Speaking at Shaloh House Friday before a packed audience of Jews from the former Soviet Union, Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Natan Sharansky explained that their  bitter experience of anti-Semitism in Russia has become today their greatest strength.


As a result of their experience, Jews from the former Soviet Union are able to stand strong against the massive upsurge in anti-Israel propaganda today that is pulling other Jews away from their Jewish identity, he said.


 We know how dangerous it is to live without our roots, without our identity. “This is our contribution,” Sharansky said. “Here in Boston, more and more Jews are afraid to state their unreserved support and solidarity with Israel. There is so much anti-Israel propaganda. They hear it and prefer to distance themselves from Israel. You are those who can stand in solidarity.”


The children in grades 5/6 learned about Sharansky’s history in classes during the week. They learned that it was his tenacious grasp on his Jewish identity that pulled him through his experience as a KGB prisoner.


Standing strong for Judaism in their own way, the children sang a medley of songs for him, including “Am Yisroel Chai,” (may the Jewish people live and prosper)