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January 13, 2013

Did Israel Deceive Russian Jews?

"…Conversion is now a demeaning, racist and cumbersome process. Will racist laws prevent people from falling in love, living together and having children?…Israel…brought [halakhicly non-Jewish Russians] here under the Law of Return, and never were they informed that they would be second-class citizens upon arrival.…"


The notorious anti-Russian, anti-conversion Shas campaign ad that has sparked more discord in an already fractured Israeli society

Israel brought hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews to Israel in the early 1990s. Many of them are not halakhicly Jewish. Since the great Russian immigration, Israel has promised to find a way to deal with this problem. Each time it has tried to implement a solution, however, haredim have found a way to block it or destroy it.

These halakhicly non-Jewish Russians were not told before immigrating that they would be treated as second class citizens because of it. Yet many are.

And the governments which claimed to want to stop this often ended up enabling more of it because they needed coalition haredi votes to remain in power.

The haredi hatred for anything approaching a workable solution to Israel's conversion crisis was put on display for all to see last week when the Sefardi haredi Shas political party launched a notorious anti-Russian, anti-conversion ad campaign ad that has sparked more discord in an already fractured Israeli society.

Shas' stopped running the ad under the threat of having it banned by Israel's elections committee, but that did not end the discord the ad caused, as Roni Abramsom's op-ed in Ha'aretz shows:

…Like many other immigrants from the former Soviet Union, my husband has a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. In Russia, one’s religion is determined by the father, as in Christian law, which meant my husband grew up defined as Jewish.

As a child, he suffered severe schoolyard beatings for being Jewish. Once he came to Israel, where one's Jewishness is determined by the mother, he was beaten up for NOT being Jewish.

My husband grew up loving this country, and chose to serve in a combat unit during his military service. He decided not to convert since, in his eyes, conversion is one more tool of oppression used by a racist state rather than a gift. When we informed our families of our intention to marry, the response was “thank goodness you’re Jewish so that your children won’t have problems.”…

We knew that despite paying taxes and serving in the army in Israel (which my husband still does) we could never get married here. So in addition to the usual wedding expenses, we had to add $700 a person for a wedding package in Cyprus, where we held a civil ceremony so we could return to Israel and register as married with the Interior Ministry. Our travel agent, who specializes in such packages, proudly told us he had handled thousands of couples in our situation, all of whom were compelled by Israel to take this route.
What about “mixed" couples who can’t afford this gimmick? …

Conversion is now a demeaning, racist and cumbersome process. Will racist laws prevent people from falling in love, living together and having children?…

Israel…brought [halakhicly non-Jewish Russians] here under the Law of Return, and never were they informed that they would be second-class citizens upon arrival.…

Comments

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Tit for tat. Many of the Russians lied about their Jewish connections to get out of Russia. Oops, they got outsmarted for once.

The title should say "Russian Goyim."

Is anyone stopping them from going back home, if they don't like it in Israel?

That's what you get for constantly persecuting Jews for 400 years and then pretending to be one.

Tit for tat. Many of the Russians lied about their Jewish connections to get out of Russia. Oops, they got outsmarted for once.


What a nasty and hateful comment. I am often amazed as to how vicious and hateful some of the commenters can be. There is something about the anonymity of the internet that results in rudeness.

hundreds of thousands of russians who emigrated to israel are not jewish . and those who say they are , are not . it's hard to say .

maria sharapova who is not jewish , lives in natanya , israel in a beautiful condo .
her dad might be jewish .

they are many non jewish russians who live
in crown heights ,and they are not jewish, but live in a jewish chassidic neighborhood . they got free housing [section 8 ] and more . they are non jewish neighborhoods in nyc , like lower east side and downtown nyc .

............... i meant to say , they are non jewish russian neighborhoods in nyc , like the lower east side and downtown nyc .

The title should say "Russian Goyim."

Is anyone stopping them from going back home, if they don't like it in Israel?

Posted by: Vanya | January 13, 2013 at 02:48 PM

That's what you get for constantly persecuting Jews for 400 years and then pretending to be one.

Posted by: Ivan | January 13, 2013 at 02:49 PM

Chose one screen name – or, better yet, your real name – and only post using it.

If I catch you sockpuppeting again, I'll delete your comments and ban you.

The title should say "Russian Goyim". Is anyone stopping them from going back home, if they don't like it in Israel?

I guess you are posting from the US. America is a Free Country for Free Men. Why don’t YOU go back to your fucking eastern-European ghetto?

DD,

If you can read and understand basic texts (what I dept), open once US constitution. You will find there that US is a country with a freedom to follow any religion or not to follow any. Citizens’ rights (including housing) cannot be subject to any test of religion. So, your question “what non-Jewish Russians do in Jewish neighbors” is idiotic, but since you are moron yourself, the question is appropriate to you.

Well, I will try to ask something according to your level of intellect: what Lubiavichers do in predominantly gentile Ohio countryside?

"
Tit for tat. Many of the Russians lied about their Jewish connections to get out of Russia. Oops, they got outsmarted for once.

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | January 13, 2013 at 02:37 PM
"

The people who are being persecuted have not been “unmasked”. They’ve always claimed to be children of Jewish fathers and have been persecuted for this first in Russia and now in Israel.
The people who wanted to lie and falsified documents about their female Jewish ancestry, have been considered Russians in Russia and now are considered Jewish in the Jewish state.
People like you Garnel are simultaneously clueless and vicious.

Interesting, how all comments of Frumma socio-parasites follow the same agenda: why they (Russian Goim) get what we were supposed to get (section 8 housing, etc). Calm down, most of “Russians” will not eat from social funds-they will work hard to create these funds for Frumma.

Posted by: Shmarya | January 13, 2013 at 03:09 PM
I don't know what is his intention , but
Vanya is a diminutive form of Ivan in Russian it is the same name.

Posted by: A Yid | January 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM

Not my problem.

My cousin's daughter married a "Russian Jew" last year. His family left Russia for Israel when he was a young child, stayed there for a few years and then moved on to Canada for better opportunities. Mr. X is a graduate engineer from a Canadian university and works in the petroleum industry. It never occured to anyone in the family to ask him if was a "real Jew" according to Orthodox rules. He is a wonderful addition to the family. The couple met on a Birth Right mission.

I would encourage any Russian who is living in Israel and is tired of being treated as a second class citizen to look for opportunities abroad. People with mathematical backgrounds should have no difficulty making the move. Germany has a special program for young Jews who want to move there. It is part of the country's efforts to rebuild its Jewish community.

Let the Haredi stay in Israel and let them defend it if they care to. I don't think there is much demand in the major industrial countries for torah scholars.

Rocky,
It is so sad what you are saying. The modern State of Israel was created by secular Jewish people-big percentage of them from Russia, despite of Frumma’s criticism and confrontation. Frumma were sure that they will be safe in their Eastern-European Ghettos until Moshiach will come. After the War, they started to move to Israel and North America and to use and abuse what was created there by whom they criticized and confronted. The problem is that they ruin Israel-and they ruin Jewish communities in North America as well. More and more communities are now dominated by Chabad with all its racism, religious fundamentalism, and hate.

Did Israel Deceive Russian Jews?

No, it gave them a way out from a very tough way of life. To those who dn't give a shit about their Jewisness, no problem. To those who care there is a process in place. If the Israeli standard is too hard then they can do it via some of the American kiruv groups who would love to help non-frum Russians get on the derech.

I guess there is an expression, if there is a will there is a way.

True, the Frum leadership have opposed both move to America and to Palestine. They've made every attempt to discourage people from leaving Europe and to stop Zionist enterprize. Now they claim that American Jewish Communities and entier state of Israel is rightfully theirs.

This is the very definition of Hutzpa!

This is what comes of conflating religion and politics: ugly behavior, denial of individual rights and the tyranny of the most extreme. If a person was living as a Jew and was persecuted as a Jew in Russia that should be good enough. A process administered by those who would scarcely consider a halachikally kosher American-born Jew to be a real Jew is no process worthy of consideration at all. A Jew is less free to practice his religion as he/she sees fit in Israel than anywhere else in the Western world. As Rocky said (above) let these Russians come here and work. The IT department of my company in New York is all-Russian; they work hard and are decent people.

I guess there is an expression, if there is a will there is a way.

Posted by: Aaron | January 13, 2013 at 05:31 PM

The way is often not within the system. If the system is bad the way may be to destroy it. Think American Revolution for example.

The Israel haredi dominated conversion system deserves nothing less than King George's authority in 1776. It is abusive, impossible to navigate and impossible to repair.


Posted by: Ben|

"Tit for tat. Many of the Russians lied about their Jewish connections to get out of Russia. Oops, they got outsmarted for once."

Broad brush much?

Many? How many?

"maria sharapova who is not jewish , lives in natanya , israel in a beautiful condo .
her dad might be jewish ."

Maria Sharapova lives in Bradenton, Fla.

Shmarya, I will start using my real name when you start using yours. Time to get off your fat ass and learn a language other than English to realize that Ivan and Vanya is the same name.

Interesting article. It seems like the most peaceful solution is to extend a hopeful hand for those who haven't converted and who are open minded and willing to consider it. Unfortunately the author Ms. Abramson's disdain for Jewish tradition, and disrespect for halacha, make it seem like all those who haven't yet converted are equally as ignorant, which we sure hope is not the case.

The real problem Israel faces is economic productivity. Russian immigrants come with high levels of education and a desire to work,and were largely responsible for Israel's boom in the 1980s and early 1990s.
With the economic and fiscal drag created by the growing, non-contributing Haredim, Israel needs Russians again.
And fortunately most highly educated Russians are only too happy to leave Putin's Russia.

Shmarya, I will start using my real name when you start using yours. Time to get off your fat ass and learn a language other than English to realize that Ivan and Vanya is the same name.

Posted by: Vanya | January 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Please.

I quite openly blog under my own name and have done so since day 1.

I realize you're not honest – we can all see that.

And I realize you're not smart – and most of us can easily see that, as well.

But were you born this way? Or did your yeshiva education leave you damaged?

Germany has a special program for young Jews who want to move there. It is part of the country's efforts to rebuild its Jewish community.

Actually, German Jewish communities apply the same standards as all other Jewish communities, which effectively means only halakhic Jews are accepted as members. The German government will recognize as Jewish anyone who is accepted as a member of a local Jewish community, but since most of those communities will apply a halakhic standard, this will not help Russian non Jewish olim of Jewish descent.

By the way, the real fault lays with the Israeliy paragovernmental bodies that actively targeted non Jewish Russians of Jewish descent for aliya, without first bothering to consider how they will intergrate in Jewish society. There is some malpractice there, and as a result, there are no winners, only losers.

The problem is that Israel was primarily interested in increasing the number of non-Arab inhabitants, for purely nationalist and political reasons.

And now the chickens have come home to roost.

The charge of a "racist" conversion process cannot be accepted without first evidence of a contemporary double standard.

The Chereidi drag on the economy combined with religious discrimination was bound to lead to an exodus of intelligent educated people to America and Europe. If Israel is unwilling to grant everyone freedom of religious practice and let the ultra-orthodox rabbinate only have authority over the ultra-orthodox instead of over everyone - even people who don't want them in charge and don't belong to their sect - then Israel is basically throwing away their economic future with both hands. How many reasonably skilled people won't even consider making aliyah from America and Europe because they don't want to deal with religious oppression? Most people in most communities, actually. We just won't do it. We tell our kids not to do it. Is that really so hard for the government of Israel to understand? Most of us don't want to be ultra-orthodox and aren't going to put up with being treated like dirt by them. Those that are attracted to that sort of thing are the very drag on the economy that the citizens can hardly afford to attract more of as it is. Why can the government not see this?

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