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Plan to Reduce Drop-out Rate

The Jewish Agency plans to enlist American immigrants to Israel, who speak Russian, in an attempt to reduce the high rate of drop-outs among Soviet Jewish emigres who opt to go to countries other than Israel–chiefly the United States–after they reach Vienna. According to the latest information, the dropout rate is running close to 60 percent.

The plan, suggested by Raphael Kotlowitz, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department, would send the Russian-speaking Americans to Vienna as emissaries to try to persuade the drop-outs to change their minds. Kotlowitz believes the Americans would be more credible than the Israeli-settled Soviet immigrants who now counsel their former countrymen at the Vienna transit centers. The Americans can dispel the image that America’s streets are “paved with gold,” according to Kotlowitz who thinks it is that image which attracts the emigres to the U.S. rather than to Israel.

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