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In this Oct. 30, 2012 photo, a carpet covers the bedroom wall in Tsila Gorenstein's apartment in Be'er Sheva, southern Israel. In her native Moldova, heavy carpets were hung on the walls to heat homes during wintertime, but in the scorching desert town of Be'er Sheva, the carpet is hung for decoration only. Israel has one of the world’s largest Russian-speaking communities outside the former Soviet Union, and the immigrants’ tenacious clinging to their old way of life has transformed the Jewish state. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Ex-Soviets change the face of Israel

Israel has the world's third-largest Russian-speaking community outside the former Soviet Union, after the U.S. and Germany. The Soviet Union crumbled 20 years ago, and in the aftermath, more than 1

million of its citizens took advantage of Jewish roots to flee that

vast territory for the sliver of land along the Mediterranean that is

the Jewish state. By virtue of their sheer numbers in a country of 8

million people and their tenacity in clinging to elements of their old

way of life, these immigrants have transformed Israel.