Russian-Jewish group first to join Federation's network since 1995.
For the first time in almost 20 years, the UJA-Federation of New York brought a new agency into its network on Thursday: COJECO, the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations, which is the central coordinating body of New York’s Russian Jewish community, said Roberta Leiner, senior vice president of agency relations at the Federation.
Part of a Ukrainian-Jewish family that came to the U.S. in 1993, Roman Shmulenson made his first meaningful contact with the Jewish community while studying at a Brooklyn high school the next year. A social worker from the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services who met with émigré teens arranged a scholarship for Shmulenson to visit Israel.
The trip energized his Jewish feelings; today he’s paying his spiritual debt, as a leader of the émigré community.