Jewish Emigration Breaks ’81 Record

A total of 1,088 Jews left the Soviet Union during the month of April, according to figures provided by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and the Geneva-based Intergovernmental Committee for Migration.

This is the highest number of Jews to leave the Soviet Union in a single month since May 1981, when 1,110 emigrated.

The April figures bring 1988 emigration to date to 3,526 Jews, surpassing the 1982 year-end total of 2,688, and totals for all years since.

Soviet Jewry activists, however, note that emigration levels are still well below those of 1979, when more than 51,000 Jews were allowed to leave the country.

Of the 1,088 Soviet Jews who left in April, 11 took direct flights to Israel via Bucharest, Romania. But 908 Jews or 83.5 percent chose to go to countries other than Israel, making April the worst ever month for neshira, according to the Public Council for Soviet Jews in Israel.

(Contributing to this report were correspondents Tamar Levy in Geneva and David Landau in Jerusalem.)

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