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April 09, 1993 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-09

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

I

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a name you can trust.



Israel Aliyah
Is Up Slightly

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Jerusalem (JTA) — First-
quarter figures show im-
migration to Israel is up
slightly this year, but offi-
cials here are reluctant to
draw conclusions about
whether this signifies a
changing trend.
They say the unstable pic-
ture in the republics of the
former Soviet Union, which
are supplying the bulk of the
immigrants, injects too
much uncertainty into the
process to predict patterns,
even for the rest of the year.
One spokesman for the
Absorption Ministry went so
far as to say said he doubted
immigration would reach
the projected and budgeted-
for level of 120,000 immi-
grants this year.
In March, 7,146 immi-
grants arrived here from
around the world, with 6,120
coming from the former
Soviet Union. That was up
slightly from February,
when 5,408 in olim arrived,
including 4,612 from the re-
publics.
In addition, 2,979 immi-
grants from the Soviet suc-
cessor states arrived in the
United States last month
under the government's
refugee program, according
to the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society in New York.
That is a slight increase over
February's total, but still
smaller than the January
figure.
The March figures bring
immigration to Israel from
the republics for the first
quarter of this year to
16,796. That is slightly
ahead of where aliyah was at
this time last year, when
15,383 immigrants arrived
from the former Soviet
Union in the first three mon-
ths.
"The general trend of the
last six months (shows) an
interest in immigration as a
result of the political and
economic crises" in the
former Soviet Union, said
Yehuda Weinraub, spokes-
man for the Jewish Agency
for Israel.
"But we'll have to see if
the interest is sustained," he
added.
"It is a little too early to
generalize from the recent
figures," agreed an Absorp-
tion Ministry spokesman. "I
am not sure the flow will get
stronger. We should wait
and see."
Absorption Minister Yair
Tsaban was visiting

Ukraine and was asked his
prediction about this year's
trends. According to the
spokesman, he said the flow
of immigrants from the re-
public would increase if the
current economic instability
there prevails.
Mr. Tsaban was on a trip
to Russia, Ukraine and
Moldavia, to observe the
emigration process and to
check on the status and
needs of prospective immi-
grants, officials said.
The ministry denied media
speculation he was also try-
ing to secure the release of
Jews who have been denied
permission to emigrate.
In New York, Richard
Wexler, chairman of the Na-
tional Conference on Soviet
Jewry, said more than 300
such refuseniks remain in
the former Soviet Union,
most of whom reside in
Russia.
The National Conference
had asked the White House
and State Department to
place the issue on the agen-
da of the summit in Van-
couver, British Columbia,
this past weekend between
President Clinton and Rus-
sian President Boris Yeltsin.

44

4

I

Ruth Wisse
At Harvard

Boston (JTA) — Harvard
University has welcomed
Ruth Wisse as the first in-
cumbent of its newly estab-
lished chair in Yiddish liter-
ature.
The chair was funded by
an anonymous donor. In
choosing Ms. Wisse, Har-
vard has added to its ranks a
noted scholar and author
who previously taught
Yiddish and English litera-
ture at McGill University in
Montreal, where she held an
endowed chair in Jewish
studies.
"The idea of establishing a
chair in Yiddish literature
at Harvard is the singular
idea of Martin Peretz," Ms.
Wisse said. "He not only
conceived the idea, he
implemented the idea, which
he considers important and
necessary. (The chair) in-
tegrates Yiddish with other
languages and other
disciplines at Harvard," she
said. •
"It is appropriate that Har-
vard should be part of that

revival."

4

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