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DeBlasio: Print NYC documents in Russian

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New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio addresses Russian American Foundation event.   (Photo: Yoon Kim)

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio addresses Russian American Foundation event. (Photo: Yoon Kim)

NEW YORK (Press Release) – In his first public appearance with the Russian community, Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the 12th Annual Russian Heritage Month Wednesday night, June 11, at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The festival, hosted by the Russian American Foundation (RAF), took place 35 years since the beginning of the third wave of immigration from the Former Soviet Union to the United States.

More than one million Russian-speaking immigrants–including many Jews– have moved to the United States since 1979, especially following the fall of the Iron Curtain and collapse of communism. Many who emigrated from these countries have excelled in the sciences, business, sports and entertainment — including some of the most talented and innovative people in the country today. They include Google founder Sergey Brinn, best-selling novelist Gary Shteyngart, singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, and Whatsapp founder Jan Koum.

During the event, Mayor de Blasio said that the Russian community has had a huge influence and impact in New York City for generations. He also said that it’s about time government and municipal agency forms and documents be translated into Russian. He added that New York City is the ultimate city of immigrants and the Russian community keeps the city strong, especially through Russian Heritage month.

This year’s opening ceremony honored five recipients for their unique contributions in building a bridge between the Russian-speaking community and Americans, as well as between the United States and the Former Soviet Union. The honorees were H.E. Dr. Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States; Alexander Levin, President of the World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry; David Hallberg, Principal Dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet and the American Ballet Theater; Boaz Vaadia, Internationally acclaimed sculptor;  and the Russian American Officers Association.

“Russian Heritage Month” is about bringing Russian-speaking Americans together with their fellow Americans to celebrate the extraordinary contributions that Russian-speaking immigrants brought to America and their part in building a bridge between the United States and the former Soviet Union,” said Marina Kovalyov, co-founder of Russian Heritage Month®. “This month is also about promoting dialogue and strengthening ties amongst members of the Russian-speaking American community from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere in the FSU through culture and the arts, leaving politics behind to focus on ensuring a thriving future in America.”

The Russian American Foundation was founded in 1997 to encourage interest in and understanding of Russian heritage among all communities in the U.S., as well as to promote reciprocal interest in and understanding of American heritage among global Russian-speaking communities.

To learn more about Russian Heritage Month events, please visit: http://russianamericanfoundation.org

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Preceding provided by the Russian American Foundation

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