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600 Soviet Jews Arrive in the U.S.

More than 600 Soviet Jews were due to arrive at Kennedy International Airport from Italy by this evening, the largest number to immigrate on a single day. The Jews, some of whom have waited up to Four years for U.S. visas, are entering as a result of Attorney General Griffen Bell’s use of his parole authorization last week for 25,000 Soviet Jewish emigrants now in Italy.

More than 400 of the newcomers arrived first on a single flight and the rest came on two other flights later in the day. Many were greeted by relatives who they had not seen for years and even decades. Assisted by HIAS, the new arrivals will be sent to several dozen Jewish communities which are prepared to help them in settlement. More than half will settle in the New York metropolitan area.

Under Bell’s new parole authorization, HIAS expects that 2500 Soviet Jews will arrive each month for the rest of the year. Last year, HIAS assisted over 13,000 Soviet Jewish immigrants to find new homes.