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Larger Emigration Expected in 1979

Based on the first six months of the year, it appears certain that Soviet Jewish emigration in 1979 will break all records, according to the Soviet Jewry Research Bureau of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). It pointed out that the tally from January to June is 24, 794, projecting a total for 1979 of nearly 50,000. This year, the number of emigres arriving in Vienna from the USSR will almost double the 28,864 Soviet Jews who left in 1978.

The significant rise in emigration will unquestionably put 1979 in the lead with the largest number of Soviet Jewish emigres, the NCSJ noted. The highest annual emigration until this year was 34,733 in 1973. Conversely, the NCSJ added, as emigration from the USSR steadily increases, the percentage of Soviet Jews arriving in Israel is steadily decreasing. Since January of this year, only 8616 of the 24,794 emigrants have taken up residence in Israel. The percentage of Jews going to Israel for this same six-month period in 1978 was approximately 55 percent.

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