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December 14, 1990 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

DECEMBER 14, 1990 / 27 KISLEV 5751

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

JWF Cautiously
Marks Calendar

PHIL JACOBS

Assistant Editor

O

n Jan. 15, the world
could be at war.
On Jan. 19, a dele-
gation of professional and
lay leadership from the
Detroit Jewish Welfare Fed-
eration could be in Israel.
That is, if there is no war.
A trip planned by the Fed-
eration to show solidarity
and support with Israel at a
time when American Jews
in large numbers are staying
away from the Jewish state
has received less than en-
couraging support. Jan. 15 is
the date the United Nations
gave Iraq's Saddam Hussein
to move his occupation forces
out of Kuwait or face
military action.
Obviously, tension in the
Middle East and the possi-
bility of war are hurting the
Federation trip. As of Tues-
day, there were approx-

imately 15 people signed up
for the week-long tour,
which will include meetings
with Israeli officials and a
chance to view a society
undergoing dramatic
changes thanks in large part
to the resettlement of hun-
dreds of thousands of Soviet
Jews. But 15 was hardly the
number Federation Presi-
dent Mark Schlussel had in
mind earlier this fall when
he announced the trip. There
was talk of 100 participants.
On Dec. 20, a meeting to
recruit more participants is
being planned.
"We are working diligent-
ly to recruit for this thing,"
said Federation Executive
Director Michael Berke.
"We are having some
difficulty in recruiting, but
we are going."
Mr. Berke said it is impor-
tant for the Detroit Federa-
tion to make a statement to

Continued on Page 22

Political Asylum:
No Easy Out

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

D

THE SPLIT
OVER
THE GULF

mitri Kotikovski had
no expectations when
he came to the United

States.
Today, more than one year
after he moved here, expec-
tations are about all he has.
Mr. Kotikovski, 24, hopes
that one day he'll have his
own car, find a job in his
field, maybe live in his own
place.
Meanwhile, he works in
shipping and delivering and
spends his evenings learning
English in a Southfield
class. He has no medical in-
surance.
In a land of plenty, Dmitri
Kotikovski is a man with
little. And the assistance he
does receive is mostly from
friends and family. Only a
limited amount — and then,
not in the form of much-
needed cash — comes from
the organized Jewish com-
munity.
What makes Mr.
Kotikovski, and a number of
other Soviet Jews here, diff-

erent than most potential
new Americans is that he is
seeking asylum, not refugee
status, in the United States.
Although the figure is still
relatively small — an
estimated 11 cases are
known in the Detroit area —
the number of Soviet Jewish
asylees is expected to
multiply in the coming
years. The increase is likely
for two reasons: a U.S. quota
on refugees, and the easy fix
asylum appears to offer.
Asylees claim they are
subject to political, religious
or racial persecution in their
homelands.
Most of those seeking
asylum come here with eas-
ily obtained visitors' visas.
Once in the United States,
they file for asylum. With a
backlog of 600,000 Soviets
requesting asylum in the
United States, it can take
years for a case to be heard.
The vast majority of Soviet
Jews still come to the United
States as refugees, which be-
cause of quotas can mean a
lengthy wait to get into the

Continued on Page 22

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