As a resident of Russia, I found something poignant in the world of these immigrants. In their tumultuous history in the Soviet Union and in the Russian empire before it, Jews were subjected to brutal prejudice yet often flourished. And so their exodus has left a gap in these societies. Of course, Jews have remained, and communities are reviving. But in Israel, you can catch a refracted glimpse of what once was.It's a fun article, and mostly accurate.
Although Levy, a one-day visitor, does miss another part of the story, which is that the richest folks in Ashdod, the ones who own the luxury apartments in the spanking new extravagant towers on the shore front, are mostly French. Or rather, North African Jews who left in the 1950s when Jewish life in the Muslim world ceased to be viable, made lots of money in France, and have been moving to Israel in droves these past few years as Jewish life in France becomes less viable.
Meanwhile, off in Beit Shemesh (and Raanana, and Efrat) another group of immigrants is moving in - the Americans. Jewish Life in the US remains viable, very, but for some folks it's getting very expensive (if you want your children to have a Jewish education), or less appealing (if your job is in danger): the Israeli economy is stronger these days, a development no Israeli planner ever expected.
Of course, all these groups also converge in Jerusalem, but that's a story for another day.