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Soviet Jewry Group Raps Hias Decision on Jewish Agency Plan

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The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) today said it was disappointed by the decision of HIAS to cooperate with the Jewish Agency’s resettlement policy for Soviet Jews arriving in Vienna. Under the Jewish Agency plan, HIAS will assist Soviet Jewish emigrants only if they have first degree relatives in the U.S., or other Western countries. (Full story in Dec. 10 Bulletin.)

“The HIAS decision is disturbing to those who advocate freedom of choice for Soviet Jewish emigrants,” Lynn Singer, president of the UCSJ said. “The record of Jewish emigration since the Jewish Agency policy was announced in August has been one of consistent decline to record lows. It is difficult to account for the Jewish Agency statement that this policy will help to increase emigration.”

The UCSJ at is annual meeting in September adopted a resolution saying that “although we actively encourage all Soviet Jews to choose Israel as their final destination, they should be free to resettle in the country of their choice.”

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