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Mother Russia

The new Lifetime reality show Russian Dolls portrays the Russian-American Jews of Brighton Beach as celebrating neither America nor their Judaism but the freedom to be stereotypically Russian

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Diana Kosov on Russian Dolls. (Giovanni Rufino/Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC)

In the first episode of Russian Dolls, a new Lifetime reality show set in Brooklyn and billed as a cross between Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives franchise, a 23-year-old bleached-blonde named Diana Kosov spends a lot of time fretting about her new boyfriend, Paul, who drives a Maserati and lavishes her with flowers and teddy bears but who is unfit to bring home to her parents. The problem? “He’s Spanish, and I’m Russian,” Kosov explains. “In this community, if I date someone who’s not Russian, it’s a big deal.” Later, her mother, Anna, shows up to prove the point. “I would like you marrying Russian guy,” she tells her daughter, as they practice making borscht. “We have same kultur. It’s very important, you understand?”

The astute viewer will notice that, in both of these interludes, Kosov is wearing a large Star of David pendant that dangles above her dramatically pushed-up cleavage. In a phone interview this week, she said the message she heard was clear: “I’m looking for a Russian Jewish guy.” But, on the show, the word Jewish never enters the dialogue—not in an aside to the camera, not with Kosov’s mother, and not, eventually, with Paul, who gets the heave-ho over a plate of tuna tartare. “My parents, they came to America for a reason,” Kosov says, earnestly. “To look for Russians?” Paul retorts. “Yeah,” Kosov replies, without elaboration.

The pattern repeats itself throughout Russian Dolls, which is centered in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, long a Jewish neighborhood and today dominated by Russian Jewish émigrés. Its characters, almost all of them Jewish, arrived in the largest historical movement of Jews in the postwar era—but aren’t explicitly introduced as Jews.

It’s tempting to chalk up the disconnect to the producers’ desire to expand their potential audience or, equally plausibly, to head off criticism from the Jewish community in Brooklyn, which circulated petitions last winter objecting to the program’s display of outrageous materialism. But it turns out this show, as trashy and juvenile as anything else in the reality genre, reveals a deeper sociological truth about its subjects: These Soviet Jews, singled out and in some cases persecuted in their native country for being Jews, didn’t come to New York for the freedom to live as Jews—or, for that matter, to assimilate as Americans in the tradition of their Eastern European predecessors. What Russian Dolls confirms is that, 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its Jewish exiles have found in America a place where they can finally live freely as Russians.

“For most Russian Jews it’s so entangled,” said Alina Dizik, one of the show’s creators, about religious and national identity. “You really can’t separate one from the other, and most of us are so secular that a lot of the Jewish traditions get mixed up with the Russian traditions.” She added that getting a reality show is proof that the Russian community has arrived—as the show’s promo says, in block letters, “The Russians aren’t coming, the Russians are here.” The goal was to broadcast some hallmarks of Russian-American life without getting too deeply into the heavy details of the Cold War. Later episodes include nods to Jewish life in Brighton, including a fashion show benefiting an Israeli charity, Dizik said, but the show starts at the beginning. “We tried to explain as much as possible without being boring,” she said. “There’s no Russian history, but we explain what a banya is, and what some of the customs are in terms of going out to eat, and family relationships.”

Which seems to suit the show’s stars just fine. “There are people who are anti-Semitic who will say, this one is only half-Russian,” explained Michael Levitis, one of the show’s main characters, in an interview this week. “The only person who makes this distinction is anti-Semites and Communists.”

The Brighton Beach nightclub Levitis runs with his wife, Marina, is called Rasputin and operates in high Moscow style, with a cabaret dinner show and a menu of shellfish and other trayf luxuries. (Levitis was sentenced this month to three years’ probation after pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents about his involvement in an alleged plan to bribe New York State Sen. Carl Kruger.) “To American people, especially outside of New York, if you came from Russia, you’re Russian,” Marina Levitis said on the phone. “They don’t care if you’re Jewish or Christian or ethnically Russian or not.” But, she added, “We don’t pretend to be Russian Russian. We don’t pretend to be anything other than what we are.”

She’s right: As with Kosov’s Star of David necklace, there are plenty of subtle clues that the Levitises are Jews. They are introduced on the show with a montage that includes a wedding glamour shot in which Michael sports a large velvet kippah, and the camera pans over a mezuzah nailed to their front doorpost. But the show doesn’t explain that they met as students at Jewish high schools and send their own children to a yeshiva elementary school. Instead, the show plays up their mini-oligarch habits. In an on-camera shopping spree, Marina tries on a $28,000 pair of 11-carat diamond bangles, noting approvingly, “Big and blingy and definitely Russian style.” Meanwhile, Michael’s 56-year-old mother, Eva, reveals her long-dormant dream to be onstage and enters her Slavic belly-dancing act in a local talent show.

“I was in Russia engineer,” Eva tells Marina. “All my life I loved to sing and dance, but I never had a chance to do this in Russia.” In New York, she does.

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For an enlightening history of Rasputin’s role with Russian Jews, read “Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History”. As summarized on Amazon, “This book is a well-documented account of Rasputin as a healer, equal rights activist and man of God, and why he was so vilified by the aristocracy that their vicious rumors became accepted as history. For nearly a century, Grigory Rasputin, spiritual advisor to Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina, has been unjustly maligned simply because history is written by the politically powerful and not by the common man. A wealth of evidence shows that Rasputin was discredited by a fanatically anti-Semitic Russian society, for advocating equal rights for the severely oppressed Jewish population, as well as for promoting peace in a pro-war era. Testimony by his friends and enemies, from all social strata, provides a picture of a spiritual man who hated bigotry, inequity and violence. The author is the great-great niece of Aron Simanovitch, Rasputin’s Jewish secretary.”

The reason we often describe ourselves as Russians to non-Jewish Americans is because it’s too complicated to explain, “What do you mean, you’re both Russian and Jewish? How is that possible? Are you religious? ” and go through the whole cycle. It’s just easier to say Russian and be done with it.

I just watched a promo for this show, wincing. How thrilling that we Jews finally have our own Jersey Shore.

Yosef Goldstein says:

Saw the intro all night last night on tv, to be truthful I wasnt going to watch it. But now after reading this I amgoing to watch it. Lets hope it isnt as trashy as Jersey Shore, a little more like House Wives of NJ will be good for me………..

too bad this drek didnt go to israel with the rest of the shmutz

In a generation the children and grandchildren of the “Russian Jews” will take their place in American society along with the descendents of the Ostjuden of a century ago. They will start companies, become doctors, lawyers, dentists and accountants, investment bankers, movie stars, musicians and professors. Along the way, they may also become pornographers, pimps and drug dealers, like the bootleggers of olden days. Welcome to America.

lol what is kultur??
And why is it Diana Kosov, and not Kosova? Is it a man? Looks like it…

Vicki Aug 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM
The reason we often describe ourselves as Russians to non-Jewish Americans is because it’s too complicated to explain, “What do you mean, you’re both Russian and Jewish? How is that possible?
—————————
Have you tried saying “I am a Jewish person from Russia, just like you may be a Jewish person from America.” What’s so weird about that lol? New York people have no patience to listen to answer, maybe?

lazer says:

Sounds pretty Jewish to me: not too religious, insular, loves capitalism, tries to bribe a politician? Talk about stereotypes. Though Levitis just sounds pretty ignorant. Is he aware that many anti-Communists are also anti-Semites?

I don’t consider them Russian they are the same people who tried destroy Russia with communism then left for Israel when Russia got freedom.

lazer says:

LOL and i was scared my comment would be interpreted as anti-Semitic. Then someone posted right after me proving my point with something actually anti-Semitic!

That is an absurd. There is no such identity as “Russian Jew” – it does not exist. “Jew” is an ethnicity and “Russian” is an ethnicity. One person cannot belong to two ethnicities simultaneously. It is like naming somebody “Swedish Pole” or “French Bulgarian”. In other words: a complete nonsense.

Angel says:

well, now after these comments Ive GOT to go watch the show :}……..

Zhenya says:

@Rocky — Actually, we already ARE doctors and lawyers and musicians and professors, etc.

In general, I say I’m a Russian-speaking Jew. I grew up in Moscow and feel very attached to the Russian culture, but I’m not Russian as such. Also, of course, not all Russian-speaking Jews are Russian — many grew up in other former Soviet states.

Rosalia says:

I am a Jewish-person from Argentina/ living in New York. When I was a child everybody there (Arg.) thought that Jew people were Russian and they called us “rusito” or “rusita”(not a good word ). I dont know how is now. I hope they learned more to know that jew people are from different parts of the world, Poland, Germany, etc. etc.as well.
My grandparents and parents were Russian, yes and I am very proud of that. They used to read Chekov, Dostoievsky , Tolstoy and listen to Russian composers like Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff every night before we went to sleep.

Levitis’ complete disrespect towards her other-in-law is definitely not Russian nor Jewish. In my family, mother-in-law is called mom!

Hnic1234 says:

They are not talking about ” Rasputin ” the holy devil, but ” Rasputin ” the restaurant/night club, located in Brooklyn.@ Delin Colon. And Russian is a race not a religion, so you can be a Jew, Christian, Muslim and even Athiest, can you believe that? Yeah and Levitis is pretty gross as a female goes, her voice can make any dog howl sound like angelic bells, her accent is so crazy that I think she makes up words to fit her sentences of broken Engrussian, and dissing grandma is a no no, especially on national tv, how un-cultured. Last thought; imagine what she looks like in the morning with no make up, after a bottle of Smirnoff 40 proof, screaming like Rorschach ( GIVE ME MY FACE!!! )

Russian is a Nationality not ethinicity. Jewish is ethinicity like black, Arab etc.

RE: “That is an absurd. There is no such identity as “Russian Jew” – it does not exist. “Jew” is an ethnicity and “Russian” is an ethnicity. One person cannot belong to two ethnicities simultaneously. It is like naming somebody “Swedish Pole” or “French Bulgarian”. In other words: a complete nonsense.”

Dimon reg your last name comment, when young kids imigrated to the US with their parents the US government gives them last name of their father (at least that is how it was in the 80′s and 90′s. In my case that’s what happened as well, so yes, I also have a male last name and no I am not a man :) I didn’t care much about it then after a while it became too time consuming to change.
Reg. Russia and Russian Jews, honestly I don’t like the fact that all Russian speaking communities are generalized as Russians. I am Russian, which means I have no Jewish family at all. I was born in Russia, not former states of Soviet Union but St. Petersberg, Russia. When I was still a kid I had no idea of what Russia, Jewish, Catholic, etc was, I had friends, people who cared for me and I cared for. Only when I came to the USA was I introduced to this Jewish/Russia dilemma. The way I see it is Jewish is not only an ethnicity but also personal religious views, meaning you wear (as menitoned in the post) a star of David. Yes you can be Jewish by race but take on a religion of a Christian, a Muslim or have no religion at all. Same with Russians we can be Russian by ethnicity but take on any other religion. Reg. Nationality if you were born in Israel you are an Israely, if you are Born in Russia you are Russian. Those of us who came to the US as kids in the late 80′s and early 90′s there is a mix of Russians and Russian/Jews, and trust me none of us care what our religious bg is because we all got a feel of that Soviet regime, we have a lot in common which is what supposed to bring people closer together. I think it is truely discusting how these young people are depicting themselves on this show but if that is how they are that doesn’t mean that is how the rest of the Russian community is. My generation enjoys get togethers as much as other guy/gal but my friends and I do it differently. Few times a year we go put together a 3 day music festival in PA/NJ we sit by the fire and sing songs.

Yes we drink and have a good time, we go to banya and go to Russian restaurants but by no means do we act like materialistic spoiled brats. The way my friends and I spend time is not what the public wants to see for entertainment so you will never see that on TV. When Jersey Show first came out I was horrified but over time those kids grew on me, most of them actually seem like pretty nice kids. We might not like how they behave but you know what, if you ever been to spring break most people behave in that way, these kids just want to have fun and get $$$. This is their life and I don’t think that all Italian/American are this way.

Allright guys, tell me what u think. Here is a RECAP of episode 1 where every character is ripped a NEW asshole: http://bit.ly/p9E4f2

This was a great article. We have created a blog where we report on the show and cast members. We were critical of the first show. I really think there should have been some mention that most, if not all the cast, are Jewish. How do they leave out such an important factor? Our website is http://russiandollslifetime.blogspot.com/ Please stop by read and/or comment.

the show is the hight of stupidity. Especially coming from the co-owner of Rasputin who was sentenced to jail and probably got out by selling his Russian heritage soul. I hope he will actually go to jail with his idiotic family for what he has done for Russian-Americans, most of whom are Jewish. All I can say is the too bad for people surviving holocost to see what these morans have done. Let them burn in hell.

“The reason we often describe ourselves as Russians to non-Jewish Americans is because it’s too complicated to explain” – Or maybe the reason is – you so stupid that you can’t explain that you’re just a Jew who LIVED in Russia? Just don’t lie and then it won’t be so hard to explain.

Contrary to what’s mentioned in the article, Brighton Beach is no longer predominantly Russian Jewish. The Jews of the late 70′s and early 90′s have long ago move to NJ, SI and other places beyond Brighton. It’s now mostly people from the former Soviet republics. With such change taking place, it’s becoming more important for the Jews from the FSU to emphasize the Jewish component of their identity, since being Russian in the US no longer equates to being Jewish.

Rabbi Shmuel Izik Popack Of Brooklyn is the new Lubavitcher Meshiach.

Popack Is the Meshiach

GN, even if you are right (“Russian is a Nationality not ethnicity”) even then you cannot call them “Russian Jews” because their nationality is “American” and their ethnicity is “Jew”. Therefore they are “American Jews” and not “Russian Jews”

joker says:

It’s a joke. It’s exactly like making show “Frenches” with the cast of arabs or “Brits” with hindos

BunnyX says:

Wow, so many stupid people, not enough time to bitch-slap them all.

Gene, I am talking about YOU!!!!

Anon Y. Mous says:

Jews have always been hiding behind other people’s identities and presenting themselves as somebody else. Anybody that has studied history and the bible knows that jews stole the identity of the ancient Hebrews and at no point in time was Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, King David, or the prophets ever called “jew” or their faith “Judaism.” There is no such thing as the Star of David, that thing is the most powerful symbol in all of Satanism and its real name is the Star of Remphan, of the demon worshiping tabernacle of Moloch, that the God of Israel furiously rebuked. Its sides and angles form 666, the mark of the beast. There was never any anti-Semitism in the USSR because Jews had always occupied all the positions of wealth, power, and influence in Communist Russia; from the schools and universities to the military, politburo, and KGB. Jews created communism and oversaw the physical, spiritual, and monetary destruction of the largest, richest, and most racially pure nation on earth. Today, real Russians starve whilst Jewish oligarchs and the Jewish Mafia, falsely so called Russian Mafia in the west, have stolen billions of dollars and are kidnapping Russian children for slavery and organ harvesting, child porn, sex videos, forced prostitution, snuff films, gunrunning, currency speculation, oil and gas monopolies, banking and financial fraud, and drug running from places like Afghanistan. It is almost impossible for a White Christian Russian to immigrate to the U.S. whilst Russian speaking Jews can come here freely with their entire families and distant relatives under “refugee” status and get financial support from the U.S.Gov. It’s not enough that they destroyed Russia and committed countless acts of theft, genocide, and moral subversion; they now use Russian culture and identity as a shield and rag. They are as much Russian as a black Haitian from the Caribbean that speaks a bastardized version of French is French…

Hnic1234 says:

Yeah Gene does sound like a retard, and toothless one at that.

OYE

Irene says:

As a Russian who came here in 1976 I’ve always resented the fact that the Jews call themselves “Russians”. In their own papers and magazines they are quick to vilify ALL of us. When I meet them socially, they turn their backs to me without even bothering to find out my attitude toward the Jews. They throw in my face all prejudices real and imagined they’d suffered from us, villains and monsters.. But then they steal my nationality… They monopolize it! They introduce themselves as Russians, they call their dingy Brighton Beach ctores and restaurants “Russian”.
They even, as a final insult, have Shuzpa to call this utter trash “RUSSIAN Dolls”.

Igor Komarov says:

This show did one good thing, which is illuminate the grotesque ‘Noviiy-Russkiiy mentalitet’. I pray this forces many ex-soviet emigres to look into the mirror. But please, curb some of your ignorance towards ethnicities, nationalities and their unfortunate stereotypes. There is something called ‘Confirmation Bias’, and within the concept of this ‘mental fault’ an individual confirmes his biases by witnessing them. Until it’s confirmation, a bias, is merely just that. Upon confirming the bias, the bias is instilled as fact. I.E. Jews are greedy, subjected stumbles upon a greedy Jew..and this is essentially instilled until the bias is either disproved or exposed to the subject. Please don’t fall victim to your own biases, there are morons EVERYWHERE, in every race, creed and culture. There is no such thing as ethnic purity, supremacy etc.. I also feel as if I need to defend against the barrage against Russian-Jews living in America. My mother is Jewish and my father an ethnic Russian, and I’m well aware of what that makes me..based on most of your limited perceptions. I adore Russian culture, and find great solace in it’s depth and genuineness! Those of you who can feel the enigmatic Russian soul, will know that out language alone speaks volumes of our honest, humble and truthful character. These are ofcourse stereotypes but ones I like to affiliate with Russia and Russian people. There has ofcourse been a corruption of our values by a multitute of facets, not limited to a single person, or people. Hedonism is the real problem, and this concept is rooted deeper than than the Jewish identity, I assure you. Using positive stereotypes similar to the ones I outlined above to attack the integrity of another people is abhorrent! As a side note, PLENTY of ethnic Russians adhere to the ‘Noviiy Russkiy’ stereotype..wear gold chains, drive flashy cars, drink..and curse as much as they breathe, and they are as alien to me as the Russian Jews on this show.

Russian IS an ethnicity. Why is anyone saying it isn’t. WTF?

See my audition video for the 2nd season, plus i have MORE scoops about these cast members then anyone, plus behind the scenes info

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9iIcsb0_Fw

–Roman “The Solution”

*** LOGIC *** Voice of reason :) says:

Many of you are allowing your severely prejudicial views to effect your judgments & to not listen to logic and reason.

People who are US citizens are American by nationality.

If they or their parents and so on came from Russia, their ethnic background is Russian.

As far as Jewish, Catholic, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, that’s a religion!

Most shows are not named based on people’s religious beliefs unless perhaps they are on some religious channel.

“Mob Wives” was a show about mostly Italian women I believe, but although many of them may have been Catholic (or not) it was not discussed much in the show if at all. I believe it wasn’t at all actually.

As far as these people being materialistic, who cares, so some of them are. They don’t represent all Russian people to me, they are just a few people with different personalities who have Russian ethnic background. Different people are different.

I watch “Real Housewives” shows as well and it’s the same there, different people with different personalities. That’s that.

The only show that may have made me a bit judgmental toward a group was “Mob Wives” because those women were violent, insane for the most part and quite scary and I would not want to be around anyone like that. So, perhaps I would be more cautious around Italians in NJ or NY.

“Russian Dolls” though is very different than the above mentioned show. It’s just a slice of life of some American people with Russian ethnicity (some may be Jewish as far as religion goes, others Agnostic, others Atheist, others perhaps some other religion) living around Brighton Beach. They are just themselves, I don’t think they represent all (or even majority) of Russian people. There are people with different personalities and beliefs if you look at any group of people! Same with this show.

And those of you who consider them Jewish by “ethnicity” (wrong) do so why? Because their bloodlines go back to Israelites or something? Heck, we all started in Africa – so Africans!!

*** LOGIC *** Voice of reason :) says:

Oh, one more thing, their race would be Caucasian since some of you even threw in race in there, lol.

I am Russian Jewish, my family arrived in the US in the late 70s. The people on this show and their culture are very familiar although I was raised to be American and to hate everything the Soviet Union stood for.

In response to ***LOGIC***Voice of reason, I have only one thing to say: YOU ARE WRONG!!! At least as far as you are incapable of comprehending that being Jewish can be and is often an ethnicity (with or without the corresponding religious belief).

Yes, in the past fifty years there has been a lot of intermarriage (and resulting “converts”), but this was not the case for the two thousand year old history of Jews in Europe. Jews in the Russian Empire were not Russians who decided to convert to Judaism. They were refugees from Israel and the Middle East who were forced to flee persecution throughout Europe over and over again. DNA tests actually confirm that. Some of my ancestors never even made it to Europe; they “escaped” to the Ukraine via Turkey. These people lived in their own communities and never interacted with the host population (other than the occasional pogrom/rape). To be called Russian is an insult to the terrible history that my ancestors endured throughout Europe. More importantly, it is just plain wrong. I am not an ethnic Russian, neither are most of the cast of Russian Dolls.

As far as embracing Judaism, my grandparents and parents were taught to embrace atheism under the iron fist of communism. As much as they tried to practice Judaism when they arrived in the US, it was too late. What made it even harder was the snobbish and unwelcoming attitude of American Jews. My parents tried going to a temple, just so that we could have a sense of community, but the American Jews bent over backwards to let us know that we were “charity cases” and beneath them. They also couldn’t handle the fact that most of us had had enough of Socialism and voted Republican. Hardly welcoming!

I think most russian jews intentionally isolate themselves from non-jewish russians…not a criticism, just an observation..thats why russians are glad to see them leave….also..what kind of borscht was being made…that surely isn’t anything I ever had

Am I the only one who gets bothered by the fact that it’s called Russian Dolls but you see that they’re from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova… Slavic, yes. Russian, no.

I really hope they will not make a 2nd season of this crap… even though they don’t mention the jewish angle, it’s all over the show and gives us a bad name…

Yo man. Can I get on this show, how much and how long?

Send it.

JewSoCrazy says:

The problem with this show is the title. They are not Russian; they are Jewish, period. The average American, who is naturally predisposed to be a retard in geography, will, after watching this, sincerely believe that this is a genuine reflection of real Russians, and then pass judgment on them based on their actions. Why not call it “Jew Dolls” or “Brighton Beach Jew Housewives” or “Jew Shore?”

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paulie says:

1)when people stretch their hands to receive small gray world passport, a green electronic tattoo (three sixes like on a timer) will be given by lasers on the wrist area or forehead. this is the infamous mark of the beast. police will later laser people with it. food stores will be set up to laser people with it too. those who receive this tattoo will not be forgiven.
2)antichrist will rule from jerusalem. he has white powder on his face. also, he has red eyes. this ruler will be surrounded by demons who will appear as angels of light. this ruler will move very fast. he will also make fire come down from the sky. those who worship this red-eye ruler will not be forgiven.
3)demons dress in fake human skin and fly in ufo ships. they will invite people to be healed in their ufo ships. whoever goes in, comes out a zombie.

-demons will land their ufo ships on the streets and will invite people to be healed. whoever goes in, comes out a zombie.
-80 foot dinosaurs will come out through lakes and sinkholes to eat us.
-evil red-eye antichrist with white powder on his face will come to power. this clown is gay. whoever worships this clown, goes to hell.
-evil electronic 666 tattoo by lasers with small grey world passport will become mandatory. whoever gets it, goes to hell.
-whoever gets chipped is easily tracked to get lasered. so, avoid getting lasered by not getting chipped.

1)demons have 4 ufo bases:
a)moon
b)inside mountain kailas
c)underneath mariana trench (atlantis is here)
d)lake baikal
2)airplanes that go down are hit by demons because they need the airspace to fight Jesus.
3)ufos are powered by diamonds.
4)whoever goes inside a ufo ship to be healed by demons, comes out a zombie.
5)fallen angels=demons=aliens in ufos=ascended masters=ghosts=channeled entities=dead relatives during seances=spirit guides=pagan gods and goddesses=greys=automatic writing spirits=ouija board movers=meditation spirits=psychic’s guides=astrologer’s helpers.

They do isolate themselves from ethnic Russians because their parents remember too well how difficult it was to grow Jewish in Russia. Most of Russian Jews were raised as atheists. The only difference was their ethnic background. Nevertheless, this was enough to make their life sometimes very difficult.
Still, Russian Jews are more Russians by their upbringing then they are Jews.
And trust me, they know how to make a real borscht, especially those from Ukraine.

How about Russian Germans, “obrusevshie nemtsy”?

Woodrow says:

I’ve noticed most Jews who arrived in America in their lifetime or whose parents moved here from Russia will call themselves Russian. Jews from families who moved here generations ago may or may not. My grandparents’ families moved to America from Ukraine and Lithuania, which were part of the Russian Empire at the time. They grew up speaking English without accents and they never called themselves Russians, they always called themselves Jews. These days when people ask my ethnicity I rarely just say Jewish because I don’t practice the Jewish religion. Instead I say I’m Russian, or sometimes Russian and Jewish.

Come to think of it, Syrian (Sephardic) Jews will have nothing to do with
Ashkenazi Jews.
They regard Ashkenazi like niggers.

Well, admit it, most Russian Jews, especially the males,
are filthy, and have boorish habits.

Elena Paperny says:

You can be Russian and Jewish, just as you can be Russian Orthodox or Christian. It’s a religion; not a race.

jan momberg says:

Oy veyski!

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Mother Russia

The new Lifetime reality show Russian Dolls portrays the Russian-American Jews of Brighton Beach as celebrating neither America nor their Judaism but the freedom to be stereotypically Russian

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