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November 13, 1992 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-13

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Advertising in The Jewish News Gets Results
Place Your Ad Today. Call 354-6060

Is On The Rise

Moscow (JTA) — The
emigration of Jews from the
former Soviet Union has in-
creased in the last two mon-
ths due to political instabili-
ty here and fading hopes for
the eventual stabilization of
the economy, according to an
Israeli Embassy official here
who is responsible for
emigration matters.
Around 6,000 Israeli im-
migrant visas were issued in
September and October, said
Alexander Libin, the em-
bassy official, up from an
average of a little more than
4,000 a month during the
summer months.
The number of visas issued
is an indicator of immigra-
tion trends, because prospec-
tive immigrants usually ar-
rive in Israel three or four
months after getting the
Mr. Libin attributed the
increase to regional political
instability in the non-Slavic
areas of the former union,
such as Tajikistan, Georgia
and the Ossetia region of the
northern Caucasus in
In Tajikistan, for example,
several hundred Jews have
left in recent weeks by direct
flights to Israel to escape
clan warfare there.
At the same time, said Mr.
Libin, "people in Russia
itself are less hopeful about
the future" in light of con-
tinued inflation and econ-
omic uncertainty.
Added uncertainty sur-
rounds the fate of economic
reform, which may be slowed
or stopped altogether by con-
servative forces in the Rus-
sian parliament, whose
Congress of People's
Deputies is set to meet next
month in Moscow.
"Other factors are also at
work," said Mr. Libin. "The
process of privatizing
apartments has been pro-
ceeding in a number of Rus-
sian cities, and that can play
a role in people's decisions to
emigrate," he said.
Once privatized, apart-
ments can be sold to raise
money to stake immigrants
in Israel.
In the larger cities in the
European part of the former
union, such as Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Kiev,
apartments are commonly
sold for U.S. dollars. A two-
rn or three-room apartment
in central Moscow can fetch
between $35,000 and
$50,000, while apartments

in peripheral locations may
be sold for $15,000 to
Sellers bound for Israel
frequently request that the
purchase price be paid to
trusted relatives or friends
already in Israel, so that
Russian restrictions on the
export of currency are avoid-
"We've also opened a
number of new consulates
around the union, so it's
easier to get an Israeli visa,"
said Mr. Libin, citing an-
other factor in .the emigra-
tion surge.
Prospective immigrants in
places like Tashkent, the
capital of Uzbekistan, and
Kiev, the Ukrainian capital,
no longer need to travel to
Moscow to apply for a visa
because there are now
Israeli consulates in those
Travel inside the former
union has become extremely
expensive by local standards
and uncertain because of
shortages of airplane fuel
and parts. A round-trip
ticket from Tashkent to
Moscow, for example, costs
6,000 rubles ($15), roughly
the average monthly wage
in the ex-USSR.
Despite the increase, im-
migration levels are still far
below those of 1990 and the
first half of 1991. The main
influence on immigration,
Libin said, is still concern
over finding jobs and hous-
ing in Israel.

NY Federation

New York (JTA) — The
world's largest local charity
is celebrating the 75th an-
niversary of its continuous
service to the Jewish com-
With donations totaling
$235.5 million for fiscal year
1991, UJA-Federation of
New York ranked eighth in
this year's list of the top 400
philanthropies in the nation,
put out by the Chronicle of
It outranked such national
charities as YMCA of the
USA and Boy Scouts of
America. The United Jewish
Appeal, a separate and na-
tional organization, headed
the list.
A total of some $4.7
billion, adjusted for infla-
tion, has been distributed.

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