Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Soviet Emigration Drops to 51 in May

June 4, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Only 51 Jews were permitted to leave the Soviet Union in May, marking a sharp decline from the some 166 who were permitted to leave during April, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) reported today.

In April, among the 166 Jews permitted to leave were some 100 who were residents of Moscow, where no movement occurred in May. At that time, a premature euphoria developed in some areas of the Soviet Union, according to NCSJ chairman Morris Abram.

“Recent speculation, based upon rumors of a possible increase, was misleading to people who want to see real progress,” Abram said. “At that time, the NCSJ urged a careful assessment and a reaction based on performance rather than promise.”

According to Abram,” the May trends are not enouraging and bear out the need for caution in evaluating monthly figures as an indicator of significant change.” He urged the Reagan Administration, Congress, the State Department, the Jewish community and its supporters to “be persistent” but to avoid the trap of “assuming that if you wish it, it will become reality.”

Recommended from JTA