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L.N. Tolstoy and V.G. Chertkov Through their correspondence by M.V. Muratov

Published by: Grigorii Arkadievich Moss

In 1879 Lev Tolstoy, being at the height of his literary recognition and personal prosperity experienced an emotional crisis which turned his life inside out. He described this crisis in the book Confession. All his previous life appeared to him as erroneous, bringing any person and all mankind to an impasse. From that time on he tried to look for new paths and devoted the last 30 years of his life to this search.

His main companion in this search was Vladimir Grigorievich Chertkov, acquaintance with whom had begun in 1883. Their emotional bond and mutual understanding developed into a close long-term friendship. They not only wrote each other the most detailed letters, but also gave their diaries to one another to read and enthusiastically commented on them.


Taniana Alekseevna Rodzianko's Graduation Speech

Published by: Grigorii Arkadievich Moss

Dear and Respected Eminence, Bishop Andronik, dear teachers, staff and students of our parish school!

I congratulate you on the successful completion of yet one more academic year, for us a special academic year: the end of the tenth academic year of our Russian school “St. Sergius of Radonezh. In memory of Father Seraphim and Matushka Elena Slobodsky”. Ten years isn’t a short period of our joint work for the benefit of our growing upcoming generation.

I rejoice with you, anticipating the happy times of summer vacations, and I wish you a fruitful summer with the goal of spending this precious time well!



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Easter – is the Holiday of Holidays and Celebration of Celebrations! Every year we wait for It and experience special joy, standing in front of the closed doors of the church, and wait again to hear the priest's exclamation of "Christ is Risen!" And answering with all those who pray together "Truly He is Risen!". And yet each Easter is, in its own way, special, unique.

Today I’m remembering the long-past Easter of 1945, in a hungry Germany, just before the very end of the Second World War. It is so completely different from our magnificent and plentiful Easter outfits and tables here, in the satiated and rich America.

Our family was then in besieged Berlin in our friends’ house in a more peaceful area. All of Berlin was already occupied by the Red Army. Holy Week was approaching. Soon it would be Easter. We all ate so poorly at that time, there were so few things that could be bought in grocery stores; that we didn’t even think about kulich and pascha, and there were no eggs at all. According to the food cards, some amount of butter and meat were supposed to be allotted per person, but they weren’t for sale. Store shelves were empty. But on the streets of the battered city lay many horses killed in the last battles. These horses were disemboweled, cut into pieces and distributed to the public. We also received our share.

Of course there wasn’t any transportation through the city. The tram rails of and pavement were so broken that it was possible to walk around the city only either on foot or by bicycle. Many beautiful bicycles were thrown on the streets, with little damage. We picked them up, repaired them and rode them around the city. At first, it was impossible to get to the church, which was in the center of the city. But our parish priest, Father Michael (I do not remember his last name) was with us in our friend’s house. He served the Matins for all of us tenants, who gathered in this house. Two Red Army servicemen came to us at night, stood through the matins and left. They didn’t stay for our mod



Published by: Grigorii Arkadievich Moss

By Tatiana Alekseevna Rodzianko Translation by Grisha Moss

Monasteries are places where pious, deeply believing Christians left to devote themselves and their lives, to the service of God and people. Such a complete giving of one’s life to God is the fulfillment of the commandment of God according to the direction of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew there is a place where the disciples asked Him which commandment is most in the Law, He answered: "... You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second one, just like the first: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The entire law and prophets were established based on these two commandments.” This commandment was performed by monks and nuns, leaving the secular world for monasteries.

All our numerous Orthodox monasteries were created by people in the fulfillment of this commandment. But each of them had their own special reasons, prompting them to create monasteries, and sometimes special cathedrals. Today we will only talk about monasteries, which are very numerous all over the world.


The students made larks from dough. Memorial Day of the Forty Sebaste Martyrs.

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

Magpies, Larks - the day of the national calendar of the Slavs, falling on March 9 (March 22). Memorial Day of the Forty Sebaste Martyrs. The name of the day comes from the Forty Sebaste martyrs. According to the folk calendar, on this day the winter ends - spring begins, the day with the night is measured -equals.

Larks (waders, turtles) were also called cookies in the form of birds or sun baked for the holiday.


Congress of Orthodox 2017

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

Now that the first emotions have subsided, it is appropriate to recall how three wonderful February days passed, surprisingly warm in all respects. This year 35 people took part in the Congress (a record number of participants today), including guys from Russia and Argentina. Every day of the Congress began and ended with a prayer. Our congress was honored by guests from Russia: the Archbishop of St. Petersburg and North-Russian Sofroniy (Musiyenko) and the clergyman of the St. Petersburg diocese, Hieromonk Ignaty (Krutkov), who prepared wonderful and interesting conversations with the youth. In addition to the guests, Archpriest Nikita (Grigoryev), Priest Victor (Zavodov), Hierodeacon Pavel (Lipin) and Nikolai Budzilovich spoke with reports. Also, in separate groups of boys and girls, "frank conversations" with Priest Dimitri and Mother Alexandra Dobronravov were held.

Photos, credit to Arthur Mifedov-Frolov


Prototype AP Russian Exam: OPIs are scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2017 and Saturday, March 25, 2017

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

American Councils Students in grades 9-12 will be taking the NEWL Prototype AP Russian Exam 2017. The first part of the exam is the Oral Proficiency Interview. American Councils certified examiners will test students' speaking, listening and comprehension skills.

Oral Proficiency Interviews are scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2017 and Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Every student has an assigned time slot for their interview. Information about the assignments was distributed to parents and students on February 15, 2017.


Tatiana Alekseevna Rodzianko gives a speech before the "Snow Maiden" performance

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

I thank all those who came to share our celebration with us. I especially thank you for your attention and interest in our studies and work for the good and benefit of our younger generation. This is our succession, our future, our hope.

In the coming year - 2017 - our Russian school will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The time has flown by. It seems not so long ago that we opened the school, and here we already exist for 10 years. But very precious years! And the precious work, carried out during this comparatively short period of time. A Russian proverb says: "A little goes a long way". Our joint work in school is this very proverb.

Our school was founded in 2007. This year wasn’t easy for all of us, a watershed year in many respects. And it was a turning point for all of us, each in his own way. Some dark paths radically changed the path of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Our bishops joined the Moscow Patriarchate, which was always considered non-canonical. And this act changed its previous path of complete freedom from worldly authorities, more so from the Godless regime in Russia. For us, the Orthodox Russian people, scattered across the globe after the Revolution of 1917, it was a betrayal of freedom and purity of our precious Truth of Christ. I won’t go into the details of this change. I will only say that at the time of our school’s appearance, it turned out to be necessary and popular for many.


Snow Maiden 2017

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

Deep in the forests of Northern Russia, in an isba (log hut), lived an old wood cutter and his wife. Times were hard, for winter had set in and deep snow covered the ground.

The wood cutter and his wife were both kind and hardworking but they were also sad and lonely, for they were childless and there was no-one to care for them or to help them through the cold winter.

The days passed slowly, with hard work their only comfort. There was wood to chop and food to find.

Then one day, whilst clearing an area so they could chop some more wood, they began to pile together heaps of snow. Remembering the games they used to play in their childhood, the old couple began to shape the snow into human form. By the time they had finished they were nearly frozen but the image of the young girl they had created was so beautiful, it was beyond description.

“See wife,” said the old man, “our daughter Snegurochka.” (Snow maiden.) The old woman smiled but as her husband turned away, there were tears in her eyes.

In the forest the twigs crackled and snapped, for watching the old couple was none other than Father Frost, an old winter god that lived deep in the forest glades.

Father Frost felt pity for the old couple and, at that moment, he decided to create for them a daughter in his own spirit. He scratched his long white beard and pondered for a while before raising the great staff he carried into the air. A frizzle of magic ripped through the forest.

The old couple turned to admire once more their handiwork and were astonished to see, standing in their garden, the most beautiful pale maiden with long flaxen hair.

She was dressed in a long, light blue robe, its collar and cuffs trimmed with soft fur; her robe was covered in shimmering snowflakes. On her head was a hat of fur and snowflakes that looked a little like a crown and which sparkled like an icy flame. Her shoulders were covered with a cape of dark blue and on her feet she wore embroidered boots.

The old couple blinked in wonder and dis


You are invited to watch a performance of "The Snow Maiden"

Published by: Pavel Borisovich Molchanov

Our school will celebrate the New Year at 2pm on January 22, 2017. The celebratory program includes a presentation of "The Snow Maiden" under the guidance of the Director Irina Tarrant, a dance around the Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, gifts, and a buffet.

It will be held at 105 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450.

Tickets for children six and under are free; for those 6-18 - $15 and for those who are 18 and older - $20.

We look forward to seeing you there!