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Israel grants citizenship to world-renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin

Kissin approach Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky a year ago to ask for his help
in becoming an Israeli.

Evgeny Kissin receives his Israeli identification card and passport.
Photo: Lior Daskal/Courtesy The Jewish Agency for Israel

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.

The Jerusalem Post, Dec 8, 2013

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Last updated: Dec 9, 2013.