Pincus: 2,000 Soviet Jews Arrived This Month, Estimated 12,000 by Year’s End
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Pincus: 2,000 Soviet Jews Arrived This Month, Estimated 12,000 by Year’s End

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The immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union has increased to such an extent that it is putting a severe strain on Israel’s housing resources. Absorption Ministry circles said today. Louis Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency, told a Labor Party meeting last night that 2,000 Soviet Jewish emigres have arrived so far this month.

He estimated that the total Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union this year would be about 12,000. Absorption Ministry officials said that if the present rate of influx continues it may be necessary to temporarily house two childless families in a single three room flat. They said that arrangement would continue until smaller flats are made available for couples without children.


About one-third of the emigres come from the Soviet Georgian Republic, but the focal point of emigration will soon shift further eastward, according to Gen. Uzzi Narkiss, director of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department. Narkiss said yesterday that Jews from Bokhara in Central Asia may be the next group allowed to leave Russia in large numbers. His remarks confirmed a report from Moscow published here last week by the Soviet journalist Victor Louis that Bokharan Jews would follow the Georgians.

Like the Georgian and other Soviet Jews, the Bokharan Jews are townsmen not used to agricultural work. Large numbers of them settled in Palestine in the early 1920s, centering in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The latter city has a Bokharan quarter adjacent to the Mea Shearim quarter. The Bokharans who settled here 50 years ago were strictly Orthodox. Narkiss said that to meet the influx of new immigrants, 10,000 homes should be built in Beersheba, the Negev capital, where there is no shortage of jobs.

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