“I worked hard to bring Russian Jews to Brighton Beach,” said Senator Charles Schumer at the UJA-Federation of New York’s Russian Division 2013 Charity Ball at the Harmonie Club on June 2 — right off Fifth Avenue — at which philanthropist and art patron Felix Komarov was honored with its Global Leadership Award.
“Why Brighton Beach?” asked Schumer. “I was an assemblyman. There were no older Jews in the four-story walkups… We offered landlords bonuses. With the support of four of the biggest shuls in the area, we handed out leaflets in Yiddish and Russian ‘Do you want to live in a nice Jewish neighborhood?’ Many were from Odessa [“by- the- sea”]…The Russians cried khelp! And now they are helping and giving back.”
Mingling and nibbling on superb lox, delicious sautéed potatoes while sipping Vodka, there were a number of chic young people among 200 festively attired guests. The atmosphere was upbeat — resonant of that day’s Israel Day Parade. Dinner co-chair Galina Pincow — who shared the honor with co-chair Gene Rachmansky — was aglow “because this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Russian division.” Also touted was Honorary dinner chair Lawrence Wajnberg, who established the Russian division.