Kangarusski screens ‘Stateless’

September 19, 2017 by Hayley Hadassin
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Kangarusski held a screening of the documentary ‘Stateless’ for the Russian Speaking Jewish Community at the Jewish Folk Centre in Sydney.

Julia Bilder

Kangarusski is the Russian Speaking Jewish Community (RSJC) department of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA),engaging the Russian speaking members of the community with both Jewish and Israel content. It has been further developed by a dedicated volunteer base with the desire to celebrate their Jewish heritage and revive their Australian Jewish social epicenter.

The evening was very successful and many in the audience related to the documentary which focused on the late 1980’s. It was the period in history that saw the Soviet Union on the brink of the collapse. It was also when tens of thousands of Soviet Jews were finally allowed to leave the USSR. Those who decided to immigrate to America, Australia, and New Zealand had to go through the “Vienna – Rome pipe” where for a long period of time too many found themselves stateless.

This documentary was told through voices of immigrants with expert accounts from influential Jewish leaders.

After the screening guests were invited to a share their “Italian’ memories in a friendly discussion over wine and light treats. Misha Kontorovich, Tibor Weitzen, Tatiana Vengerovskaya shared life stories and discussed the humiliation and anti-Semitic hostility they experienced in the USSR.

Frida Belakhov read a chapter from her book My Impossible Existence: – “We ran from the ​​customs to the airplane that was taking us to Vienna. Ran as fast as we could. Not only to get their on time, but also to escape this country as quickly as possible.”

Anna Maylis, Kangarusski coordinator said: – “It was a very warm emotional evening that brought together Jews from different parts of the FSU, who were all united by one tragic destiny. We left everything behind: belongings, friends, family, money and language, with little understanding of the capitalistic world we had to face. It was an unknown future. We survived. We got stronger and we kept our Jewish identity.”

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