The last few days have been horrifying and difficult for all of us. We know many of you have questions, and we wanted to make our position, and our history, very clear:
We stand with the Ukrainian people against Putin, his regime, and the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian School of Mathematics (RSM) was founded by two immigrants: Inessa Rifkin, born in Minsk, Belarus, and Irina Khavinson, born in Chernigov, Ukraine and educated in the specialized math schools of St. Petersburg. Both women uprooted their families over thirty years ago, and fled the Soviet Union as Jewish refugees in search of a free and democratic society in which to raise their children. They settled in Boston, Massachusetts, and have considered themselves proud Americans since.
We are an American company, and we pride ourselves on being a company of immigrants. The majority of our teachers, principals, and office administrators emigrated from the former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe and came to the U.S. to pursue a better life for their families. We ask the greater RSM community to remember that regardless of their country of origin, no one is responsible for this war but Putin and his regime.
Many ask about the “Russian” in our school’s name. We named our school to reflect the historic tradition of Russian mathematics that we all share. This is a tradition that predates Russia’s current government and will exist long after it.
Russia’s invasion into Ukraine is a source of great, real, and concrete pain for all of us. Many of our teachers have loved ones in Ukraine. Wherever we are from originally, if we are lucky to find ourselves in the safety of the world outside of the former Soviet bloc – we are keenly aware that their fate could have been ours. It could have been our children, spouses, and siblings caught up in a war they didn’t ask for.
But given the nature of our company, we also find ourselves uniquely positioned to help. Between RSM employees and family of employees, we have a strong and connected network of individuals in Bulgaria, Armenia, and other countries in the region ready and waiting to house any Ukrainian refugees who can make it to the Ukrainian border.
We are extremely grateful to our staff in the region who have already been helping for days – many driving long distances to the Polish border, to provide a warm home for Ukrainian women and children fleeing the war. We will continue to do everything in our power to help the people of Ukraine caught in this senseless war.
If you know of anyone in need, or of any available resources that we can connect families to, we ask that you reach out to us soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.