Soviet Jewish Emigration Declines Number of ‘refusables’ Increases

Soviet Jewish emigration to Israel during June and July declined to less than half the monthly average for the same period last year and Leningrad’s list of “refusables” has grown to’73, according to the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

Harold B. Light of San Francisco, the Union’s first vice-chairman, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here that information obtained by the Council from Soviet Jewish sources indicated a severe drop in emigration to approximately 1000-1200 per month compared with an average of more than 2500 last year.

Most of those able to emigrate at present, Light said, are “almost entirely” from Georgia, Tblisi and other areas far from the major Soviet cities. “Practically no emigration is out of Moscow and Leningrad, and Kiev is very tight,” he said.

In Leningrad, Light added, Jews officially notified that they will not be allowed to emigrate consist mainly of intellectuals and activists for emigration. They are referred to by Soviet Jews in the newly-coined Anglicism as “refusables.” While thousands of Jews who have applied for exit visas have not received them, they have not been formally rejected, Light noted. “Refusables” are a group apart from them, he said.

NEXT STORY