NEW YORK (May. 16)
The majority of the 130 Russian -Jewish families–nearly 400 persons–who immigrated to the United States during the last five years have made “successful adjustments” to life in this country, according to Philip Soskis, executive director of the New York Association for New Americans, an agency funded by the United Jewish Appeal which assists Jewish immigrants arriving from abroad.
Soskis, speaking tonight at the 23rd annual meeting of the NYANA, disclosed the results of the first preliminary survey of its kind made by the NYANA to determine the motivations and expectations of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union and to chart the progress of their adjustment. The survey, limited to the 130 families who have settled in the Greater New York area, indicated that nearly all needed financial and other aid on arrival but fewer than 25 percent required help for longer than six months.
The survey found that the “primary reason” for resettlement here was “reunion with relatives.” Other reasons cited by the immigrants for coming to the US included the desire “to settle in a country where democracy and freedom are granted to all human beings,” a “desire for religious and cultural Jewish identification” and greater opportunities for children’s schooling and economic advancement.
Referring to the “quality” of the newcomers’ adjustment, Soskis said, “Their joy over the feeling of being free people, of earning a living with out being subject to special surveillance, the hopes for the future for themselves and even more for their children were obvious in what they said, in word, tone and in expression,” Ten Russian-born young people were guests at the NYANA meeting. Mrs. Sophie S. Udall was re-elected president of the Association for a second year.