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WHO WE ARE
WHAT WE DO
OUR PHOTO GALLERY
OUR TEAM
OUR LINKS
HOW TO REACH US

IMMIGRATION
POLICY UPDATES
 
(in Russian)



 

OUR MISSION

We are an educational and charitable interfaith organization of Russian-speaking Americans. We aim to develop the organizing power of our community, its successful integration in American civil society, advance immigrant rights, civic participation, and leadership development. We raise public awareness of our community and the achievements of its members and promote collaboration with other communities in the pursuit of a more just and fair society with equal opportunities for all.

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  RCCMB has a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. Your tax-deductible gift to us supports our events and activities, strengthens progressive voices in the Russian-American community, and helps advance its integration into the fabric of American civil society. We will gratefully acknowledge your contribution that you can make by regular mail or online -

via PayPal:

or via NYCharities.org:

Amount: $

Our mailing address:

244 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, New York NY 10001.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If  you are interested in volunteering for us, have some knowledge of Russian community as well as general immigrant affairs, and/or fundraising experience, please write about yourself and your interests to rccmb@rccmb.org.

ENGLISH РУССКИЙ
logo
OUR NEWS & UPDATES
We have launched our bilingual pro bono immigration consultation in midtown Manhattan on April 9
OUR EVENTS & CAMPAIGNS
We are privileged to host a meeting with NYC Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal on May 29
OUR MEDIA FILE 
Read V Novom Svete, the flagship Russian Manhattan-based weekly, on our event at Columbia's Harriman Institute. 

     Welcome to the website of Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx. We are an interfaith, grassroots community organization of new Americans from countries of the former Soviet Union. We aim to develop our community's organizing power and civic participation in American society.  We also aim to raise public awareness of the legacy of the movement for the freedom of migration and other human and civil rights movements in countries of the former Soviet Union and their relevance today.

      Throughout these years, we have remained an all-volunteer organization, as independent nonprofits in our community at present have no real access to the sources of financial support for their basic operating expenses and growth. This is a major source of inequality and injustice that immigrants from former Soviet Union countries are facing, and that our organization is working hard to address.  Your support in this regard will be highly appreciated.

     We hope that your visit to this site will be only the first step in our relationship. We are looking forward to hearing from you at rccmb@rccmb.org. 

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     On August 5, 2014, RCCMB President Dmitri Daniel Glinski testified on the issues of Russian-American voter participation and engagement at the invitation of NYC Campaign Finance Board's Voter Assistance Advisory Committee.  His testimony is available here --->

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     On May 29, the Russian-speaking immigrant community of Manhattan and the Bronx gave a warm welcome to the recently appointed NYC Immigrant Affairs Commissioner, Nisha Agarwal, on her historic, first-ever visit by an Immigrant Affairs Commissioner to this community.  Manhattan is the only one of the five boroughs where in recent years the numbers of immigrants from former Soviet countries have been growing; it is the fifth largest linguistic minority in the borough and the third-largest in the city and the state (over 200,000 people by official Census count and many more by community estimates). 

     Commissioner Agarwal attended and spoke at a special event on advancing Russian-speaking immigrant integration in the city. This was the first public forum held by the two-year-old Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx (RCCMB) in the building on Academy Street where it recently opened its first-ever office, thanks to a local school and city authorities.  RCCMB is a grassroots, interfaith, immigrant-founded and –led nonprofit that has been active on the progressive flank of the city’s Russian community.  It is a member of The New York Immigration Coalition, has taken part in the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform, and recently opened the very first bilingual legal consultation specifically for Russian-speakers, led by an experienced Russia-born and US-educated attorney.  

     The Commissioner listened to presentations by two community leaders who discussed the history and the challenges facing immigrants from former Soviet countries living in the area.  Leah Geskin who ran the Russian department at “The Y” (YM&YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood) for 17 years until its closing in 2006 but has remained highly popular in the community she served presented the story of immigration in the area and the work of her department.  Its services ran the gamut from employment assistance to driving classes, and their phasing out, along with the shutting down of Russian programs at The Bronx House, was a loss for the entire community.  Ms.Geskin expressed the hope that RCCMB will be able to raise funds to restart at least some of the services that her department provided.

     RCCMB Founder and President Dr. Dmitri Daniel Glinski outlined the key integration challenges that our community is facing: lack of employment, especially for high-skilled immigrant professionals, including those with American degrees, and particularly in the world of nonprofits and public affairs; lack of support by those foundations that support organizing and advocacy by other immigrant nonprofits, with the resulting absence of any functioning community organizations with paid staff, in spite of decades of fundraising efforts by skilled and experienced community leaders; lack of representation on the staff of government agencies and elected officials in the areas of Russian-speakers’ residence, in spite of a petition on this subject that was submitted to elected officials last year; the elimination of Russian departments and budgets in those Jewish organizations where they existed; the silencing of those community advocates who have been voicing these concerns in public; and the barriers to publishing in English-language media about the community, its achievements, and its concerns.  Dr.Glinski expressed his hope that the new city government, with its agenda of reducing inequality, is bringing a “spring of change” and a “spring of justice” to disadvantaged immigrant communities that will help address the challenges they are facing.

     In her remarks, Commissioner Agarwal – no stranger to the struggle against injustice, being an offspring of a distinguished family of Mahatmah Gandhi supporters in India and a prominent public interest lawyer – discussed her plans to help make NYC government more immigrant-friendly.  In response to a question by the chair of the local branch of the American Association of WWII Veterans from former Soviet Union Vladimir Gutkin about the non-implementation of the state law requiring the Board of Election to translate election materials into Russian, Commissioner Agarwal agreed that some of the immigrant-friendly laws are poorly implemented, and encouraged the audience to provide her office with evidence of such violations, so that further action can be taken. 

      The meeting was also addressed by Charise Lawrence, Director of Community Outreach at the Department for the Aging.  Ms.Lawrence provided a helpful overview of DFTA services and distributed some of its Russian-language publications.  Yet another prominent participant in the event was President of The Black Institute (TBI) Bertha Lewis.  TBI and RCCMB have been collaborating on a range of issues, from immigration reform (where both see the preservation of diversity visas as beneficial for their respective communities) to educational events on the Black-Jewish collaboration around the Soviet Jewry struggle in the 1960s-80s.  Commissioner Agarwal and Bertha Lewis were presented with awards in recognition of their distinguished public record and support for the aspirations of immigrants from former Soviet Union countries.

         

         

                                                                                                               

                                                                                    NYC Department for the Aging Community Outreach Director Charise Lawrence speaking.

 

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On the occasion of the Russian and Ukrainian national holiday - the Day of Victory over Nazism - RCCMB teamed up with Russian Bookstore 21 in midtown Manhattan to donate books of Russian wartime/postwar authors to World War II veterans from countries of the former Soviet Union and their families.

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On April 18, RCCMB President Dmitri Glinski met with NYC Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal to discuss the issues and concerns of Russian-speaking immigrant community in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx and collaboration with MOIA.

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RCCMB and our entire community mourn the passing of Dr. Jacob (Yaakov) Birnbaum (1926-2014), z'l, a selfless hero of the American movement for the freedom of emigration and religion in the USSR, founder and leader of Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (April 1964) and of the Center for Russian Jewry.  Not only all those Jews who have been able to left the former Soviet Union and those who remain there, but also all other ethnic and religious minorities in former Soviet Union countries owe whatever freedoms they have gained over the past 25 years to Jacob Birnbaum's tireless advocacy and prophetic fire. Since our beginning in 2011, Dr. Birnbaum was RCCMB's close friend and trusted advisor on many issues.  We express our heartfelt condolences to his widow and another exceptional friend and supporter of our community, Freda Bluestone Birnbaum. 

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    Photos from the opening of our part-time midtown office and pro bono immigration consultation (the only such service currently offered by a nonprofit created and led by immigrants from former Soviet Union countries in Manhattan), held on April 9 with participation of a representative of New York City Mayor's Office for Immigrant Affairs.

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Dear friends, 

We are proud to announce the upcoming opening of two first-ever office locations of Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx and American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil and Human Rights – in uptown and midtown Manhattan. In these locations, both of which are still temporary, RCCMB will begin providing direct services, starting with pro bono consultations with our fully bilingual immigration attorney and assistance with obtaining US citizenship (at this stage, on a part-time basis). 

We are pleased to invite you to the opening of one of these two locations

and the launch of our immigration services:

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, AT 5-30 PM 

174 FIFTH AVENUE, 2ND FLOOR (Russian Bookstore 21)

 

Presentation by Elizaveta (Lisa) EISENBERG, J.D., Esq., member of American Immigration Lawyers Association

Political Asylum and Other Immigration Topics of Importance to Immigrants From FSU Countries

 

After the talk, those interested will be able to sign up for a consultation appointment free of charge.

 

We look forward to seeing you on this exceptional occasion.

As space is limited, please RSVP at rccmb@rccmb.org or by phone at 212-726-2082. 

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On March 7, we opened our first (so far, part-time) office - and the first Russian-speaking immigrant community meeting space - in Northern Manhattan.  We are open every Thursday evening and are looking forward to seeing you.  Please kindly let us know via rccmb@rccmb.org or 212-726-2082 if you are planning to visit. 

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On March 5, we took part in the annual Immigrant Day of Action in Albany, advocating for the interests and needs of our community with our state officials. Our representatives met with State Senator Adriano Espaillat and other government officials.

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Feb. 25, 2014 - We mourn the tragic loss of lives in recent days of revolution in Ukraine where many of us or our relatives were born. We congratulate the Ukrainian people on the successful end to confrontation and violence, and wish peace, speedy rebuilding of people's lives and the economy, and real international assistance to the recovery of this great country. 

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On February 16, 2014, we held an event on the past and present of the Russian-American community in Northern Manhattan,   an evening of recollections and storytelling

in memory of Klara Kuchment (1918-2014),

founder and President of Self-Help Association of American-Russian Elderly (SHAARE),

dedicated volunteer, a champion of Israel, tireless fundraiser for people in need,

longtime resident and community leader of Northern Manhattan, grand-niece of Meir Dizengoff, the first Mayor of Tel-Aviv. Speakers at the event included: Dmitri Daniel Glinski, RCCMB President; Sylvia Riabichev, daughter of Klara Kuchment, and a poet; Andrew Gross, Political Advisor to the Deputy Consul General of Israel; Rabbi Igor Balsim; Vladimir Gutkin, chief of the Manhattan branch of American Association of World War II Veterans from Former Soviet Union; Sasson Akbashev, Cantor, Jewish Center of Kings Highway; Ilya Levkov, Director of Liberty Publishing House; and Anna Malkina, singer and Klara’s associate.

 

We invite you to visit our online exhibit of Klara's memorabilia.

 

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 HAPPY MLK DAY! 

On this occasion, we invite you to visit our special page on our joint conference of November 2013, with The Black Institute and other organizations, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, first actions and statements in support of civil rights of Jews in Soviet Union and his role in the birth of the movement for the freedom of emigration from the USSR and of the present-day Russian-American community.

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 © Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc. 2011-2014