I'm at the airport waiting to leave Singapore so I'll get a jump start on catching up on blogging...

ILW.com recently posted USCIS' 2006 Outstanding Americans By Choice list and one of the folks named is someone I've known for a few years in my volunteer capacity as a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Marina Belotserkovsky is well-known in the Russian community in New York and beyond and she's done outstanding work at HIAS. Here's the bio included with the well-deserved USCIS award.

Marina Belotserkovsky
Director of Russian Communications and Community Outreach, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
New York, New York

Marina Belotserkovsky is currently director of Russian Communications
and Community Outreach at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS),
where she is responsible for assisting over one million members of the
Russian-speaking community in America. She produces and hosts "HIAS
Answers" for both radio and television. The program was developed to
provide information for new immigrants when they arrive in the United
States. Together with her HIAS colleagues, Ms. Belotserkovsky has been
instrumental in the success of Local Russian-speaking Émigré
Organizations (LOREO) and The Civic and Voter Educational Initiative,
HIAS' key national outreach programs for Russian Americans.


Ms. Belotserkovsky immigrated to the United States in 1989 as a refugee
from the Former Soviet Union. In 1996, she became a naturalized U.S.
citizen. Before coming to the United States, Ms. Belotserkovsky founded
and ran a school for gifted children in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has
a graduate degree in linguistics and teaching from the Pedagogical
State University in St. Petersburg.