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February 19, 1993 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-02-19

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

Israel's Aliyah Count
Is Down Slightly

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Jerusalem (JTA) — Jewish
immigration to Israel • from
the republics of the former
Soviet Union dipped slightly
in January, despite uncer-
tainties and unrest in the
region.
Jewish Agency officials
say the numbers could rise if
the situation there worsens
and if the Israeli job market
continues to improve, and
they are planning according-
ly. But they do not expect
the deluge seen in recent
years.
Out of the 6,900 Jews who
made aliyah last month,
6,016 were from the former
Soviet republics, according
to figures provided by the
Jewish Agency.
Another 3,880 Jews from
the republics arrived in the
United States last month
under the government's
refugee program, according
to the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society in New York.
The January figure to
Israel was down from 6,745
in December 1992, but
reflects a 10 percent rise
over the same month the
previous year, according to
the Soviet Jewry Research
Bureau of the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry in
New York.
While more than a thou-
sand immigrants are still
streaming into Israel every
week, aliyah is sharply down
from three years ago. Im-
migration from the republics
peaked around 182,000 in
1990, then declined to
145,000 in 1991 and 64,000
last year.
The Jewish Agency's of-
fices in Eastern Europe are
predicting an increase this
year in immigration from
the republics, said spokes-
man Yehuda Weinraub. He
said the number could go as
high as 100,000.
Mr. Weinraub said the
renewed interest from the
republics reflects, in part,
heightened ethnic tensions
and unrest in such places as
Tajikistan and Moldova.
But he said it may also be
a result of hopes that the
new Israeli government will
develop better absorption
policies and foster an im-
proved economic climate in
Israel.
Mr. Weinraub pointed out
that the unemployment rate
among immigrants is dropp-
ing, and their presence in
the work force is rising.
In the third quarter of last

year, 72 percent of the im-
migrant work force was
employed, which was a "big
improvement" over the 60
percent employment figure
in the same period the year
before, he said.
Mr. Weinraub said there
are more than 1 million
Jews in the former Soviet
republics who have taken an
initial step toward emigra-
tion by securing permission
from Israel to join their
families here.
But he said the vast
majority view it only as "an
insurance policy" while they
assess the situation, both at
home and in Israel.
Officials from the Jewish
Agency and the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry
said they are waiting to see
what affect a new Russian
law on emigration will have.
Before dissolving, the
former Soviet Union passed
a law making it unnecessary
for citizens to obtain an exit
visa before leaving the coun-
try.
The now-independent Rus-
sian Federation has adopted
the law, which was to go into
effect Jan. 1, but will now
not be implemented until
April.

Demonstrations
Against Racism

Paris (JTA) — Emulating
anti-racist marches that
have taken place recently in
Germany, Austria and Italy,
thousands of demonstrators
took part here in a march
against racism and for equal
rights.
Demonstrators estimated
at between 18,000 and
30,000, representing some
140 political parties, unions
and anti-racist groups from
France and throughout
Europe, joined the march.
Among the demonstrators
was a large delegation from
the British Anti-Nazi
League, who loudly shouted,
"Stop Le Pen Again," referr-
ing to French rightist leader.
Explaining why this dem-
onstration was small com-
pared with similar demon-
strations in other countries,
Fode Sylla, the president of
the anti-racist group SOS-
Racism, said it was because
in France, "immigrants are
not beaten up in the streets
to the applause of the
crowd."

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