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Visa Official Helpful to Jews in Tashkent

Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported today that the attitude of Soviet officials toward Jewish applicants for exit visas in Tashkent has changed for the better. Some applicants have been granted their visas within a month after filing an application. Bukharan Jews, who are a majority of the applicants, reported that the ovir (visa office) officials had even helped them complete the visa forms.

Jewish sources also reported that there are about 50 Ulpanim, Hebrew courses, in the Soviet Union, 20 of which are officially registered as tax paying schools for foreign languages. In most cases the courses are held in the teacher’s home. Some of the classes have progressed as far as the fifth grade in an Israeli primary school, the sources said. One or two of the Ulpanim include chapters of Bible and Hebrew poetry in the curriculum, according to the sources.