All the lonely people

Changes in ownership at Arnona’s former Diplomat Hotel throw elderly Russian immigrants into jeopardy.

February 11, 2016 21:04
The US Consulate in Jerusalem

The US Consulate, on Jerusalem’s Agron Street. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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On a cold morning a few days ago, two old women shlepping their shabby carts full of vegetables from the shuk reached the stop for the No. 7 bus at the corner of Agrippas Street, facing the entrance to Mahaneh Yehuda. The contrast between their out-of-fashion outfits and their well-groomed general appearance (complete with lipstick, manicured nails and blonde hair) easily revealed their origins, even before one could hear them speaking in Russian.

The pair are tenants of the former Diplomat Hotel in the Arnona neighborhood, an Absorption Ministry facility for elderly immigrants, mostly from the former Soviet Union. They seemed relieved to find out that they hadn’t missed the bus, and decided they had enough time to take a short rest on the bench nearby.


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