Bay Ridge

Aelita Social Club hosts Jewish Festival

November 3, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Eugene Lekakh, Leonora Bulychova, Ari Kagan, candidate Yoni Hikind, Frances Vella-Marrone, Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, Assemblymember Dov Hikind, Duvi Honig and Dr. Shawna Yunayev. Photos courtesy of the Aelita Club

Elected Officials and Community Leaders Attend Cultural Event

The Aelita Social Club hosted a well-attended Jewish Festival on Sunday, Oct. 22. Club President Leonora Bulychova organized the event in partnership with District 47 (Gravesend-Bensonhurst) Assemblymember William Colton, the office of U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, Democratic District Leader Ari Kagan and Aleksandr Budnitsky, director of the Jewish Center. The festival featured Jewish dances, Klezmer and modern music and songs performed by children and adults.

The Bensonhurst-based organization was founded more than two years ago by Bulychova, an immigrant from Belarus, whose objective was to offer immigrants, seniors and younger residents the opportunity to form new friendships. She named the club after her late mother and decided to promote all of its activities free of charge for the general public.

“This great event showcased many talents in our community, a love for Israel and Jewish heritage, and the tremendous diversity of the Jewish community,” said Kagan. “Aelita Club deserves a huge credit for bringing together people of all ages, professions and backgrounds. It was a really beautiful celebration.” 

Elected officials and community leaders attending the event included Assemblymember Dov Hikind, City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, City Council candidate Yoni Hikind, Democratic District Leader Nancy Tong, American Forum for Israel Executive Director Eugene Lekakh, CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce Duvi Honig and Dr. Shawna Yunayev of the Anatevka Settlement Project.

All participants were presented with honorary certificates from Donovan’s Brooklyn Chief of Staff Fran Vella-Marrone. Colton also awarded them gold trophies with the Star of David, along with other medals.

The American flag and the flag of Israel stood side by side as American and Israeli hymns were performed by Michael Lembert and Diana Marchuk.

“It is in the tradition of Jews and Israel — the nation of musicians and scientists — to create and organize festivals that awaken the pride of being a Jew in our children,” said Bulychova. “We are a small nation that gave the world the largest number of Nobel laureates, brilliant masters of the arts and culture.”