30th Anniversary of the Russian Division, honoring Alex Soldier, Evelyn and Gregory Tolston, and Roman Kaplan.

The UJA-Federation of New York celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its Russian Division on Wednesday night, June 6th, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.  Over 300 people came out to participate in this special event.  A wonderful dinner was served and the After Party was well attended, too.  It was a pleasure and an honor to celebrate with this selfless and dedicated crowd of people who have contributed so generously to such an important Jewish cause.  Helping, rescuing our Jewish people from behind the Iron Curtain and helping them resettle in this country were some of the major achievements of the UJA.  Building housing and libraries in Israel is another accomplishment.  Another cause close to my heart is assisting Holocaust survivors.  About 40% of the approximately 45,000 Holocaust survivors living in New York are living in poverty.  They suffered terribly in their earlier years and are receiving care to improve their quality of life through UJA.

Lilly Wajnberg addressing the crowd – New York Jewish Guide

The event was hosted by the witty and talented actress Sonya Kreizman.  What a great job she did as Master of Ceremonies.  The awardees including Alex Soldier and Lilly Wajnberg who talked about the importance of “giving back.”  Lilly Wajnberg, a founder of the UJA Russian division, received help to come to the United States.  She said that they were ashamed to be Jews in the Ukraine but proud to be Jews in the U.S.  The UJA made all this happen.

Let us all reach out to our brethren and celebrate again next year.  Just remember that without the UJA there is much more pain and suffering.  Let’s help alleviate it.

Austin Rybstein, Editor New York Jewish Guide

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