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Israel Hits Rich Seam in Ex-Soviet Immigrants

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Science  07 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5416, pp. 892-897
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5416.892

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RAMAT GAN-- Once known mostly for its oranges and its fabulous antiquities, Israel is now turning into a high-tech powerhouse. Much of the credit for this must go to a vast wave of Jewish scientists from the former Soviet Union who began pouring into Israel 10 years ago and have reshaped Israeli science and industry, particularly in the areas of computers and information technology. But while industry and academe have profited by skimming the cream off the influx of immigrants, most new arrivals endure a brutal competition for tenuous postdoclike positions and, once employed, earn much less than their Israeli counterparts; many fail to find jobs in their fields.