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May 08, 1992 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-08

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

NEWS

Eight months
ago, Ludmila
Frolovskaya
sacrificed her
present for her
children's
future.

Restrictions Lifted
But Jews Can't Leave

With only immediate family
and the bags they could carry,
she left her mother and
friends, a good job and her
home in Moscow to live
freely as a Jew in the United
States.

Since arriving in Detroit with
the help of Resettlement Service, Ludmila and her husband,
Aleksandr Livshits, and their young children Nicky and Michael,
have experienced the kindness of relatives and strangers in
adapting to their new home.

As one of the Jewish Federation's helping agencies, the
Resettlement Service depends on community support to settle
Jewish refugees from lands of oppression and help them
become self-sufficient.

The Allied Jewish Campaign Days of Decision is a time to make
some choices. Do we continue to provide a home to Jewish
immigrants? You decide.

Please give to the
Allied Jewish Campaign.

If you will it, it is no dream - -

s

Theodor Her

hare the Dream

1992 Allied Jewish Campaign

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New York (JTA) — The
Syrian government has con-
firmed that it has lifted
travel restrictions on its
4,500- member Jewish com-
munity.
But according to reports
reaching North America, the
first Jews to apply have been
turned down.
"Apparently no one was
given an exit permit today,"
Seymour Reich reported a
day after the U.S. State
Department announced the
change in Syrian policy. Mr.
Reich chairs the Task Force
on Syrian Jewry of the Con-
ference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish
Organizations.
The National Jewish
Community Relations Ad-
visory Council sent a tele-
gram to Secretary of State
James Baker expressing
concern over the reports that
the new travel policy in
Syria was not being
implemented.
The Syrian policy shift was
first conveyed privately to
leaders of the Syrian Jewish
community by government
officials before Passover, and
the news quickly spread to
excited friends and relatives
in North America and Israel.
The State Department and
White House reported that
Syria had informed U.S. offi-
cials that travel restrictions
against Jews had been lifted.
But Mr. Reich said Jews
were denied exit visas this
week in Damascus and
Aleppo, two centers of the
country's Jewish commun-
ity.
Irr some instances, ap-
plicants were told by offi-
cials that new instructions
had not yet been issued;
other Jews were told to come
back in three weeks; and
some were told that. the
permission to leave would be
granted only for cases of
family reunification.
Nevertheless, activists for
Syrian Jewry remain
cautiously optimistic. Some
say that Syria could not be
expected to move faster,
given the bureaucratic
realities of the Middle East.
Both Secretary of State
Baker and his Syrian
counterpart, Foreign Min-
ister Farouk al-Sharaa, em-
phasized that Syria has an-
nounced free travel, not free
emigration.
In Damascus, the Syrian
news agency Sana quoted
Sharaa as saying: "The
matter deals with the
freedom of travel for Syrian

citizens and not emigra-
tion."
According to U.S. govern-
ment sources, President
Bush has written a letter to
Israeli Prime Minister Yit-
zhak Shamir explaining that
while the Syrians have not
changed their formal posi-
tion on emigration, the door
is now open for Jews to leave
the country.
Syrian Foreign Minister
Sharaa said that Syrian
Jews do not want to
emigrate, a statement
echoed to the foreign press
by the community's chief
rabbi, Ibrahim Hamra.
But Syrian Jewry activists
say the majority of the com-
munity would emigrate,
given the chance. They say
the elimination of travel re-
strictions would, in practice,
permit such emigration.
Mr. Reich said the Whitt
House had promised to
monitor the situation
through the American Em-
bassy in Damascus. He said
the Bush administration had
been "very supportive of our
efforts."
Mr. Reich said that the
Soviet Jewry movement
provided an example of how
restrictions against Jews
could continue even after
they were formally lifted by
the central government.
But the history of Soviet
Jews can be a more sobering
historical parallel. "There's
a long, hard-fought road
between promises by dic-
tatorships of freedom and
reality," Glenn Richter,
head of the Student Struggle
for Soviet Jewry, warned in
a statement. "The Kremlin
spoke of a flow of Jewish
emigration in the early
1970s, but translated it to
reality only 1 1/2 decades
later."

Youth Delegates
At Conference

Jerusalem (JTA) — More
than 80 Youth Aliyah dele-
gates from 11 countries at-
tended the Youth Aliyah
European Conference here
last week and visited Youth
Aliyah facilities in various
parts of Israel.
The Conference centered on
initial plans to bring 300
children from the various
successor states of the Soviet
Union to Israel in advance of
their parents.
The delegates visited
Youth Aliyah villages to ex-
amine their resources.

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