Twenty per cent of Israel's population are those who have arrived from Russia in the past 20 years. This new wave of immigrants – more than a million of them – has already transformed Israeli society.
Their impact is provoking big questions about how they will help to shape it in the future; the Russian language, Russian culture, Russian values and taste (including non-kosher meat) and Russian enterprise can be seen everywhere.
|The Church of the Holy Sepulchre |
We explore how this presence is raising the issues of what it is to be Jewish, and the kind of society Israel should be. We focus on a group of Russian immigrants who are having a big impact on Israeli media and politics.
By contrast, we meet others who find themselves at the margins of society; they feel themselves excluded and even despised on account of their Russian-ness.
Is there a danger that the Russians are creating a unique culture, set apart from the rest of an already fragmented society? The questions Israelis are now asking are: how Jewish are they, and how committed to the Zionist project?
Watch Part One here:
Watch Part Two here:
God's Business: Russians in Israel aired from Monday 15th October 2007 at the following times GMT:
Monday 15 October (0630, 1430)
Tuesday 16 October (1130)
Wednesday 17 October (0600, 2030)
Thursday 18 October (0300, 0730)
Friday 19 October (0230, 1330)
Saturday 20 October (0130, 1730)
Sunday 21 October (0430, 1900)