Inaugural Russian-American Person of the Year Award and announces nominees

Russian American awards03

Curtis Sliwa, Founder and Leader, the Guardian Angels is honored at the
Inaugural Russian-American Person of the Year Award and announces nominees

Curtis Sliwa (born March 26, 1954) is an American anti-crime activist, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, and radio talk show host and media personality. Sliwa’s longtime broadcast partner is lawyer Ron Kuby, with whom he has hosted and whom he currently hosts a weekday radio show at Noon on WABC-AM in New York.

Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels in Metro, 2001

In May 1977, Sliwa created the “Magnificent 13”, a group dedicated to combating violence and crime on the New York City subways. At the time, the city was experiencing a crime wave. The Magnificent 13 grew and was renamed the Guardian Angels in 1979. The group’s actions drew strong reactions, both positive and negative,[2] from the police, public officials, residents and the media. Throughout the early 1980s the group’s distinctive uniform, a military type red beret and white insignia t-shirt, became recognizable as the group grew and courted media attention.

In the early 1980s, he became active in Buffalo, New York and was often critical of local police policies and practices.[3] Sliwa continues to act as the President of the organization and oversees its worldwide operations. His wife Mary was Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. He frequently visits chapters throughout the world and graduates new chapters. As of 2011, Sliwa states that the Guardian Angels operate in nine countries and 82 cities around the world, with approximately 5,000 members. Sliwa went on to become a populist conservative radio talk show host.

New York, November 21– – Along with Curtis was Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, said today she was “honored” to be part of the Russian-American community, while hosting a press briefing at the Gallery Shchukin in midtown to officially open the Inaugural Russian-American Person of the Year Awards and announce the nominees.

“This award is a testament to the Russian community and to how important it is that we honor Russian-Americans,” she said. “My parents lived the quintessential Russian-American dream and they’re the reason I’m where I am today. I’m honored to be part of the Russian-American community.”

The awards, which strive to unify the diverse communities of all Russian-speaking Americans in the United States, are sponsored by the World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, with support from the American Council for World Jewry.

The winners of the Russian-American Person of the Year Awards in all categories eligible for public nomination and votes will be announced at the awards’ Inaugural Gala on Nov. 23.

Also attending were Russian-American Person of the Year Advisory Board Members and Honorees, including: Vitali Komar; Yuri Foreman; Sergey Gordeev; Michael Turovsky; Alex Rubin; Ekaterina Kotrikadze; Aleksandra Gerson; Seva Kaplan; Edward Bekkerman; Jack Rosen; Alexander Levin; and Curtis Sliwa.

On September 14, Kazantsev made history by becoming the third consecutive Miss New York to be crowned Miss America. Her acceptance of the highly-prized title was just the beginning of a Year of Service that will take her to every corner of the nation. As Miss America 2015, she will embark on her national speaking tour, addressing an array of audiences on her platform “Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women against Domestic Violence.”

She is a graduate of Hofstra University, where she held a triple major, studying political science, global studies and geography. Kira is also trilingual, speaking English, Russian and Spanish. For more information, please visit

The Russian-American Person of the Year Awards:

The Russian-American Person of the Year Awards Advisory Board members has selected the following nominees in the following categories which are eligible for public voting: Educator of the Year – Lenny Krayzelburg, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, Rabbi Aryeh Katzin; Emerging Leader of the Year – Michael Belogorodsky, Yuri Foreman, Leonard Petlakh and Alex Rubin; Visual Artist of the Year – Edward Bekkerman, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid and Mikhail Turovsky; Media Award – Aleksandra Gerson, Sergey Gordeev, Seva Kaplan, Gennady Katsov, Katya Kazakina, Ekaterina Kotrikadze and Victor Topaller; Performer of the Year – Philippe Quint, Regina Spektor and Borislav Strulev.

Advisory members of the board include Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York; Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate; Larry King, Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning Host; Curtis Sliwa, Founder and Leader, the Guardian Angels; Boaz Vaadia, World Renowned Sculptor and a Member of the International Sculpture Center; Alexander Levin, President of the World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry; Jack Rosen, President of the American Council for World Jewry and Shai Baitel, Co-founder and Senior Vice-President of Mana Contemporary. Other advisory board members include the American Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, American Section of the World Zionist Organization, COJECO, and others.

About the World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry:

The World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry is an international organization representing diaspora communities of Russian-speaking Jews of the United States, Canada, the European Union, Israel, the CIS countries and Australia. The organization is committed to unifying the Russian-speaking Diasporas, increasing their influence in their countries of residence for the sake of the prosperity, security, economic, spiritual and cultural development of their countries and the State of Israel. For more information please visit:

About the American Council for World Jewry:

The American Council for World Jewry was founded as a home for Jews from all over the world, joining together as partners to ensure our common and collective survival. The Council acts on the belief that the key to countering threats against the Jewish people and the State of Israel is political empowerment. Therefore, the Council’s central mission is to articulate the concerns of Jewish communities internationally by building bridges to the United States Congress and Executive Branch, and to important political figures in other countries. For more information please visit:

Special Thank You:

Sponsors: The Trump Group, Zilli USA, MetroPlus Health Plan, Gallery Shchukin.