Ilya Bronstein
Ilya Bronstein

December 23rd.  Manhattan bar Zinc hosted a Christmas concert/auction dedicated to the festive season. Lovers of antiquity had the opportunity to admire and acquire engravings of the XVIII and XIX centuries from the archives. The program began with the presentation of a poetic page by Ilya Bronstein. In a peculiar manner, which fell to the public's liking, he read his poems in two sections of the concert. In the musical part, classical Brahms' works were performed by international pianist Elena Kushnerova, and the duet "Lara and Lera" - vocal sketches by Larisa Grabua accompanied by Eleonor Osumanov.


At the end of the year, the ceremony of awarding members of the Pushkin Society in America was held. A special medal was awarded to Nina Zaretskaya for the creation of a film about Yevgeniy Yevtushenko ‘Will the Clover Field Make Noise’ and for his contribution to the popularization of Russian culture through documentary. Diplomas of the society were received by; Dmitry Garanin for organizing the poetic competition ‘45 Caliber’ and preserving Pushkin traditions in it, and Irena Petruk for establishing a dialogue with the Ukrainian-speaking diaspora. The Open Mic was performed by famous jazz musician Valery Ponomarev, opera singer Mikhail Svetlov, poet Boris Borukaev, Israeli guest Uri Litvak and Lyudmila Krivorutskaya. The program was prepared and conducted by Julia Khramtsova and Victoria Kurchenko.

December 9th, the Pushkin Society, and other classical painting lovers, held a meeting dedicated to Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Victoria Kurchenko conducted an excursion through the halls of old Italian masters and introduced everyone to the history of the museum, the formation of Christian traditions, and the legacy of Russian emigration.
Particular attention was paid to the icon of Duccio di Buonissenya painted in 1330. At the beginning of the twentieth century, this work was in the collection of Count Stroganov who lived in Rome. In 2004 the museum acquired Madonna for a record price – at that time – of $45 million.

The second part of the program was a free seminar, in the discourses of which Dmitry Glinsky, Svetlana and Ekaterina Tsareva, Natalia McDonald's, Aron Nirschberg took part.

Elena Golovanova-Starenko's paintings
Elena Golovanova-Starenko's paintings

November 25th, Thanksgiving Day was held at the National Writers' Union. The meeting was opened by the member of the Board of Directors, Christine Brownlee, who spoke about the cooperation of the Pushkin Society of America with the writers of New York and about the recent conference, which examined the draft approval of the Russian-language section in Washington.
Then Victoria Kurchenko introduced the translator and writer Albert Rosenblatt, a native of an emigrated Ukrainian family. From his literary presentation the format of creative acquaintance and exchange of opinions was started. Marina Logunova, journalist and author of the abstract picture "The Universe", presented her work as a gift to the National Union of Writers and talked about her reviews on the pages of the newspaper "Russian Advertising".

During the evening artists, poets, writers and musicians were able to discuss many interesting topics and introduce each other to their achievements. In the second section, a baroque flute was played. Uri Litvak signed a book of his works for everyone, and Katya Tsareva – for the first time in the professional community – read her poems in Russian, receiving a bilingual Pushkin album with Ilya Shenker's engravings. 

November 9th. A creative evening of the poet and translator - and Pushkin Society member - Gennady Rusakov who is author of 10 books, recipient of the journal "Znamya" Prize, the Apollon Grigoriev prize, the Russian national prize "The Poet" (2014) and the Russian Prize, was held on at the Brooklyn Library.
Gennady Rusakov read his poems from the last book, told about his meetings with Arseniy Tarkovsky and answered questions. Gennady's poems appeared in French, and he himself repeatedly translated Shakespeare's contemporaries, old and new Italian poets, and French lyrics
from several European languages

In the guest room of the library, the 19th century engravings from the personal collection of Brazol - the founder of the Pushkin Society in America - preserved in our archive, were presented to the guests' attention and classical works were performed by Anna Lerner (violin) and Natalia Vsevolodovskaya (guitar).

October 14th. The Pushkin Society and Club Hudson Soirees organized a commemorative evening, dedicated to the 125th Anniversary of an iconic Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. 

Her emotional, musical-lyrical image was recreated with poetry readings, piano and vocal performances and exhibitions in English and in Russian.

Performers: Inna Yesilevsky, Di Zhu, Nataliya Medvedovskaya, Dina Nesterenko, Zoya Gramagin.

October 1st. The presentation of the anthology of "The Golden Fleece" (Moscow, Russia) was held in the Roerich Museum. There were authors who live in New York and presented their works: Inna Bogachinskaya, Dmitry Garanin, Mikhail Zhinzherov, Galina Itskovich, Irina Kaverina, Leonid Podolsky, Sofia Juzefpolskaya-Tsilosani. At the piano - pianist of international level Victoria Ulanovskaya.

September 18th. The First Forum of New Americans from the former USSR took place in Manhattan with support and participation of the deputy (assembly) Stephen Symbrowitz. Pushkin Society in America and our  Lodyjensky archive center took an active part in the preparation and conduct of this historic event. The forum included an artistic and literary program, a sign language interpreting from English into Russian and vice versa, video presentations and speeches of leaders of public organizations: Regina Hidekel, Dmitry Glinsky, Viktoria Kurchenko, Igor Baboshkin, Pavel Ivlev, Gregory Mesnyaev and others. Resonant was the speech of the legendary dissident Pavel Litvinov, who called on to continue the struggle for democratic transformations in Russia. S. Symbrovitz report aroused particular interest, as voters do not often observe, a dialogue between the state official and representatives of the immigrant community.

The discussed questions were raised and : support for the Russian language, social security, financing of educational projects, protection from floods. As a result of the work, a resolution was adopted to create an annual Forum of Russian-speaking Americans with a view, in common with politicians, to develop legislative initiatives for submission to the State Assembly of New York.

July 29th. The Art Salon of Pushkin Society in America opened its door for the Art Exhibit presentation of Yelena Kimelblat series of paintings “Fairy Tales Animals” and a book reading by Dina Perepelitsky of her new book “How we ate our grandma”.  Both events have been dedicated to the loving memory of Dina Paisner.

Dina Paisner was born in Brooklyn in 1919. She was an actress and a model. Dina is a daughter of immigrants from Ukraine. In 2016 she passed away in the age 96.5 years. Good friends of the actress were present on the event. They warmly spoke about Dina and mentioned the difficulties faced by all familieswho immigrated to United States. Spider Duncan Christopher – the producer and director of many theatrical productions, the actor and the dancer spoke about his close friendship and work with Dina Paisner, as well as about her creative journey.

Dina Perepelitsky presented to the audience her new book “How we ate our grandma”. The front and back covers of this book have been illustrated by the paintings of her twin sister Yelena Kimelblat.

This book already became popular in the circle of literature lovers. Dina’s book contains of bright and humorous and sometimes ironic and paradoxical stories about the childhood of Dina and Yelena back in Ukraine. Very interesting are the thoughts of the author about the understanding of the gap between generations and cultures.

Dr. Victoria Kurchenko in her event opening speech introduced the archive's materials. She added to the Art Exhibit one more document of the era – the mythological map, published in 1946. This map was created by talented American artist William Gropper, who was born in Lower East Side, but was a big lover of the Russian culture and visited USSR in 1927 along with Theodore Dreiser and other cultural leaders.  At the time of Big Depression William Gropper created comics books of the popular legends and historical events. He placed it on this map of USA (William Gropper’s America, its folklore, 1946 by William Gropper. Produced in USA). 

This literary-art show of the Pushkin Society in America made possible by the support and collaboration from the office of Grand Central Library and extraordinary team of the associates – Laura Stein and Greg Stoll, who created the atmosphere of the exquisite intellectual festivity.

Also, Victoria Kurchenko presented two books as a gift for Grand Central Library Russian section: “How we ate our grandma”, by Dina Perepelitsky and  Pushkin In The Etchings by Ilya Shenker. The gift was gratefully accepted by Laura Stein.

Tatiana Sheremeteva
Tatiana Sheremeteva

July 1st - Tatyana Sheremeteva spoke at the New York branch meeting of the National Writers' Union (NWU) and introduced the Pushkin Society in America's proposals to open a Russian language section and official website for Russian authors within the union's media resources.

Larry Goldbetter, as well as Alexandra Feiz and Mauricio Niebla, supported the initative. The opening of a Russian language office within the NWU would create opportunities for; enticing new members to join the organization (authors who write in Russian), overcoming language barriers, general involvement in the American literary process in which representatives of various national diasporas - a large new group of U.S. authors - already participate, psychological adaptation of Russian-speaking immigrant writers living in the U.S. to the socio-cultural environment of the new country.

A decision was made to send these proposals to the All-American Council, which will be held on September 16th, 2017, to determine the final fate of the Russian-speaking section.


The opening of a Russian Language Division will result in:

- More Russian language members joining NWU;

- Eliminating the language barrier;

- A group of talented Russian language authors will become successfully involved in the

  literary process in the U.S.

- Psychological adjustment of Russian language immigrant authors to the social and

  cultural environment in the U.S.

June 30th - the Tenri Cultural Center and Gallery, a Japanese institution in Manhattan, hosted an art festival called 'Metamorphosis of Dreams: From the Past to the Future' dedicated to the 218th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin's birth. Participants in the exhibition included; Alexander Garber (Alex Ag), Alexander Shabatinas, Yelena Iosilevich (curator and art director), Yelena Kimelblat, Eugeni Tonevitski, Nina Kossman and Sergei Goloshapov. Musical Pushkiniana was held by; Natalia Medvedovskaya (pianist and musical director), Adam Klein (tenor), Victoria Koreneva (mezzo-soprano), Xenia Antonova (soprano) and Natalia Novitskaya (mezzo-soprano). The evening's sponsor was Vella Wine Bar + Kitchen. Other contributors included the newspaper 'Russkaya Reklama' and Elegant New York magazine as well as the company NYC Lovers "In an embrace with the city".

Maria Logunova, the painter of 'Sun Lawn', donated her work to the event's charity auction. The literary pause was filled with English language poems by Joseph Brodsky, which were recited by American poet Jacob Miller, who also introduced the guests to brief fragments of his own works. As always, the conversation at "the round table" was dedicated to A.S. Pushkin, history, archives, books and talented people. The guests warmly remembered Yekaterina Lodizjenskaya and her contribution to the preservation of the Pushkin Society of America library and its documents. The Russian-American celebration was attended by journalists, collectors and art connoisseurs.

June 11th - the Pushkin Society in America hosted Alexander Gorodnitsky's concert called 'New, Old Songs and Poems' in the Brooklyn Center of Kings Bay Y. The program included presentations of new books, CDs and films. Alexander Gorodnitsky is a poet and author of classic bard songs such as; 'Snow', 'Above Canada', 'The Wife of the French Ambassador', 'Atlanta' and many others. Gorodnitsky is not only a writer and performer but also a scientist who has penned about 250 papers in the field of oceanology. Creativity, science and civic position are constants in his life alongside with his songwriting.

Alexander answered audience questions on living in Russia, his political views and his perspective of young creative people.

Victoria Kurchenko
Victoria Kurchenko

May 21st - a creative jubilee was held in Brooklyn for Pushkin Society president Victoria Kurchenko in honor of her 50th birthday. The New York City's mayor's Culture Committee, the office of Public Lawyer Letitia James, the U.S. National Writers Union, the American Forum of Russian-speaking Jews, and various New Yorkian poetry and writing clubs all sent their best wishes. In the first part of the program, Victoria introduced the attendants to the milestones of her biography, highlighting the most significant to her topics which was reflected in the philosophical lyrics of her poetry and prose. The opening for many became the songs from Victoria's creative piggy bank, such as 'Silver Solitude' and 'Kharkov Waltz' performed by Azat Seitkuliev. 

Those interested were able to purchase a copy of a collection of poems, the essay 'Unstoppable' - which was marked by a special diploma of the Union of Journalists of Ukraine - and the play 'Maidaniona' depicting the dramatic events that occurred in Ukraine in 2014, for which the author won the Diamond Duke prize at the international literary competition named for Richelieu in 2015. After the break, friends and colleagues prepared a celebratory concert which was attended by famous authors and musicians.

May 18th - an artistic presentation from a series of exhibitions from Pushkin Society in America artists called 'Faces of the Planet' was held in the Grand Central Library on 46th street in the center of Manhattan.

The literary part was presented by writer Yekaterina Svetov who read excerpts from her book in English. American poet Jacob Miller was the guest of honor and introduced the book he published last year, 'Lines of Canvas', to those present.

Artists Yelena Iosilevich and Alex Ag prepared a demonstration of landscape paintings and photographs which will be fully exhibited on June 1st, 2017.

The presented masterpieces all reflected different genres in time and space.

April 17th to May 1st - Yelena Rikov and Alona Mak exhibited their works (classical technique, oil and watercolor paintings).

July 8th to August 1st - Yelena Kimelblat's works will be displayed (oil paintings). The exhibition will be open for viewing from 10am to 7pm at 135 East 46th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, N.Y., 10017. Admission is free.

May 10th - a memorial was held for Yevgeny Yevtushenko in New York restaurant Uncle Vanya. The people closest to him - Marina Troshina, Irina Mashinskaya, Anna Halberstadt, Andrey Gritsman, Victor Persik, Ilya Levkov, Valery Ponomarev - shared their memories of him. Poets recited several works, especially those of Yevgeny Yevtushenko himself. Dimitri Garanin made a presentation of exclusive photographs of Yevtushkeno from the archives of I. B. Gutchin, whose son was present at the event. Pushkin Society of America president Victoria Kurchenko reminded everyone that if he were alive, Yevtushenko would have brought up the topic of Victory Day, and recited his world famous poem 'Babiy Yar'.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Medal awarded to the poet by the Pushkin Society in 2016
Medal awarded to the poet by the Pushkin Society in 2016

The open mic-ers of that evening were Lily Pan, Vladimir Nuzov, Alexader Dranov and Aaron Nirshburn. The event finale consisted of a screening of Nina Zaretskaya's documentary 'Will the Clover Field Rumble - Yevgeniy Yevtushenko'.

Michael Zhinzherov
Michael Zhinzherov

May 6th - a creative evening was held at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library for Michael Zhinzherov in honor of his 70th birthday. Victoria Kurchenko - and Brooklyn Literary Club's Zinovy Korovin - presented the guest of honor with memorable gifts and respective certificates. Evening participant and musician Anna Nemtsova dedicated and performed her songs to Michael, simultaneously giving a nod to the upcoming Victory Day. The literary portion of the evening was introduced by the host with original love poems to his wife. Humorous plays and texts about emigration, politics and parodies were presented for judgement by the audience.

Michael Zhinzherov's works were announced in many nominations and printed in literary magazines as well as poetry almanacs, including the first issue of the now prestigious journal Eurasia, the first publication of the almanac Autograph, The Russian Bell and others. M. Zhinzherov is the author of the book 'Rhythmically Across The Skull' and the audiobook 'Pegasus in the Sauna'. He was awarded the Masuo-Basho medal, an honorary De Saint-Exupery diploma and numerous nominations for Poet of the Year. A small exhibition of documents, drawings, miniatures and historical postcards from the Pushkin Society of America archives organically complemented the stylings of the books in one of the reading rooms.

Mark Belitsky
Mark Belitsky

April 29th  - a musical and artistic evening with bard Mark Belitsky was held in the 86th Street Brooklyn Public Library. Other than songs composed of his own poetry and music, his concert also consisted of sketches depicting meetings with various famous people. Communication with the attendants, which was held in Russian as well as English, was accompanied by answers to questions and discussions of the translated song titles, which were originally in Russian. In Pushkin Society of America's exposition, exhibits from the new project 'White Emigrant Chest' were shown for the first time. Works of artists' Marina Kashirskaya and Yevgeni Tonevitski were supplemented with archival finds.

The public was presented with Sergei Sudeykin's drawings, found in the working folder of the publisher and bookseller Alexander Yaremenko (1886 - 1984), samples of old prints (including a portrait of George Washington), an original 1907 print of Art Deco founder Louis Icartes who was a French artist and illustrator (1880 - 1950) and documents of the Bogolyubov family.

Inna Grubmair
Inna Grubmair

April 28th - the board of directors of the Pushkin Society of America held a meeting. Inna Grubmair, our representative in Europe, attended it via Skype and Alexander Grinberg attended it via a conference telephone call. Current issues were discussed and a calendar of events for the rest of 2017 was solidified. Victoria Kurchenko acquainted the team with new archival finds showing three XIX century engravings and 1930's artists' paintings, which were decided will be used to conclude a storage agreement with one of New York's museums and displayed in future exhibitions. Elena Iosilevich, the organization's art director, was thanked for organizing exhibitions for our artists spanning from April through September in the 46th Street Manhattan Public Library. Dmitry Garanin announced his plan to hold a poetry contest, '45th Caliber', of which he intends to be one of the judges. Like last year we will contribute two $100 prizes to the winners whose works most resemble traditional Russian poetry.

Natalia Mizuri introduced the new members of the team; musical director Natalia Medvedovskaya and radio host Alexander Grinberg of the show 'Let's Talk' (first episode airs on May 9th). Interviews, literary and musical programs, discussion of cultural events and various Pushkin-related news will all take place on the show. Boris Borukaev informed everyone of the cooperation with the U.S. National Writers Union and preparations for the opening of a Russian-speaking authors page on their website. Thanks to the efforts that reached agreements with the Union, all the administrative work will be handled by Tatiana Sheremeteva.

March 21st - the New York City Supreme Court held the annual celebration of women's movement in history month under the patronage of the office of Scott M. Stringer, city auditor. Marina McDonough, director of public relations for the Pushkin Society, was invited as an honored guest and participated in the forum. Speeches about how exceptional this event was were made from the podium and dedicated to the centenary of the suffragist movement in the United States. Scott M. Stringer awarded memorable diplomas to women who made a great contribution to the prosperity of the city. In the 1980s the United States began to not only celebrate March 8th's International Women's Day as a national holiday, but began to extend the celebration for the length of a week starting March 7th, 1982.

Marina McDonough
Marina McDonough

By 1987 Congress decided to extend this further, and proclaimed that from that point on, all of the month of March would be dedicated to the women's movement in history. Since then the Women's History Month has attracted wide segments of the population to discover the vital roles women played in American history and modern society.

March 20th - Victoria Kurchenko, Boris Borukaev, Natali\a Piller and other colleagues of our Russian-American cabinet paid a visit to the New York Senate, and met with the representatives of the Chamber of Legistry, as well as the Culture Committee office headed by Dan Quart. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democratic party leader, held a meeting in her office where the issues of Pushkin Society activists' participation in the activities of the National Women's Club were discussed.

The senator's secretary gifted several copies of the book Woman of Distinction, and offered to organize a planned visit of New York voters to the working stations of the current cabinet. The Senate is located in a history building of the New York state capitol and was built in 1889.

March 18th - a bilingual program of art exposition, titled 'Serge Hollerbach and Sergei Rachmaninov', was held in a Manhattan library on 67th Street.

S. L. Hollerbach - painter, graphic artist, essayist - spent his presentation talking about interesting people he has met in his life, shared his thoughts on the essence of creativity and gifted the Pushkin Society in America with one of his paintings, which once opened an exhibition. Elena Iosilevich, art director, presented her own works and those of Anna-Nina Kovalenko, Natalia Max, Yelena Rykoff and Alexander Dudorov.

The second department was dedicated to S. V. Rachmaninov, who has had friendly connections with many Society members in the 1930s. In the foyer the composer's autograph, the text of a letter addressed to B. L. Brazol, concert adverts and newspaper articles about 'Rachmaninov's Days' were on display.

Natalia Medvedovsky - composer, pianist and director of the music program - spent her presentation by drawing attention to the history pages of our salons and introduced the singer Tatiana Poletsky; a Moscow Philharmonic soloist and winner of numerous European singing competitions. Tatiana performed some of Rachmaninov's romances and invited everyone to the next program.

Sergey Evelev
Sergey Evelev

March 11 - an evening of creativity dedicated to author and composer Sergey Evelev was held in the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library. The audience was delighted by his talented and diverse performance. There was singing, poetry reading, commentating on the texts and short stories full of soft humor and irony.

Sergey Evelev introduced his books; 'What a Thing Is Life' and 'Short Plays for Poetry Without an Orchestra' - both poetic compilations - and 'Under Hot Sauce'. which is a model of autobiographical prose and is illustrated by individual stories. The narrative style of the author brings perfectly mundane things towards new boundaries. All three books, in various ways, intertwine the questions of existence with life experiences. Representatives of all different generations of New Yorkian followers had come by to meet him.

Galina Itskovich, Sofia Yusefpolskaya-Tsilosani
Galina Itskovich, Sofia Yusefpolskaya-Tsilosani

February 21 - a musical program by Sofia Yusefpolskaya-Tsilosani, Galina Itskovich, and guitarist Kirill Ulanovsky was held in café Uncle Vanya. A single script transformed two poets' creative evening into a real work of theatrical art, which interwove aesthetics with intellectuality. Sofia Yusefpolskaya-Tsilosani presented her new book 'Wanderings'. She is also the author of a collection of poems titled 'Blue Fire' and a book about Arseny Tarkovky; 'The Pulse of Time: Immortality and the Word in the Poetry of Arseny Tarkovsky'. She is also co-author of 'Arseniy Tarkovsky: White Day', a bilingual novel. Her poems, scientific articles, short prose and translations in Russian and English are published in many magazines and almanacs such as Dictionary of Literary Biography, Slavic and Eastern European Journal, Poetry of the Women of the World and others.

Galina Itskovich, while a psychiatrist by profession, is a writer by vocation. Her translations, poems, journalism pieces and short stories in Russian and English has been published in such magazines as Slovo/Word, Southern Lights, Emigrant Lira, Garden, Steps, Golden Fleece, Forum, Poetica, Asian Signature and collections like Contemporary Jewish Writing and Poet of the Year 2015 Finalists.

The "open mic" included performances by Michael Zhinzherov, Yevgeny Breido and children's poet Igor Kalish. The evening was hosted by Natalia Mizuri.

February 19th - the second edition of the 'Cabaret and Art Auction' program was held in the Kitchen at Cobble Hill, a central Brooklyn restaurant. Larissa Grabois delighted the visitors with her small concert by performing songs in six different languages, regaling them with interesting stories about Alexander Pushkin's life and taking everyone on a verbal tour of the history of chocolate.

The items brought for the auction included the monotype piece titled 'Fur Coat' by Elena Golovanova-Starenko, and the graphite and jakle pieces 'Fantasy & Fiction' and 'Time to Return' co-created by Yevgeni Tonevitski and Marina Bozin. The visitors were most intrigued, however, by the "live art" piece on the long female cardigan, embellished with Swarovski crystals (a designer piece by Yevgeni Tonevitski).

Larissa Grabois, Irina Perelman, Victoria Kurchenko
Larissa Grabois, Irina Perelman, Victoria Kurchenko

For the first time very antique books were also presented. You could purchase a rare old book documenting the "era of the Reds", by author V. Korsak, published in 1930s Paris. The most unusual exhibit turned out to be the selected works of M. Lermontov in one 1891 volume, with pasted copies of the author's autographs included inside.

Viktoria Kurchenko, Tomas Venclova, Olga Petrova
Viktoria Kurchenko, Tomas Venclova, Olga Petrova
February 16th - The Committee of the Russian-speaking Diaspora Justice Award (also known as The Yesenin-Volpin award, by the name of its first recipient) is honored and pleased to announce that Dr. Tomas Venclova has been selected as the Award’s winner for the year 2016. This year’s award is in recognition of Dr.Venclova’s lifetime of creative engagement with anti-authoritarian and internationalist forces in Russia’s culture and society and for his role in developing mutual understanding and cooperation between Lithuanian and Russian advocates for human rights and justice.
The annual Russian-speaking Diaspora Justice Award was co-founded in 2014 by several organizations and individuals in the United States, including:
• American Russian-speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights
• General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
• Lodyjensky Immigration Archive Center of Russian & Ukrainian Culture/The Pushkin Society in America
• Russian-speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx
• The Andrei Sakharov Foundation
as well as, in their personal capacity, by V.Rev. Michael Aksionov Meerson (Bethesda, MD), Rabbi Leonid Feldman (West Palm Beach, FL), TV host Boris Tentser (Fort Lee, NJ), and human rights advocate Tatiana Yankelevich (Boston, MA). The Award’s first and second recipients, in 2014 and 2015 respectively, were Dr. Alexander Yesenin-Volpin and Naum Korzhavin.
Omar Faruk Osman, Viktoria Kurchenko
Omar Faruk Osman, Viktoria Kurchenko

February 10th - Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), arrived in New York City. He said that Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists ranked it as the worst offender in its 2015 Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are killed and killers go free. Omar and his union have been fighting to protect journalists and for a free press under the most challenging conditions.


Larry Goldbetter, Omar Faruk Osman
Larry Goldbetter, Omar Faruk Osman

In December 2015, one day after urging the President of Somalia not to sign a controversial media law passed by the Somali parliament as a threat to media freedom, gunmen sprayed Omar's car with bullets as he was entering his office in Mogadishu. The attack on Omar is another example of the continued threats to journalists and media workers in Somalia, and the ongoing attempts to undermine freedom of expression. There have been many others.
National Writers Union is proud to host Omar Faruk Osman. and calls to build the IFJ campaign to end impunity against journalists.

Boris Ostrovsky, Dmitry Khukhlaev
Boris Ostrovsky, Dmitry Khukhlaev

February 5th - club Zinc in Manhattan held a presentation of Boris Ostrovsky's book of poetry titled '600 Meters'. Besides the author, actor and television presenter Dmitry Khukhlaev contributed by reading some of the texts on stage and commenting on them.

The book itself, published by the Pushkin Society in America, has very diverse contents. It includes poetic reflection on love, the drama of life and nostalgia for times past.  The core of the collection is the military prose. Immersing the reader into a different reality, where the reader walks along the edge of the front lines.

Boris Ostrovsky has made his book available in our online store.

Bill DeBlazio
Bill DeBlazio

February 1st - the members of the National Writers Union, including the trade union association 'UAW Region 9A', held a meeting with New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Writer Tatiana Sheremeteva, and Pushkin Society in America leaders Victoria Kurchenko and Boris Borukaev, presented the Russian language section.

UAW head of the New York branch Julia Kushner, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine, opened the meeting. As a leader she supports and protects the interests of the many public and non-profit organizations at Bernard's College, Columbia University, New York University, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and many others. Julia Kushner's objective is to promote and develop the artistic potential of professional creative groups, to protect constitutional rights and freedoms, further progress the women's movement and assist the general public in gaining access to higher education.

Julia Kushner, Tatiana Sheremeteva, Victoria Kurchenko
Julia Kushner, Tatiana Sheremeteva, Victoria Kurchenko
Victoria Kurchenko, Mauricio Niebla, Tatiana Sheremeteva
Victoria Kurchenko, Mauricio Niebla, Tatiana Sheremeteva

The gathered participants all welcomed the mayor. In his address he stressed that New Yorkers should have equal opportunities for prosperity and security, and that every child should have access to quality education.

Pointed questions about the difficulties students and educators - as well as their family members - have begun to encounter at border crossings due to the recent decree were posed to the mayor.

Bill DeBlasio confirmed that the best universities will continue to receive special grants from the city to overcome any challenges they may come up against due to the changing times. City Hall's administration intends to do everything it is able to assist Columbia University in retaining its status as the center of open competitive science and education in the 21st century, so they may continue to employ talented professionals from around the world.

During the forum the issue of officially opening a Russian-speaking section on the National Writers Union website had finally been resolved. Vice President and Director of the Hispanic section Mauricio Niebla welcomed the Pushkin Society in America's initiative in this regard, demonstrated the electronic resources at hand and helped introduce the mission to the N.W.U.

January 28th - the American Writers Union celebrated Tatiana's Day, the annual celebration of the Pushkin Society in America associate with the history of Russia and the opening of the Moscow State University.

In a small introduction, Victoria Kurchenko drew attention to the place the name Tatiana holds in Russian people's mentality, and how it became a symbol of one of the most famous works of Pushkin's 'Yevgeny Onegin'.

Program leader and participant Tatiana Sheremeteva read an intriguing excerpt from the unfinished novel 'The Familiar Taste From Childhood'.

Tatiana Yankovskaya, a representative of the small epic genre movement, introduced the audience to her new novel 'Coloring For Adults'. Tatiana Ananich's poems resonated in the key of ancient psalms and stood out for their originality. The author flew in from California specially for this meeting.

Art salon introduced artist and project manager Yelena Iosilevich; her paintings were presented beside the photographs of women right's movement representatives.

Artists Natalia Max and Elena Makeyeva took part in the exhibition, their bright and interesting works creating a life-affirming atmosphere under the musical opus of Polina Pecherskaya. Photo, sound and chronicling of the event was provided by Igor Gutgarts and Alexander Grinberg; the book fair was led by Galina Shevtsova.

January 17th - a job fair was held for Downtown Brooklyn, organized by the office of Leticia James, New York public advocate. Russian-language cabinet representatives from the Pushkin Society of America focused on notifying those in search for work and distributed information about the event, which was held for the first time in the Brighton Beach area, the "capitol" of the Russian speaking community.

Victoria Kurchenko, Timothy Tapia
Victoria Kurchenko, Timothy Tapia
Letitia James, Boris Borukaev
Letitia James, Boris Borukaev

Letitia James gave a general speech of welcome, and explained that everyone who registered will receive informative documents on open positions within the city to their specified addresses. She spoke warmly to the press and anyone else that sought her attention. Timothy Tapia, Jessica Reynoso, Patrick Lewis and other office staff coordinated the event and answered many questions from attendees.

Victoria Kurchenko, Natalia Mizuri, Boris Borukaev, Natalia Piller and Irene Petruk registered participants and helped orient visitors, of which there was many. The live queue of participants and visitors did not abate for the entirety of the first hour and a half of the event. Much of the credit of orchestrating job fairs goes to Carina Polonsky, who has always made an active effort to directly connect businesses with potential new workers. Regina Khidekel, another cabinet member, showed her support of the fair by recruiting for it all the way to Manhattan, and then attending it herself. Everyone present at the event received a lot of positive and useful information.

January 13th - the Board of Directors held a celebratory meeting devoted to an upcoming commemorative date (the 180th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin's death) in the Roerich Museum. A round table discussion was held about the two titans - Pushkin and Roerich - with the participation of museum staff Natalia Fomin and Natalia Mizuri, specialists on museum document completion, and their director Guido Trepsha.

The discussion's participants included; Boris Borukaev, Tatyana Sheremeteva, Nina Zaretskaya, Marina McDonough, Elena Iosilevich, Michael Zhinzherov and Pollna Pecherskaya. A decision was made to devote the entirety of 2017 to A. S. Pushkin's memory and to hold at least two future events within the aforementioned museum.

January 4th - the Russian-American Cabinet met at the office of Letitia James Public Advocate for the City of New York. The meeting was devoted to preparations for the Job Fair of South Brooklyn, which will be held on January 17th at 6pm in the following address: 3300 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., 11235.

The Cabinet reviewed their 2017 work plan and began preparations for the upcoming re-election in September. The Cabinet also gave their blessing for the establishment of an annual Pushkin Ball, which they anticipate will become the Gala event of the season, therefore drawing more attention to the glorious traditions of Russian culture in America.

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Оur Society is 89 years old!

 Presidents of the Pushkin Society

1. Boris Brasol, founder    (1935 -1963)

2. Gregory Mesniaeff        (1963 -1967)

3. Semen Bogolubov         (1967 -1971)

4. Serge Woyciechowski   (1971 - 1973)

5. N. Baklanova-Bozhak   (1973 - 1995)   6. Catherine Lodyjensky   (1995 - 2009)

7. Victoria Kurchenko    (2009 - present)