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Aliyah
Aliyah
was the mass emigration of Soviet Jews
Jews
during the 1970s to Israel
Israel
after the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
lifted its ban on Jewish Refusenik emigration.

Contents

1 Background 2 Emigration policy 3 Emigration 4 Absorption of new immigrants in Israel 5 See also 6 References

Background[edit] In 1967, the USSR broke diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
in the wake of the Six-Day War. During this time, popular discrimination against Soviet Jewry
Soviet Jewry
increased, led by an anti-Zionist propaganda campaign in the state-controlled mass media. By the end of the 1960s, Jewish cultural and religious life in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
suffered from a strict policy of discrimination. This state-sponsored atheism movement denied Jews
Jews
the ethnic-cultural rights experienced by other Soviet ethnic groups.[1] Emigration policy[edit] After the Dymshits–Kuznetsov hijacking affair in 1970 following the crackdown, international condemnations caused the Soviet authorities to increase emigration quotas. Between 1960 and 1970, only 4,000 people had left the USSR. The number rose to 250,000 in the following decade.[2] In 1972, the USSR imposed a so-called "diploma tax" on would-be emigrants who had received higher education in the USSR. The fee reached as high as twenty times an annual salary. This measure was designed to combat the brain drain caused by the growing emigration of Soviet Jews
Jews
and other members of the intelligentsia to the West. Following international protests, the Kremlin soon revoked the tax, but continued to sporadically impose various limitations.[3] Emigration[edit] Prior to the Six-Day War, few Soviet Jews
Jews
emigrated to Israel. Israel's decisive victory changed the opinion of many Soviet Jews towards Israel. After the war, many Soviet Jews
Jews
began to demand the right to move to Israel. However, given a choice, many Soviet Jews chose to emigrate to the US.[4] Absorption of new immigrants in Israel[edit]

1972. A tearful reunion after 20 years between a brother and sister, who just arrived from Russia, at Lod Airport

In 1968, 231 Jews
Jews
were granted exit visas to Israel, followed by 3,033 in 1969. From that point on, the USSR began granting exit visas in growing numbers. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, some 163,000 Soviet Jews
Jews
emigrated to Israel; mostly between 1969 and 1973. While many Jews
Jews
emigrated to Israel, others chose the United States instead. Known as "dropouts", the emigres applied for US refugee visas while waiting at transit centers in Austria
Austria
and Italy. In March 1976, the "dropout rate" rose to over 50%. Most of the Soviet Zionists
Zionists
who wanted to emigrate to Israel
Israel
out of religious and/or ideological reasons had done so by 1973; from then on, most Soviet-Jewish emigrants were mostly motivated by economic concerns. Many were non-religious and saw themselves as Jews
Jews
by nationality only, and thus they had little religious or ideological motivation to move to Israel, which they saw as having fewer opportunities than the United States.[5] There were even thousands of non- Jews
Jews
who used the opening to escape the Soviet Union. Most Soviet Jews
Jews
who emigrated to Israel
Israel
who had stronger Jewish identities came from the Baltic states, Moldova, and Georgia, while the "dropouts" were mainly assimilated Jews
Jews
from the Russian heartland.[5] Overall, between 1970 and 1988, some 291,000 Soviet Jews were granted exit visas, of whom 165,000 migrated to Israel, and 126,000 migrated to the United States.[6] See also[edit]

Refusenik
Refusenik
(Soviet Union) Dymshits–Kuznetsov hijacking affair Jackson–Vanik amendment History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia and the Soviet Union 1990s Post-Soviet aliyah Russian Jews
Jews
in Israel USSR anti-religious campaign (1970s–87)

References[edit]

^ Decter, Moshe. The Status of the Jews
Jews
in the Soviet Union. Foreign Affairs. January 1963. ^ History of Dissident Movement in the USSR by Ludmila Alekseyeva. Vilnius, 1992 (in Russian) ^ "Declassified KGB Study Illuminates Early Years of Soviet Jewish Emigration", Sana Krasikov, December 12, 2007 ^ Lazin, Fred. Refugee Resettlement and 'Freedom of Choice': The Case of Soviet Jewry. Center for Immigration Studies. July 2005. ^ a b [1] ^ Tolts, Mark. Post-Soviet Aliyah
Aliyah
and Jewish Demographic Transformation. 15th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem. August

.