The Russian language is one of the most spoken in Israel , especially among repatriates ( aliyah ) from the countries of the former USSR : the Russian Federation , the CIS , and the Baltic . Only after 1989 , more than 1 million repatriates arrived in Israel , for the vast majority of which Russian is the mother tongue , or at least the second language. Unlike many other immigrant languages, the Russian language in Israel shows a tendency towards sustainable conservation and transmission to the younger generation . Currently, in Israel, more than 20% of the population is fluent in Russian  , and a significant number of Russian-language media are functioning.
Period before the founding of the State of Israel
In the 19th century , cathedrals and monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church were founded on the territory of Palestine (mainly in the Jerusalem and Jaffa area ), where Russian state, church, land, and property were called Russian Palestine and were transferred to Israel only after 1962 (The Orange Transaction ) Naturally, among pilgrims and monastery dwellers, even then the Russian language was of great importance. From the end of the 19th century , the repatriation of Jews from the Russian Empire to Palestine began . But at that time, Yiddish was the mother tongue of the new arrivals, and most of the new arrivals often spoke Polish better than Russian. Only assimilated Jews , who were a minority, considered Russian as their native language . The revived Hebrew language began to supplant other languages of communication ( Yiddish and then still insignificant Russian). Most of the leaders of Yishuv came from the territory of the Russian Empire ( Ben-Gurion , Ben-Zvi , Jabotinsky , Dizengoff , Rutenberg , etc.), were educated in Russia and were fluent in Russian. Vladimir Zhabotinsky was a famous writer and playwright who created his works in Russian. In 1926, already living in Palestine, he wrote:
For most of us, Russia has long been a stranger. We are deeply indifferent to what will happen to this country in the future. But the Russian language stuck to every corner of our consciousness, despite the fact that we settled among distant peoples, scattered between them and the languages of these peoples are not like Russian. Besides our will, mechanically, we leaf through Russian newspapers, listen to conversations. The language sentenced us to a lifelong connection with the people and the country, whose fate actually interests us no more than last year’s snow.
The period after the formation of the state
After the beginning of the mass repatriation of Jews, first from the USSR, and in subsequent years from the post-Soviet space, the Russian language became widespread in the country. For many returnees, their native Russian language is of considerable value, regardless of their motivation to learn Hebrew. They are characterized by an orientation toward bilingualism (although, on the other hand, a new generation born or raised in Israel prefers Hebrew in everyday life). At the same time, in the late 1980s, the attitude of Israeli society changed towards greater tolerance towards multilingualism.
A new wave of immigration and the desire of new immigrants to maintain their native language and relations with the CIS countries have fundamentally changed the situation with the Russian language in Israel. If until 1990 there was only one daily newspaper in Russian (" Our Country "), then already in 1991 - 1992 . many daily newspapers, weeklies and magazines in Russian were published. In 1991, the broadcasting of the state radio station REKA in Russian began (approximately 12 hours a day at the beginning of 2019). In 2002 , a private Russian-language channel Israel Plus was opened (Channel 9) . Practically in all state and large private organizations it is possible to receive service in Russian, everywhere different kinds of inscriptions and announcements are duplicated in Russian. During the election campaign, propaganda materials in Russian are distributed, and on election day, posters on the walls of polling stations and in polling booths hang on which the leaflets are translated into Russian.  
As of 2011, Russian is a native language for 18% of adult residents of Israel. At the same time, 48% of the natives of the USSR communicate at home only in Russian, 12% do not use the Russian language at home, 6% use only the Russian language at work  .
From the number of arrivals from the former Soviet Union in the period after 1989, 90% of the first generation returnees, 78% of the second generation and 72% of the third generation retain the Russian language at home. The number of marriages outside the community is 15% for the first generation, 20-25% for the second. From this data, the Ministry of Absorption concludes that an autochthonous Russian-speaking sub-ethnic group has appeared in Israel over the past 25 years  . For people from other language spaces (except English), the preservation of the language in the third generation does not exceed 1-5%. At the same time, the preservation of the Russian language among those who arrived from the USSR in the 1970s does not exceed 10-15% in the third generation, although there is some restoration of Russian-speaking under the influence of new wave emigrants  .
Among the writers living in Israel and writing in Russian, one can mention Anatoly Aleksin and Dina Rubina , whose works are published in significant print runs in Russia. In Israel, one of the founders of bard song , the poet and playwright Julius Kim, lives. The work of the poet Igor Guberman , writers Felix Krivin and Grigory Kanovich , comedian and publicist Marian Belenky is very popular in the Russian-speaking reading audience.
The official language of Israel is Hebrew . Arabian has a special status, and is used mainly in areas of compact residence of Israeli Arabs . The languages of immigrants, such as Hungarian , Polish, and the traditional languages of the Jewish diaspora , are not officially recognized, although for some of them (for example, Yiddish and Ladino ) there are state institutions for the preservation of their literature and culture. Immigrant children usually speak Hebrew, and many of these languages tend to disappear. Due to the fairly wide distribution of Russian, bills on the legalization of the official status of the Russian language in the country have been repeatedly submitted to parliament . The last bill, which proposes to increase the status of the Russian language in Israel, was introduced to the Israeli Knesset in August 2008  .
The first foreign language studied in Israeli schools is English . Many schools also study a second foreign language, usually Arabic or French . Since 2008, the Russian language has also received the status of one of the second foreign languages in Israeli schools. The Ministry of Education undertook to consider the possibility of passing on a matriculation certificate in Russian, not only for repatriate children, as it was before, but also for everyone  . As of 2010 , the Russian language was taught as a subject in approximately 150 schools in Israel; it was studied by about 7,000 students in secondary and high schools (grades 7-12).
- Russian as a foreign language
- Russian language in the world
- Frequently Asked Questions about Israel Archived on April 21, 2010.
- Dynamics of the linguistic situation and language policy in Israel Archived on September 30, 2007.
- Elections 2019. Photo: Roman Yanushevsky .
- Central Statistical Bureau of Israel . Selected Data from the 2011 Social Survey on Mastery of the Hebrew Language and Usage of Languages (Hebrew) . Archived October 13, 2013. Date of treatment May 8, 2014.
- דוח נתונים שנתי לשנת 2014. משרד לקליטת העליה. ע '284
- דוח נתונים שנתי לשנת 2014. משרד לקליטת העליה. ע '286
- Newspapers write about a possible change in the status of the Russian language in Israel
- Israeli Ministry of Food pledged to strengthen the status of the Russian language in schools (inaccessible link)