«Morashtenu – Our Heritage» – an organization of Russian-speaking Israelis, operating in the name of a rightful and humane society, based on the values of democracy and tolerance, where everyone feels equal among equals. You are welcome to learn more about our activities during the last six month. Join us on Facebook and web-site.
Old and New Jaffa Tour
What is mixed in a mixed city? The purpose of the tour was to highlight the complexity of bi-national city, to introduce participants to the history and to the new developments using the Adjami neighbourhood as an example. 40 people attended the tour of «Morashtenu – Our Heritage» to Jaffa, including journalists and bloggers. They visited the Flea Market and discussed global economy vs. local economy, and the facelift this area is going through. They saw the renovations and how luxurious projects such as Andromeda take over and exemplify the “infiltration” of upper middle class into the marginalized Ajami neighborhood. They also learnt about the separated educational systems and how this divides the community.
Pension issue to Knesset
Before the elections to the 20th convening of the Knesset, «Morashtenu – Our Heritage», together with other organizations within the “Coalition for Social Initiative” organized a pre-election congress “And what is your plan?”. The congress hold the open discussion with the representatives of various political parties and candidates for deputies of the Knesset. Dr. Julia Zemlinsky, the head of «Morashtenu – Our Heritage», presented the delegates the most pressing question the Russian-speaking community is dealing with: the older generation’s pension issue. This is a social time bomb: the repatriates from the Former Soviet Union who immigrated to Israel in the 90th, at the age of 35-45 years, will soon retire after 25 years of work in the country, in the best case, and their standard of living will abruptly go down. Without the state involvement, the financial burden will lie on the shoulders of young Russian-speaking Israelis, leading to the emergence of a new generation of the poor. Dr. Julia Zemlinsky: “Even regardless more or less successful absorption, Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel are still relatively poor compared with average living standard of the native Jewish population of Israel. Immigrants are often employed through a contractor, which leads to infringement of their social rights. Speaking about pensions, after 20-25 years of hard work in Israel Russian-speaking immigrants have barely accumulated enough for monthly payments of 700-2500 NIS.
Bloggers on both sides of the conflict.
«Morashtenu – Our Heritage», in collaboration with Ashraf al- Ajrami, a journalist and former minister of the Palestinian Authority, as well as a forum ZFD, organized and hosted a meeting of Palestinian and Russian-speaking bloggers in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. 30 participants, including journalists Maxim Reider and Pavel Margulyan, attended the meeting. The Palestinian party was represented by the young bloggers, residents of Ramallah. Despite of the language barrier, a fascinating conversation struck up between the participants. Maya, a reporter for the local newspaper in Ramallah, said: “We want a happy life for our families, we would like to become better acquainted with each other – it is impossible to hold a dialogue between the neighbors through a concrete wall and barbed wire. Isolation stops the progress, especially for the young people”. Emma Roitman, one of the participants from the Israeli side, wrote in her blog in Russian: “The conversation took place in a friendly atmosphere, even despite some disagreements. It was interesting to meet and communicate, learn more about each other. I think we need more meetings like that. Hope one day the ice will break.”
How do you spell co-existence in Russian?
«Morashtenu – Our Heritage» is actually the only organization which promotes direct meetings between members of the Russian Speaking Community (RSC) and Arab citizens. We developed ties with the Arab Association of Russian Universities Graduates – whose members speak fluent Russian and are deeply connected to Russian culture. We met in Kafr Kana. The special guest was Mr. Mohammad Al Madani, the head of the PLO Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, from Ramallah. He stressed that Russian speakers from both sides met in the USSR and now are disconnected. He suggested to strengthen the ties, also on the common denominator of being a marginalized community in Israel, suffering from distrust and stereotypes coming from the Israeli majority. Over 70 people attended the meeting.
«Morashtenu – Our Heritage» in mass media
Our last event in Kfar Kana drew media attention to the organization. There was an interview on Channel 2, the report on the Palestinian television and, of course, items in Russian and Hebrew on Israel’s main sites:
• Emil Shleymovich interviewed Dr. Samir Khatib radio Reka- September 3, 2015
• TV programs on Palestinian TV September 4, 2015
Speak, influence and make difference
More than four years in a row, «Morashtenu – Our Heritage», in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Fund, conducts a successful course “The Opinion Leaders” for young journalists and bloggers. Course participants meet twice a month to talk about the changes in the media and in social networks, as well as a deeper discussion and coverage of significant problems in Israeli society.We are proud to admit: our course attracts media attention and becomes very popular. The classes of current course are going on, but the journalistic articles and blogs of the participants have already been published in the media. They were published both Hebrew and Russian, and even English in the newspaper Vesti, on the web-sites “Shihan MeKomit” and “Ha-Makom”, “972”, on the web-site “Relevant” and others. Here is an example: Anat Yurovsky’s article was published on the website ReLevant and prestigious media resource “972”.
Save the date
“Between Moscow and Tel Aviv – the limits of freedom of speech”. Conference on this subject will be held on December 15th, 2015 at 18:00 pm at Tel Aviv. It is designed for journalists and media representatives and the public. The conference is organized by «Morashtenu – Our Heritage» in collaboration with the web-site Relevant.Info, with the participation of leading journalists, prominent media professionals and bloggers from Israel and Russia.
«Morashtenu – Our Heritage» is a public non-profit organization. All our activities are possible thanks to donations from foundations and individuals who believe in our ideals and us. Very difficult tasks are assigned to Russian-speaking community of Israel, and, in particular, to our organization. We would appreciate if you could help us to overcome them successfully.