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The Southern Israelite. (Augusta, Ga.) 1925-1986, October 31, 1986, Image 1

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The Southern Israelite The Voice of Atlanta's Jewish Community Since 1925 H co Vol. LXII Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, October 31, 1986 No. i From Russia and back H < Portrait of a troubled journey by Richard Bono and Diane Wolkow The decision by 27-year-old Yuri Chapovsky of Atlanta to return to his native Soviet Union has been characterized by those familiar with the Soviet Jewish emigre as a “psychological,” rather than a political, move. Chapovsky, who immigrated to the United States with his par ents and younger brother in 1979, announced late last week that he was returningto the Soviet Union because his hopes for a better life were not fulfilled in America. Three other Soviet emigres an nounced at the same press con ference, conducted last Friday at the Soviet information office in Washington, D.C., that they, too, were returning to the U.S.S.R. One of them, Israel Glickman of Dallas, Texas, also is Jewish. Their decision to return to the Soviet Union came only days before Monday’s Simhat Torah Rally for Soviet Jewry in Altanta, which 1,500 attended. It also comes at a time when a major national effort has been mounted by Jewish organizations to per suade the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate. Chapovsky’s action has shaken many in the organized Atlanta Jewish community. Yet family friends and other sources famil iar with the case have given a portrait of a young man not mo tivated by political ideology but by an inability to adjust to life in the United States. Described as extremely bright, especially in the field of mathe matics, Chapovsky also was por trayed as a troubled young man who has been unhappy and dis satisfied for some time. “I think he has some problems, and I don’t think the United States is one of them,” said one source close to the family. “I think maybe it’s just personal problems. ...We don’t feel he’s thinking straight.” Said another source, “It isn’t the politics, but his own mixed- up reaction to life in America Os Yuri Chapovsky (right) talks to reporters during press conferences after his decision to return to the Soviet Union. At left is Rashid Atamal-Ibekov, another returnee, next to Soviet Embassy officials. and what he expects to Russian society.” Meanwhile, his family, s ing in the Atlanta area, i edly is distraught over Yui povsky’s decision. They ha> unavailable for comments to the media, and family friends have closed ranks to protect their pri vacy. Those who spoke to The Southern Israelite did so on the condition that their names not be used. Jewish communal officials, as well, were reluctant to comment on the case, adhering to a policy of client confidentiality. However, The Southern Israelite was able to confirm that the Chapovsky family came to the United States at the height of Soviet Jewish emigration in 1979. They, along with approximately 180 other Soviet Jews, were resettled in Atlanta that year with the help of the Jewish Family Service and Jewish Vocational Service. According to Georgia Institute of Technology spokesman Charles Harmon, Yuri Chapovsky was admitted to the institute that same year, transferring from the Polytechnic Institute in Kiev. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1981 and a master’s degree in applied mathematics two years later. While at Georgia Tech, Cha povsky made the dean’s list sev eral times, Harmon said. During his Washington press conference, Chapovsky said he was unable to find a job despite See Journey, page 25. Shamir given ‘gift’ first week in office tn by Yaacov Ben Yosef Special to TS1 JERUSALEM—Israel’s new prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, was handed a welcoming gift last week as the British decided to Yankee lady makes bid for sheriffs post by Richard Bono TSI staff writer Joan Koplan is pleased that no one has publicly made an issue of her background. A native New Yorker, Koplan is the first Yan kee to run for sheriff of Catoosa County in North Georgia, let alone the first Jewish woman. Koplan, 36, faces opposition from six others—all male—who want to head the 43-person sher iffs department situated in Ring- gold, the county seat and the See Sheriff, page 2 7. break off diplomatic relations with Syria over its sponsorship of terror. Shamir called the Brit ish step a “good example” for other nations to follow. Other than the British step against the Syrians, Shamir’s first week in office was relatively quiet. Unlike Shimon Peres, when he began as prime minister of the national unity government 25 months ago, Shamir faced no serious crises upon taking over. Peres, in September 1984, con fronted a growing national con sensus to remove Israeli troops from Lebanon and a massive economic deterioration. Israel left Lebanon in June 1985 and conquered triple-digit inflation over the 15 months. The British action against Syria was taken last Friday after the sentencing of Jordanian ter rorist Nezar Hindawi to 45 years in prison for last April’s Syrian- sponsored attempt to blow up an El A1 passenger liner and its 350 passengers in mid-air after it was to depart from London. Israel was happily stunned by the Brit ish decision against Damascus. A mild debate ensued within the Israeli foreign ministry over how to react to the British move. Prevailing were those who thought Israel should adopt a low profile and say little rather than crow about this happy development. Hence, Shamir and Peres were encouraged to limit themselves to modest statements of praise for the British. Shamir on Sunday expressed appreciation for the move, say ing it was part of “the interna tional struggle against state-sup ported terrorism that is a vital necessity for humanity.” He also urged other countries to follow the example of the British, as well as the U.S. and Canada, the latter two countries having re called their ambassadors from Damascus in protest against Syria’s support of terrorism. Meanwhile, Shamir was quoted as saying that differences over Israeli terms for agreeing to peace with the Arabs was the most potentially explosive political issue confronting his new gov ernment. He was therefore echoing Peres who had warned earlier that should Shamir set up barriers to progress in the peace process, Peres would be prepared to break the coalition government. Peres resigned as prime minister on Oct. 10 and officially handed over the reins of the national unity government to Shamir on Oct. 20. Peres’ Labor Party has said that it would give Shamir 40 days of grace before deciding if and when to attack him. It will be tempting for Peres to consider taking his Labor Party out of the government any time in the next two years, but unless he can form a narrow government or be sure of winning in early elections, he will find it hard to take such a step. The next round of elections are scheduled for November 1988. Shamir made it clear that he believed the Arabs held the key to the future of the national unity government. In an interview with the English-language Jerusalem Post on Friday, Oct. 24, Shamir said, “So long as there is no pro posal from the Arab side that could be accepted by part of the government, there is nothing that can prevent the continued exist ence ol the government.” Meanwhile, an Australian clergyman John McKnight held a Jerusalem news conference Sunday to assert that Mordechai Vanunu, the man who leaked Israel’s alleged nuclear secrets to London’s Sunday Times, was being held “in a prison cell some- See Shamir, page 27. THIS WEEK Atlantan doesn’t let Down's get her down ... 11 Sports tycoon tights for world s children .... 13 Specialist says Syria rethinking war costs ... 24 Business 22 Arts & Entertainment .... 23 Obituaries 28 Classified 29 10 & 25 years ago 31 mmmmm ■MBM ovAdon uAia