THE "RUSSIAN" FACE OF ISRAEL: FEATURES OF A SOCIAL PORTRAIT. Comp. and edited by M. Koenigstein. Moscow: Bridges of Culture; Jerusalem: Gesharim, 2007, 503 p. The collective work devoted to various aspects of the life of the Russian-speaking community in Israel is the result of the work of many well-known Israeli Russian-speaking specialists (anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, etc.) dealing with the problems of immigrants from the USSR/CIS. This is one of the differences between the book and other collective monographs that address this issue [see, for example: Shuval and Leshem, 1997; Gitelman et al., 2003; Lewin-Epstein et al., 1997; Krausz and Tulea, 1998.]. Most of them either did not involve Russian-speaking specialists, or were submitted to a limited extent. However, literally in recent years, many books and articles about immigrants from the former USSR in Israel have appeared, written by specialists who are not only observers of the processes under study, but also their direct participants. This gives such works, as well as the reviewed book, a special depth, because "looking from the inside", through the prism of their own experience, is especially interesting for the Russian reader. At the end of the book, which contains information about the authors, we learn that the vast majority of them immigrated (repatriated) to Israel in the 1990s, during the so-called great Aliyah1 from the former USSR. This ideologeme is an integral part of the Zionist concept kibbutz galuyot (Hebrew, "gathering of the scattered"), Jews scattered all over the world, for whom Israel should become not just an ethnic refuge, but also a home. Not all former Soviet Jews were repatriated. I am referring to the fact that few of those who arrived in the 1990s shared Zionist beliefs and wanted to live in a Jewish State. They left (according to numerous opinion polls) because of the difficult socio-economic situation, lack of prospects, and lack of opportunities for self-r ... Read more

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