Is There a Russian Exodus from Israel?

from (London):

‘Alienation’ leading to a Russian exodus from Israel

One in two Israelis who emigrate from Israel is thought originally to hail from the FSU. Last year, this meant that around 2,000 Russian-speaking Israelis alone left for America, and this was a slow year for emigration.

The received wisdom is that they have been leaving mainly for economic opportunities and due to security concerns in Israel. But in the Knesset one of Israel’s leading experts on emigration dropped what policymakers will consider a bombshell.

Dov Maimon, senior fellow at the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute, said that Israel has failed to make the migrants feel an affinity to the state. “This is the main reason that they leave the country – even more than financial difficulties,” he told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

… Dr Maimon’s research tells a difficult truth. In the euphoria of the fall of the Iron Curtain, Israel glossed over the challenge of how it would integrate the many thousands of immigrants who were making aliyah under the Law of Return but who had no connection to the Jewish community or Judaism apart from one Jewish ancestor, and who, in many cases, followed another religion