Soviet Jewish immigrants living in Israel have submitted a record number of invitations for their relatives to come from the Soviet Union, Israel radio reported Saturday.
It said that about 79,000 invitations were submitted to Soviet authorities last year, the highest annual figure since the beginning of the mass Soviet Jewish emigration in the late 1960s.An invitation from relatives living abroad is a necessary step for a person wishing to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
Uri Gordon, head of the Jewish Agency's immigration department, was quoted by the radio as estimating that Soviet Jewish emigration would reach 50,000 this year.
But the radio quoted Gordon as saying that 90 percent of the emigrants are likely to choose the United States and other Western countries instead of Israel.
Last year, the Soviets allowed about 20,000 Jews to emigrate. Only about 2,200 choseIsrael.