The culture, food and contributions of Russian-speaking New Yorkers were on full display at City Hall on Monday evening at a celebration hosted by Council Member Mark Treyger, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield and Karen Koslowitz and the Council’s Jewish Caucus in the City Council Chambers. Council Member Treyger was especially proud to host this event in his capacity as the first ever Russian speaking member of the New York City Council and a first generation New Yorker. Assembly Members Alec Brook-Krasny, Bill Colton and Helene Weinstein, who all represent large Russian speaking communities in southern Brooklyn, were also in attendance.
The Celebration of Russian-Speaking New Yorkers featured a reception with food from Russian restaurants from around Brooklyn and Queens and performances by the Brighton Beach Ballet. In addition, leaders from throughout New York’s Russian-speaking community were presented with Council proclamations in recognition of all of their contributions to our city, including President of the Association of Holocaust Survivors from the Former Soviet Union Boris Lerman, Gregory Davidzon of Davidzon Media, journalist Ari Kagan, Inna Stavitsky of JASA and businessman Boris Kandov. This event marked the return of this great celebration to City Hall and will hopefully become an annual event once again, especially as the city’s Russian-speaking population continues to grow in communities across the five boroughs.
“It was great to see our proud heritage being celebrated in City Hall by so many members of New York’s Russian-speaking community. It is important that we always remember where we came from, so I was extremely proud to host this celebration with my colleagues. Russian-speaking New Yorkers have added so much to our city throughout the years, and this was a great chance to honor those contributions and achievements,” said Council Member Treyger.
“I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my fellow co-hosts Council Member Mark Treyger, Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Council Member David Greenfield, and Council Member Mark Levine and the Jewish Caucus for working together to celebrate the Russian-speaking community in NYC. In particular I want to congratulate my honoree, Inna Stavitsky, a hardworking, dedicated community activist. I also extend my congratulations to the other honorees, Gregory Davidzon, Boris Lerman, and Ari Kagan,” said Council Member Deutsch.
“I am proud to represent the growing and important Russian-American community of Southern Brooklyn. My great thanks to Councilman Mark Treyger and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for hosting this important event honoring Russian speaking New Yorkers. Our honorees are truly extraordinary New Yorkers deserving of praise,” said Council Member Greenfield.
“It was a pleasure to be part of this Celebration of Russian Speaking New Yorkers. New York has been and continues to be the dream of a better tomorrow for so many Russian speaking men and women who come here with nothing BUT their dreams, in search of freedom and opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families. I’d like to thank Council Member Treyger and my colleagues for hosting this special event in honoring our city’s Russian Speaking New Yorkers,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“The Russian speaking people in my community are hardworking, entrepreneurial and above all, family oriented. They are proud of their heritage and grateful to be American. I am delighted that so many have decided to live and work in my district,” said Council Member Koslowitz.