NEW YORK (Feb. 10)
A grant of $7000 to Project ARI (Action for Russian Immigrants) to provide a cultural program at a Brighton Beach public school for Soviet immigrants and senior citizens in the area was announced today by New York State Parks and Recreation Commissioner Orin Lehman.
Mrs. Pauline Bilus, director of Project ARI, a subsidiary of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, said the state grant will allow Project ARI to use the facilities of PS 225 in Brighton Beach in the evening for a cultural program for some 3000 Soviet Jewish immigrants in the Brighton Beach area as well as the many senior citizens who live in that section of Brooklyn. Project ARI presently rents facilities at the school during the day for social services to the Soviet immigrants.
Mrs. Bilus said that many of the Soviet immigrants have talents in music, art and cinematography which they would like to display. She said one of the major projects planned is a Russian orchestra. Mrs. Bilus also noted that the program will help bring the Russian immigrants together with the largely elderly population of the Brighton Beach area. In addition, she said there will be programs for young people since the Soviet immigrants include about 500-700 young people.
The Project ARI grant, one of two announced by Lehman, aims to encourage the use of public schools at night in areas of New York City where they are either shut down or underutilized. He noted that once Project ARI’s program gets underway other groups in the community may be encouraged to join them in using school facilities and thus sharing the expenses. Lehman also announced two other city-wide programs aimed at recreational improvements in the city.