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Ariel Celebrates National Immigrant Day

In the early 1990s, Ariel’s population doubled in under a decade with a mass wave of immigration from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). So it’s no surprise that the city of Ariel took to heart a landmark decision in the Israeli Knesset (parliament – ed.) earlier this year to declare the 7th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan “National Immigrant Day.”

On October 29, the Ariel Municipality held the first annual National Immigrant Day ceremony at the Ariel Regional Center for the Performing Arts, with Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro in attendance. Ariel’s Immigration Coordinator, Alla Vainer, was the Master of Ceremonies.

National Immigrant Day in Ariel will hereforth be marked with an awards ceremony, open to the general public, honoring the city’s most prolific immigrants each year.

This year’s prize recipients included:

  • Sports and Culture Award: Regina Davidov, chairwoman of the Ariel School for Artistic Gymnastics, and Boris Belinchevsky
  • Science and Education Award: Michael Shprinsky
  • Industry and Entrepreneurship Award: Adi Geller, editor of the local newspaper ‘Attraxia’ (Hebrew: Attraction)
  • Health and Wellness Award: Dr. Bronislava Shapiro and Dr. Elena Kagan
  • Community Dedication Award: Yosef Rudkin

Performances throughout the ceremony included sets from local entertainers Avi Ventura and Vladimir Friedman; songs from hip-hop group Kriss Kross; dances from the dancers of our Celebrate Ariel Performance Troupe;¬†and a performance from the Ariel School for Artistic Gymnastics troupe. The night ended with an emotional send-off from the ‘Song of the Heart’ Senior Choir.

Both new immigrants and native Israelis attended the moving ceremony – and we look forward to a new annual tradition.