Page 77 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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primarily to residents o f Israel or those who intend to become so.
Nevertheless, the library represents a readily available resource
for Soviet imm igrants outside o f Israel, among whom very little
has been done in the way of promo ting Jewish culture.
Finally, in the grea t Russian tradition, the immigrants have
taken to publishing a wide variety o f periodicals. But there is also
a tradition o f periodicals coming and going, and thus far at least
15 Russian language journals have gone under , as has one daily
newspaper. The surviving newspaper, once a daily and now ap ­
pearing thrice weekly, is
Nasha strana
(Our Country). Like all
non-Hebrew newspapers in Israel, it is owned indirectly by the
Labor Party and reads, as the immigrants say, “almost like a Soviet
newspaper,” which is, o f course, an exaggeration. However, it is
true that its literary and intellectual level is low, servicing the
working class imm igrant perhaps, but not fulfilling the needs of
the more educated newcomers who are in any case more likely to
be able to read the Hebrew press.
Nasha strana
carries almost no
critical commentary on Israeli affairs, and, following government
policy, ignores dissidence and other internal matters in the USSR,
though these subjects are o f great interest to a substantial p ropo r ­
tion of the immigrants. The more lively newspaper,
published as a commercial venture, and was forced to close be­
cause it could not pay its way. The Russian reader therefo re does
not have much o f a choice in the way o f a daily and this perhaps is
a spur to learning Hebrew or even English.
The magazine and jou rna l scene is far livelier. Here, too, there
have been many failed attempts, and they include serious jo u r ­
nals, such as
Am i
, en tertainm en t magazines such as
(a sort o f news magazine), and one or two very watered
down versions o f the American sex magazine. At present, the
most prom inent, and apparently most stable, periodical publica­
tions are the two religiously-oreinted jou rna ls
(Renaissance) and the cultural-political journals
Sion, 22 ,
Vremiia i my
(Time and We). The ed itor of
is Pavel
Goldshtain, a fo rm e r prisoner in Soviet camps. The jou rna l has
become more sophisticated over the years, now including works
by and about figures such as Martin Buber and Lev Tolstoy.
published by the Shamir Society (religious immi­