World Beytenu CEO Alex Selsky, Marlen Kruzhkov, Avigdor Liberman,  and MK Oded Forer
World Beytenu CEO Alex Selsky, Marlen Kruzhkov, Avigdor Liberman, and MK Oded ForerWorld Beytenu

For the first time, a Russian-speaking judge was appointed to the Zionist Court of the American Zionist Movement. A highly-acclaimed New York lawyer, Marlen Kruzhkov received the position.

Shortly after his election, Kruzhkov arrived in Israel to attend a prestigious lawyers' conference, organized by the government and the Israeli Bar Association. This conference brought together distinguished Jewish lawyers from around the world to discuss legal measures to fight anti-Semitism and the de-legitimization of Israel.

"I am happy to see Russian-speaking Jews break through the glass ceiling not only in our country," said Israeli Defense Minister and Chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu political party Avigdor Liberman at a meeting with Kruzhkov. "This tendency should be continued. As this demonstrates, immigrants from the former Soviet Union understand Israel's needs in the international arena and are ready to defend them."

"This is a great honor and a great responsibility," Kruzhkov said. "I will, to the best of my ability, help the American Zionist movement to integrate Russian-speaking Jews into influential positions within the Jewish community in the United States."

Marlen Kruzhkov was born in Odessa. His family immigrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. Within the elite association of New York lawyers, where the highest echelon is formed largely from representatives of dynasties of lawyers, Kruzhkov reached an exceptionally high position for a first-generation American.

Kruzhkov’s candidacy for the membership in the Zionist Court was put forward by the American Forum for Israel, an organization representing Russian-speaking Jews in the United States, numbering almost a million in total.

"I am sure that a lawyer of such repute as Marlen Kruzhkov will make a great contribution to the success of our important mission," said American Forum Chairman Dr. Dmitry Shiglik. "In the near future, Russian-speaking Jews will become the leading pro-Israel force in North America. They understand that only a strong Israel can provide security and prosperity to Jews around the world."

The Zionist Court is the supreme body of the American Zionist Movement, the official American representative of the World Zionist Organization (WZO). The Court is called upon to decide on controversial issues arising between various Zionist, Jewish and religious movements.

In Shiglik's opinion, the lack of representation of Russian-speaking Jews in the Zionist Court led to the fact that during the last elections to the World Zionist Congress, the Russian-speaking Jews of the United States could not defend their rights and as a result, their representation in the governing bodies of the WZO was reduced by one third. Now, according to the community leaders, the situation will change radically.