For many young Jews in the former Soviet Union, “Jewish identity” is a hollow term. During the seven decades of the Soviet regime, Jewish people experienced anti-Semitism and persecution. The result is a crisis—today, there's severe identity loss in these communities and a lack of meaningful engagement in Jewish life. The Jewish Agency for Israel is answering the call for Russian-Speaking Jews in the former Soviet Union as well as those in Germany, North America, Australia, and Israel. We are bound to reconnect our lost family members to the richness of their faith.
Through targeted educational and immersive programs that introduce these members of our community to Jewish life and culture, we are building bridges back to Judaism for some of the most vulnerable segments of our population.
In an exclusive interview with The Jewish Agency for Israel, MK Yuli Edelstein, the Speaker of the Knesset who made Aliyah from the Soviet Union in 1988, has said: "I have no neat definition of Zionism. It is my past, which I do not regret, and also my present. I don’t like it when people say: 'Zionism means living in Israel,' because Zionism is more than that. Zionism is living a meaningful life, a life of substance, here in Israel. The content is different for each person, and I like that terminology because it fits everyone."