In the 1990’s I was in my teens. It was for me years of rock music, boys, cigarettes, parties and friends. Life was promising. I can’t say I was a positive thinker, I was a teen, but I had little to worry about.
That was not the life of the immigrants that came into our country of Israel. The immigrants were from Russia. Mother Russia. Russian Jews were persecuted in their country and were seeking refuge in Israel, the promised land. Unfortunately they were not accepted as planned.
They were oppressed by bigotry, they did not speak the Hebrew language, they did not understand the Israeli culture, they came from a much quieter and ordered than the Israeli character. Suffering from unemployment and bullying the Russians gathered to their own communities, separated. Speaking Russian and preserving the culture stepping stones.
I saw that from the side, I did not like that since it was so segregated from the native Israeli culture which I belonged to. However there was so much there – educated accomplished people, doctors, physicians, musicians and more. Oppressed but waiting to break free and show their talents.
They had no where to run to. Oppressed there and here.
Israeli-Russian artist Zoya Cherkassky-Nnadi has started a project, painting memories from the life of a Russian immigrant back in the nineties. For me it was very emotional, nostalgic. Seeing their pain.