Jerusalem (Jun. 30)
The number of immigrants arriving from France and the United States increased last month compared to the same month last year, Rafael Kotlowitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s immigration and absorption department reported. But the number of Jews arriving from the Soviet Union continued to drop sharply.
Aliya from France, though small in numbers, showed a dramatic 83 percent rise with the arrival of 88 immigrants in May compared to 48 in May, 1980. A total of 477 immigrants came from France during the first five months of 1981, a figure Kotlowitz credits to the success of the “Ufaratzta” project of his department which sends specialized emissaries to France.
The number of immigrants from the U.S. in May was 149, up from 119 in May, 1980. A total of 880 immigrants from all countries arrived in Israel in May and 822 in April.
But only 974 Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel during the first five months of this year compared to 5,365 in the same period last year and the dropout rate has reached 83 percent. Kotlowitz attributed this to the fact that the Soviets permitted emigration from areas which have always had a high dropout rate. They have also severely curtailed the total number of Jews allowed to leave. Only 5,803 Jews left the USSR from January through May, 1981, compared to 13,321 in the same period a year ago.