NEW YORK (Jun. 7)
Raphael Kotlowitz, head of the immigration and absorption department of the Jewish Agency, predicted here that by the end of 1983 some 15,000 olim from western countries will settle in Israel. He disclosed that in the first four months of this year 3,393 olim come to Israel from the West compared with 2,287 during the same period in 1982.
Speaking with reporters at a press conference last week, Kotlowitz, who returned to Israel after a visit to several South American countries, said that he believes that Israel’s new source of immigrants will be from the Western countries since “the gates of Russia are closed” and aliya from “countries of distress” where the Jews are persecuted, such as Iran, is also over for the time being.
He said that in 1981, 7,500 olim came to Israel from the West. Last year the figure rose to 9,200.
“We are entering a new era as far as aliya to Israel is concerned, “Kotlowitz declared, claiming that the growing economic hardship in many Western countries and “the realization by Jews that one can live well in Israel” can account for the good prospects for aliya.
4,000 EXPECTED FROM NORTH AMERICA
According to Kotlowitz the largest group will come from the United States. “We expect about 4,000 olim this year from the United States and Canada, about 2,000 from Great Britain, about 2,000 from France, about 4,000 from Central and South American countries and the rest from South Africa and various European countries,” Kotlowitz said.
Kotlowitz said that his department is increasing its activities and services to meet the expected increase in the number of olim. These include the increase in the number of shlichim (emissaries), pilot tours in Israel for potential olim and the establishment of an aliya desk at Kennedy International Airport in New York, to provide information to American tourists on aliya to Israel.