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You're reading: Israel warms up to New Year’s, Soviet-style
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Their neighbors, some of the nearly 1 million Soviet citizens who flocked to the Jewish state as the Communist regime collapsed, would decorate fir trees and wear Santa Claus-like hats, celebrating New Year’s Soviet-style.

But after 20 years, Israel has come to terms with the Christmas-like custom, even if most of the country lights Hanukkah candles this time of year.

Soviet-born immigrants will ring in this New Year with more oomph than ever before — a testament to the comfortable and influential niche they’ve carved for themselves in Israeli society. One hotel is throwing a Russian winterland bash and charging up to $660 a plate.

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