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April 13, 1990 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ATiNist of Gold...

,Ze'ev (Volodya) Rudkiner,
a young dental surgeon who
came here from Rostov a
decade ago with a computer
analyst wife and twin
babies, predicts:
"Not only will the political
bargaining power of North
Africans suffer, but also the
power of the religious par-
ties. Jews from the Euro-
pean Soviet republics are not
religious. I expect my own
sister here with her husband
and three children in two
weeks. My brother-in-law, a
gynecologist, is not Jewish.
Mixed marriages are not
rare.
"Since we have a political
system of strict proportional
representation, a large in-
flux of olim, who have been
cut off from Judaism in its
religious aspect for more
than 70 years, is sure to
work against Agudat
Yisrael, Degel Hatora and
Shas."
Rudkiner was told by a
Habad activist that the
haredi communities have
hopes of winning many im-
migrants back to religion,
"but I don't think it's likely,
despite the fact that groups
like the Chabadniks know
how to appeal to spiritually-
hungry Russians. Still, most
olim like me are not likely to
grow side curls."
Yet the left, according to
Rudkiner, would find little
reason to rejoice. "True, we
come from a country without
any democratic tradition
and the incredible variety
and number of parties here
might be bewildering at
first, but we are not without
inclinations. I would de-
scribe us as a patriotic ele-
ment. It's the Russian tradi-
tion to be loyal to the
motherland.
"In Russia, we were made
to feel outsiders and were
told that Russia was not our
motherland, but we came
with potential patriotism for
our new home, for the
motherland we always
wanted to have. So parties
whose main message is con-
cessions to the Arabs won't
do well with us."
The fact that these are also
mainly leftist parties "would
further diminish their elec-
toral appeal to Russian olim.
We are acutely allergic to
anything with smells so-
cialist, looks Red and leans
to the left.
"While the olim might be
new to the region, we did
have our exposure to
Arabs," Rudkiner notes. "I
knew them in the USSR
where they came to study
who knows what. They were
virulently anti-Jewish. Jews
from Russia who came

across them are not eager to
trust them and give them
land.
"We come from a country
that taught us that land won
from an aggressor in a just
war is a strategic asset
which is not to be handed
back. If this principle is good
for Russia, it's good for
Israel."
Emanuel Perlov, 36, an X-
ray technician who came to
Israel in 1976, adds that he
knew Moslem extremists in
his native Tashkent "before

"In Russia, we
were made to feel
outsiders and were
told that Russia
was not our
motherland."
Ze'ev Rudkiner

the current unrest, before
perestroika and even before
Khomeini and his influence
across the border. The fun-
damentalism I saw before
liberalization makes me
wary of Islam and of Jewish
do-gooders who may sincere-
ly want peace but are naive
and ignorant of the other
side.
"Israel will be
unbelievably better off with
the immense human
resources the Russian olim
will bring here free of
charge," believes Perlov. "If
quality enabled Israel to
survive Arab advantages in
quantity, than the quality
gap will be deepened. This is
an aliyah full of highly
qualified people, especially
in applied sciences. The wo-
men are just as qualified as
the men and are used to put-
ting in a full day's work. For
each family, we are getting
at least two hard-working
people, who in Russia were
above average in education
and income."
These olim will be
climbers here, too, he
predicts, and "they will pull
Israel out of the recession.
The very fact that they are
arriving will lead to new jobs
at lower levels of the con-
struction, food • and clothing
industries.
"Then I see a great future
ahead for Israel in engineer-
ing and electronics. It's like
Prime Minister Yitzhak
Shamir said: 'Nothing will
remain the same in this
country when the great
aliyah comes. Everything
will change. Everything will
be bigger and better. This is
what the Arabs are afraid of
and what we prayed for.' "

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