews in the Soviet Union,
speaking by telephone and
in letters to relatives in
Detroit.
Lev and Nellie Vitkin of
Oak Park telephoned family
in Leningrad last weekend
and received a disturbing
letter from relatives. The
Vitkins, who emigrated to
Detroit in October, describe
the situation as "very
dangerous."
"They are very careful
about giving information
about national problems be-
cause they are afraid of
repercussions," Lev Vitkin
said. "They are no longer
afraid of the government.
They are afraid of the people
on the street."
Assisted by interpreter Ed
Raykhinshteyn, Vitkin said
the Russian populace is
blaming Jews for the polit-
ical and economic upheavals
in the Soviet Union. "They
also say Jews are lucky be-
cause they are able to
leave."
Vitkin, an electronics en-
gineer in Leningrad, said
the rise of rightwing groups
—Pamyat, Patriot and Rosse
— is supported by the

government, "especially the
local governments." He said
the country has maintained
a strong anti-Semitic tradi-
tion ever since Stalin purged
the city's liberal elements.
Until five years ago,
Vitkin said, he would have
been fired from his job if he
attended the city's lone syn-
agogue. Now Jews are afraid
to go to the synagogue, fear-
ing they will be beaten on
the street.
The Vitkins said they
could not confirm rumors of
pogroms planned for May.
Through a translator, Mrs.

Vitkin said the rise
of the rightwing
groups is
supported by the
government.

Vitkin said the anti-Semites
prefer to keep the Jews
under stress by spreading
rumors of future pogroms.
Vitkin said the same rumors
were spread last year, timed
with the anniversary of
1,000 years of Christianity
in Russia.
The KGB secret police,
through the Tass news agen-
cy this week, issued a state-
ment deploring the rumors.
The statement called the
reports unsubstantiated,
saying they would lead to
destabilization that would
be self-fulfilling.
Most alarming for Vitkin
is word that his parents plan
to install a second door on
their home as a deterrent to
violence. "Before, my father

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