New Immigrant Rights and Services Manual to ‘Empower’ Russian-Speaking New Yorkers

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Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, whose family migrated to the U.S. from Kiev, Russia in 1938 is now helping his fellow Russian-American immigrants by sharing information about the services available to them, in their own native language. Behind him and to the left is NYS Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Brooklyn), the first Russian-American elected to office in the United States. To the far right is Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz. (Photo credit: Dan Miller/DMD Images)Friday August 10, marked a milestone in New York City history when the City of New York finally recognized the need to translate a manual devoted to Immigrant Services into Russian.

This new document will no doubt prove valuable to a large segment of New York City’s population, approximately six percent of whom speak Russian.

Manhattan Borough President traveled to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn last week, where more Russian-speaking people live than anywhere else in New York City, if not in the United States, to release the new Russian-language edition of the Immigrants Rights and Service Manual.

Stringer, flanked by Brooklyn Assemblymembers Alec Brook-Krasny and Steven Cymbrowitz released the new manual at the Shorefront YWHA in Brighton Beach Brooklyn, where Russian Jews make up a majority of the community.  Sue Fox, Executive Director of the Shore Front YM-WYHA joined the elected officials and more than one hundred local Russian-speaking Jewish residents for the long-awaited announcement.

Borough President Stringer’s grandparents migrated to the United States from Kiev, Russia in 1938 to escape from religious persecution. His family, like many Russian Jews, settled in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Similarly, Assembly member Alec Brook-Krasny was a Soviet Russian refugee who came to the United States to find a better life, and he did becoming the first Soviet born Russian language speaker to be elected to public office in the United States.

“I am proud to stand here today with my friend, Borough President Scott Stringer as we present this amazing and much needed resource to the Russian-American community,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny.

“This document will be an important tool in helping Russian speaking neighbors access the government services they need and deserve,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

The manual, which has already been published in Chinese, Spanish, and Korean offers detailed information about how immigrants can receive government services and benefits.

Borough President Stringer said, “This manual is not just a document, it’s a tool to empower immigrant New Yorkers and provide the information they need to play a vital role in the civic life of this City.”

Stringer further stated, “We owe a huge debt to these immigrants and this manual is another way of saying thank you.”

Workshops on how to use the new Russian language manual will be conducted by the Borough President’s office. Organization leaders may wish to call (212) 669-8300 for further details.