Some local Former Soviet Union (FSU) organizations and associations
The Union of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Located at 88 Herzl St. in the Old City –
National Israeli Federation of Russian-Speakers (IFORS) – http://www.ifors.co.il.
The Romanian Immigrants’ Organization (Asociatia Originarilor Evrei din Romania), founded and headed by Dr. Nathan Cohen, is located at the Immigrants’ House (Bet ha-Oleh), 2 ha-Histadrut St. in the Old City – 08-6232395, www.facebook.com/groups/145478502178171/members. In 2017, a cooperative agreement was made between the Be’er-Sheva Office of Commerce and Industry and the Bucharest Office of Commerce and Industry in Romania.
“AMIR” – Union of Former Romanians in Israel – www.amirorg.co.il/?page_id=24.
The Community of Immigrants for Georgia (Gamarjoba) – www.kehila4u.co.il.
Hungarian Immigrants’ Club. Founded by Paul Weiss (1914-2003) and Prof. Gabriel Terek (1917-1991) in 1967 in the Daled neighborhood – www.tapuz.co.il/blogs/viewentry/1932921.
FSU culture in Be’er-Sheva
“Amcha” – located at 91 Herzl St. in the Old City, hosts special Hungarian culture evenings once a month to preserve the Hungarian language by presenting Hungarian programs with guests from Israel and abroad. “Amcha” also hosts a Polish Literary Circle once a month that convenes to preserve the Polish language by discussing Polish literature, etc. – 08-6270224, http://www.amcha.org.
The Center for the Performing Arts occasionally presents Soviet cultural events, such as: visiting Soviet ballet performances; the Red Army Choir; plays performed in Russian; evenings of Russian music & songs; and even Russian stand-up comedians and other well-known entertainers.
“Shalvah” – Georgian Folk-Dance Troupe was named after the late founder, Shalvah Ephremashvili (founded 1973). The dancers are mainly family members plus other Georgian dancers. Director, choreographer: David Ephremashvili – 052-2709699, 08-6414051.
The “Terminal” [Russian] Discotheque/Dance Bar, located at the corner of Hadassah 61 & Herzl Streets in the Old City, has a FSU D.J. and plenty of good Vodka (for those who can stand the high decibels). Opens from 23:30 – 054-468-9644, https://www.facebook.com/terminalbeersheva.
Annual Passover tournaments are held for a traditional Georgian (Gruzini) outdoor folk-sports game somewhat like contemporary rugby—Lelo burti–in which the men’s teams, Dynamo Be’er-Sheva and Onas Bichi, and the women’s teams, MaraToni and MesameTaoba, compete. A propos rugby, the Be’er-Sheva “Camels” Rugby Club (founded 1992) practices at the BGU Sports Center; this club won the double in 2005–the Israel Rugby Cup and the Israel Academic Sport Association National Championship.
There are a number of (non-kosher) Soviet restaurants and events halls in Be’er-Sheva with cuisine from various FSU republics.
Memorial services are held annually on Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day at the memorial statute in the plaza near the entrance of Yad la-Banim (near City Hall).
Soviet-Jewish author Shalom Schwarzbard, known as “The Avenger” (1886-1938) has a street in the Old City named in his memory, ha-Noqem, for his actions avenging the deaths of Ukrainian Jewry.
There are a number of Russian-language TV channels and programs and several Russian community papers, print and digital, such as: the weekly papers – NegevInfo – 08-6232504; Treugolnik – 08-6105457.