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December 01 , 2007

The Long Lasting Journey

Notes of a Wondering Jew


Over three thousand years separate the exodus of biblical Jews from the land of Egypt and the last wave of Jewish migrants to exit Russia. Today, hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews find themselves in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere. What made them depart this time around? What country are they loyal to? And finally, who is a Russian Jew? The Long Lasting Journey is about a people in quest of a better destiny. The story is written against the backdrop of dramatic political developments in two world superpowers in the second half of the twentieth century. Historical and social conditions of the past century have formed the distinct culture of Soviet Jews - an educated, ambitious, secular, and yet conservative people. For these people, the journey is a cultural integration to a new society - a society with a social order polar opposite from that of their own. It is also about the principle fiber of a people with a split identity. They are deeply rooted in Russian culture but maintain an elusive difference from the Russian majority; they consider themselves Jewish but are essentially distant from Judaism; they carry on an American way of life but their mind-set alienates them from the US mainstream. A mixture of personal divisive experiences, focused observations, and subjective reflections about these people of the last exodus determined the substance of this first person narrative. The Long Lasting Journey outlines the cultural merits left behind in one world and found in another.
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