JERUSALEM (Sep. 19)
There would be considerably less Soviet Jews dropping out in Vienna to go to the United States instead of Israel were HIAS to cut back the aid and services it offers to the emigrants at their Vienna stop, Leon Dulzin, treasurer of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization, told the WZO Executive yesterday. Dulzin, who recently inspected Jewish Agency facilities in Vienna, said the dropout situation, running at a steady 50 percent plus, is of great concern lately because it involves middle class and artisan emigrants who would easily be able to find work in Israel.
Dulzin said he had personally spoken with 16 dropout families and they had all said they would have gone to Israel had it not been for the help offered them by HIAS. They would not have stayed in the Soviet Union, Dulzin said they told him, but would have gone to Israel. This proved, he concluded, that a cutback of HIAS activities in Vienna and its “channeling into other paths” would reduce the dropout rate.
HIAS COUNTERS DULZIN’S VIEW
(In New York, Gaynor Jacobson, executive vice-president of HIAS, in response to a query by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, offered the following observations regarding Dulzin’s assessment:
(Between 70 and 80 percent of the Soviet Jewish emigrants who go to the U.S. do so because of family reunification, professional and job opportunities; there are non-Jewish and non-sectarian agencies in Vienna that are ready to provide the same services as HIAS; the executive board of HIAS has taken the position that it will continue to offer help until Soviet Jews have freedom to choose where they immigrate to while they are still in the USSR; the 16 families Dulzin spoke to was “a chance selection” and that all studies indicate that Soviet Jews come to the U.S. for family reunification and job opportunities; “HIAS’s position of aid is supported by all Jewish organizations in the United States and Canada.”)