Generation 1.5 is made up of Russian-speaking young men and women, most of whom immigrated with their families during the large wave of the 1990s. This is how they describe their work:
“We, members of generation 1.5, were born in the former Soviet Union, but we have spent most of our lives in Israel. But today, people still label us as new immigrants who will someday integrate, have already integrated, or refuse to integrate into Israeli society. Most of us don’t fit into any of these categories. We’ve integrated into society and we are fully Israeli. But we also carry cultural baggage that we have not abandoned and even want to preserve and nurture. We gain inspiration from this baggage and the experience of the encounter with Israeli society; this motivates our public, social, and political activity.
“We want to live in a state that has a liberal Jewish identity that will promote equal rights for all residents and in which any person or group can utilize their cultural and human potential. We believe in Israeli society and its ability to create a model society that will generate solidarity between citizens and live in peace with its neighbors. From our experience as active citizens, we believe that the effort to change the face of Israeli society must be conducted not only on the national level but rather within every sociological group with its unique needs and identity. We believe that striving to promote these goals within and from within our group is an expression of the solidarity between the various parts of society, and it provides the basis for a new politics that transcends community boundaries.”
Recently, the group’s Cultural Brigade has spearheaded several projects that have gained widespread media coverage:
- “Tusovka”—A series of evening events on migration poetry conducted throughout the country, together with poets from the former USSR
- As part of the Israeli Novy God project to mark the beginning of the new civil year, Russian families hosted Israeli families in
order to introduce them to the holiday customs and traditions. See here for the Israeli Novy God page on Facebook.
- The Brigade spearheaded Operation Veteran to document and get exposure for the stories of Jewish
soldiers who fought in the Red Army during World War II.