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Jewish Agency Assembly Agenda to Stress Increased Immigration

Various proposals aimed at increasing immigration to Israel, especially by Jews leaving the Soviet Union. are high on the agenda of the Jewish Agency Assembly which will convene here June 24-30 with the participation of Jewish leaders from Israel and abroad. Most of the measures were discussed at the recent meeting in Rome of the Presidium of the Brussels Conference an Soviet Jewry, chaired by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives.

The Rome meeting called on the Israeli government and Jewish Agency to give top priority to solving the housing shortage. The lack of adequate housing for prospective immigrants was seen as a major factor limiting immigration. The government and Jewish Agency were also urged to streamline the absorption process for Soviet and other immigrants by creating a single central authority that would deal with all aspects of the process. The Presidium thereby endorsed the recommendations of the Horev committee, submitted two years ago, which called for combining the functions of the Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency’s Immigration Department. The Agency has been pressing for this measure which would mean the abolition of the Absorption Ministry.

At the meeting in Rome and on his return to Israel, Dulzin’s greatest concern was with the high rate of drop-outs among Soviet Jews who choose to settle in countries other than Israel after leaving the USSR. He said the government and Jewish Agency must take measures in conjunction with overseas Jewish leaders and organizations to curtail these defections. He expressed hope that such measures would be adopted by the Jewish Agency Assembly.

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