NEW YORK (Aug. 21)
Sixty-one Soviet Jews arrived this afternoon at Kennedy Airport from Rome to begin new lives in this country, it was announced by United Hias Service, the worldwide Jewish migration agency that assisted them with documentation, transportation and all necessary details. They are, according to the agency, the vanguard of almost 200 Soviet Jews who will be coming here within the next eight days.
Gaynor I. Jacobson, executive vice-president of United Hias Service, stated that this marked increase in the rate of arrival of Soviet Jews could be attributed in great measure to Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson’s decision of July 30 to invoke his parole authority in behalf of the 800 Soviet Jews who are in Rome awaiting American visas.
The exercise of his parole authority shortened the waiting period for the Jews, most of whom had no immigration visas to the U.S. Without Richardson’s aid, they would have had to wait several months because of the paperwork required in processing their requests to come to the U.S. Many of the 800 Jews had been waiting in Rome for several months unable to work and uncertain about their future.
The new arrivals included engineers, teachers, artists, mechanics, a typographer, electrician, furrier, doctor, computer programmer, and a former chess champion who had played to a draw against Boris Spassky for the USSR championship.
Ranging in age from 3 months to 70 years, the newcomers are from Kiev, Odessa, Riga, Lvov, Minsk, Czernovitch and Moscow. They will be resettled, with the help of local Jewish Federations and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, in various cities throughout the country. The New York Association for New Americans will provide whatever aid is necessary to those of the immigrants who resettle in greater New York.