After the tremendous campaign by world Jewry and others to bring Russian Jews to freedom, after thousands of indigent speeches, the formation of hundreds of national and international commissions, countless fundraising drives all to help free our coreligionists from Russian bondage, 140,000 Russian Jews settled permanently in Israel, greatly improving the economy and security of the Holy Land.
For many Soviet Jews it was the culmination of years of hope and longing, the end of second class citizenship and the beginning of a new life as proud members of a proud nation.
But getting Jews out of the Soveit Union was only the first step. When they arrived in Israel they were strangers in a strange land. The language was different, and the customs were different. Back in the Soviet Union, many of them had only a vague understanding of Judaism, with little or no chance to really enjoy the beauty, the strength and exaltation that have sustained Jews throughout the thousands of years of history. Small wonder that many Russian Jews developed second thoughts about the wisdom of their decision.
Fortunately, when they arrived in Israel, Chamah was waiting for them.
Chamah is the only organization in Israel whose activists dedicated their energies and sacrificed their lives while still behind the Iron Curtain.
In Israel, these same Chamah activists have been able to make Russian newcomers feel and relish the kinship that binds Jew to Jew.