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Photo by: Lior Daskal/Courtesy The Jewish Agency for Israel
Israel grants citizenship to world-renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin
By GREER FAY CASHMAN
08/12/2013
Kissin approach Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky a year ago to ask for his help in becoming an Israeli.
 
It isn’t every day that a Jew living outside of Israel, but fighting to preserve Israel’s good name, asks to become an Israeli citizen. World renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin is an exception to the rule.

Though living primarily in France and England, he defends Israel at every opportunity and felt that he could do so more effectively if he had Israeli citizenship.

A year ago, he approached Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky to ask for his help in becoming an Israeli. Sharnasky instantly warmed to the idea and sought the help of various ministers who were equally receptive to the idea.

On Saturday at a reception co-hosted by the Touro Restaurant and the Jerusalem Press Club, Kissin received his Israeli passport from Minister for Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver.

In the letter that he wrote to Sharansky a year ago, Kissin stated: “I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state – and since long ago I have felt that Israel, although I do not live there, is the only state in the world with which I can fully identify myself, whose case, problems, tragedies and very destiny I perceive to be mine.

“If I, as a human being and artist represent anything in the world, it is my Jewish people, and therefore Israel is the only state on our planet which I want to represent with my art and all my public activities, no matter where I live.”

Kissin will give a benefit concert in Jerusalem on Monday night for the Tel Hai International Master Classes.
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