The Russian American Foundation (RAF) was founded in 1997 as a non-partisan organization to encourage interest in and understanding of Russian heritage among all communities in the US, as well as to promote reciprocal interest in and understanding of American heritage among global Russian-speaking communities. RAF's programming builds mutual understanding through initiatives in the fields of arts, education, and sports.
Today, RAF serves national and international communities while continuing to be a strong supporter and active member of the Russian-American community of New York. At the core of RAF's mission is an ongoing commitment to:
Promoting a positive dialogue between the people and cultures of the United States and Russia.
Promoting economic and social development, progress, and well-being within the Russian-speaking community of the New York area and the greater United States.
Promoting a better understanding and acceptance of the Russian-speaking community among the various other communities of New York and the greater United States.
Assisting the Russian-speaking community of New York and the greater United States in preserving its heritage, culture, and language.
Annual Russian Heritage Month®
The Annual Russian Heritage Month® celebrates and honors the rich diversity of cultural traditions brought to the U.S. from the many countries of the former Soviet Union. Every year throughout the month of June, RAF presents a variety of public cultural events, such as contemporary and folk music concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, roundtable discussions, festivals, community health and sports fairs, and more.
Bolshoi Ballet Academy Programs
June - August
Through RAF's long-term partnership with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy, its highly acclaimed programs bring to the American ballet community the rich history, culture, and pedagogy of authentic Russian classical ballet. RAF/Academy joint Programs include; Summer Youth Intensive Programs, Teacher Certification Program, and NSLI-Y Russian Language and Culture RAF & Bolshoi Way in Moscow.
NSLI for Youth Scholarship Programs
June - August
The NSLI for Youth Scholarship to Study Language Abroad is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Implemented by RAF in collaboration with the American Councils for International Education, RAF's program offers eligible high school students, merit-based scholarships to develop Russian language skills and understanding of Russian culture through a summer immersion program.
Sports Unites All (SUA)
A collaborative initiative of the Russian American Foundation and the Ryan Martin Foundation. SUA’s mission is to increase awareness of adaptive sports and fitness for all and to encourage individuals with physical disabilities in Russia to live more active and successful lives. SUA is made possible, in part, with support from the US Embassy Moscow.
Battles on Ice®
Friendship Hockey Games
The Battles on Ice® are friendship games between the teams of the New York Fire Department and Russia’s EMERCOM. The games honor sacrifices all first responders make to safeguard the lives of everyday citizens and commemorate the victims of terrorist acts in New York and Moscow.
U.S. - Russia
The USRP empowers US high school and college students to explore, prepare and plan for careers in the US-Russia sector by providing access to professional development opportunities and informational resources they need to be successful.
Membership in the USRP is free.
Virtual Programs & Events
To continue to support the RAF Community during the pandemic and beyond, virtual events became a new and exciting endeavor to bridge culture and accessibility.
Programs included the Alumni Speaker Series, NSLI-Y VSI, BBASI Sneak Peeks, and more.
SportsUnited: Basketball Ambassadors of Today & Tomorrow
A U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program, implemented by RAF, enabling Russian and American youth and coaches to engage with overseas peers through a common bond of basketball. Participants learn about each other’s culture and country, while developing individual skills to become open-minded citizens in today’s global world.