The non-profit organization "Ma'alot" has been working on establishing the Heritage Center of Soviet Jews for the past eight years.

Over the years, "Ma'alot" has gathered numerous documents, testimonies, and artifacts, and has hosted exhibitions, lectures, meetings, and seminars.

Recently, progress has been made in shaping the future Center for the Heritage of Soviet Jews, with the government allocating 25 million shekels for its creation. Of this amount, 12 million comes from the Ministry of Heritage, 4.5 million from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, 3 million from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, 3 million from the Ministry of Construction, and 3 million from the Ministry of Development of the Negev and Galilee.

Marina Ben-Arie, the General Director of the NGO "Ma'alot," spoke to The News of Israel about the stages of this project's development. She explained that in 2016, an initiative group was formed, including scientists, cultural figures, and public activists, who established the board of trustees of the Ma'alot organization. The initiative to create the Center for the Heritage of Soviet Jewry was supported by prominent figures such as Natan Sharansky and Yuli Edelstein.

Ben-Arie emphasized the importance of this center, noting that while there are heritage centers for other Jewish communities in Israel, there hasn't been one specifically for the million-strong Aliyah from the former Soviet Union. She expressed hope that the center will represent all communities from the former USSR and serve as a training center and event venue.

Promoting the project wasn't easy, but now, with the government's decision to allocate the budget, the next steps involve creating an organizational commission to develop the center's program and logistics. Ben-Arie believes this project will contribute to a deeper understanding of the "great aliyah" among Israelis and olim, shedding light on their history, achievements, and challenges.

The Center for the Heritage of Soviet Jews is expected to become an important educational resource for youth organizations, schools, military personnel, and repatriates, ensuring that the history and contributions of Soviet Jews occupy a significant place in the history of Israel.