When Tatiana Ambramovski, a Business Administration student at Red River College, moved to Israel from Russia, all she wanted was to raise her son away from the crisis going on in their home country.
“The political and economic situation after the Soviet Univer fell was horrible. There was no money, no jobs. I had to move somewhere,” she said.
However, she said when she looks back, those 16 years she lived in Israel were empty.
“There’s no time for development when you are trying to survive,” said Ambramovski, 38.
Ambramovski said she and her husband waited anxiously for four years to come to Canada. They first started with an exploratory visit, a trip that future applicants may make to Manitoba. It’s a chance to research communities and employment opportunities to decide if they will be able to settle here with their family.
Ambramovski remembers it was a hard time when she was in Israel. She said dealing with two different cultures – European and Middle Eastern culture – was the most difficult part.
“There’s a lot of discrimination there because everybody feel hurt,” she said. “People hate each other, kill each other, fight with each other over a piece of land.”
She was particularly afraid for her kids safety. She said in Israel, every 18-year-old kid, boys and girls, have to do military service.
“I’ve seen moms burying their 18-years-old sons, and I said ‘No, not my child,'” said the mom of three kids. “I was not prepared for this.”
“There’s no time for development when you’re trying to survive,” said Ambramovski.
So Ambramovski had two choices: go back to Russia or move somewhere else.
The immigration process to Canada was very different from Israel’s.
“It doesn’t matter if you have education or money, or if you’re married if you’re intelligent… It doesn’t matter, as long as you have Jewish roots,” she said of Israel’s immigration process.
Ambramovski said she and her family had to prove they had money and that they could contribute to Canada. They had to show their health situation and that they were intelligent.
However, according to her, that shows the country is taking care of its future by taking care of children, and this is what makes Canada a good country.
“When the plane took off, I cried. It was such a relief,” said Ambramovski, noting the overwhelming process was worth it.
“There I felt I wasn’t free. People were telling me what to do, what to believe, and how to behave.”
When Ambramovski and her family arrived in Winnipeg, they devoted their time to studying the language and getting involved with the society.
“We took seriously everything here. You know, language, culture, people. Be part of the culture, country and society is crucial,”
Everything the Ambramovskis couldn’t do together in Israel, they do now. She said now she’s making up for the time lost in Israel.
“We go skating together; we go to the zoo together. We are so happy now, and we love Canada.”