It was a big celebration in Little Odessa!
Comptroller Scott Stringer visited the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach to recognize the large Russian-speaking community and award three individuals with commendations during a dinner to celebrate Russian culture and heritage at Tatiana Restaurant on June 13. Stringer handed Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) the honor for being the only Russian-speaking legislator in the Council — an award he accepted with pride, the councilman said.
“It meant a lot to me because I am the proud son of immigrants from Ukraine and Holocaust survivors, and World War II veterans, that’s who I am and I take that with me — I’m very proud of that,” said Treyger. “It was very special for my family and for me.”
It was a beautiful night recognizing the Russian-speaking community, and everyone was honored to have the city’s top accountant as a guest — but it was also a wonderful evening with people of different backgrounds sharing a meal under one roof, said Stringer’s community liaison to the Russian-speaking community.
“I think it was a good place to celebrate on the Boardwalk. The weather was great, food was fabulous, people were really welcoming. It was an absolutely packed room,” said Ari Kagan. “There were many religions and nationalities — every corner of the community was represented. It was really representative of the entire Russian-speaking community.”
Stringer also awarded commendations to Raisa Ross, a social worker and radio host on the popular Russian-speaking show Davidzon Radio, and Queens resident Rafael Nektalov, who is the editor-in-chief of the Bukharian Times. And the night was just as rewarding for Stringer as it was for the recipients, he said.
“For generations, Russian-speaking immigrants have come to our city, put down roots, and built up our neighborhoods,” said Stringer. “This community is a critical part of our city’s cultural fabric and economic success. Last night was an opportunity to come to Brighton Beach, recognize this community’s contributions, and celebrate their unique heritage.”