World Forum of Russian Jewry
Alexander Levin (right), president of the World Forum of Russian Jewry, Jan. 2012. Photo by Shahar Ezran
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A new international Jewish organization tagged “The World Forum of Russian
Jewry” was announced Wednesday at the United Nations during a ceremony commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacres.

Nearly 600 American Russian-speaking Jews participated in the ceremony, including Holocaust survivors.

The newly established organization was declared by Alexander L. Levin, president of the Greater Kiev Jewish Community.

The forum will act as an intermediary between the United States, Russia and other countries, and will primarily work to influence their governments to join the world's fight against Iran.

Speaking Thursday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Levin said he is honored to announce the establishment of the new organization, for which he will serve as president. "Our goal is to bring together Russian-speaking Jews from around the world in order to save ourselves and other people from the next catastrophe and genocide, to preserve world peace, and protect our national land at the State of Israel."

In his keynote speech, Levin spoke of the horrific events of Babi Yar and the Wannsee Conference 70 years ago, and how the new World Forum aims to combat the modern anti-Semitism, xenophobia and Holocaust denial. To that point, Levin also emphatically brought up the increasingly worrisome issue of Iranian nuclear aspirations.

"Standing here on this stage, I would like to remind you that there is today a member country of the United Nations that is currently on the road to obtaining a nuclear weapon who's President, without blinking an eye, tells the humanity that the Holocaust is a deception and that it never occurred," Levin added. "We, the Russian-speaking Jews from the far-flung corner of the Earth, stand ready to unite against him and the nuclear program of Iran. We will not let another Holocaust engulf us."

The commemorative conference was organized by The American Forum of Russian Jewry with the support of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine and Israel to the United Nations. Ukraine's Ambassador to the UN, Yuriy Sergeyev, and Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, as well as David Harris, Executive Director of American Jewish Committee, Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, and other Jewish leaders from around the world participated in the event. Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, also addressed the attendees.