Holocaust Survivors Supported by The Blue Card Request Meeting with Whoopi Goldberg to Educate & Address Recent Damaging Remarks


Elie Rubinstein

Gia Machlin

Arie Hochberg

Harriet Abramson
David Wrobel

Michael D. Lissner


Elinor Heller


Jonathan Alter
Elizabeth Bergstein
Louis Berkowitz
Amanda Bilski
Sharon Cohen
Ronald Elton Miles
Gidaly Peggy
Heine Orit
Hodarkovsky Ron
Jacobs Benjamin
Jaffe Linda Meltzer


Rita Cosby
Samuel J. Dubbin
Eva Fogelman
Laura Goldman
Shoshanna Gruss
Kati Marton
Bill Ritter
Doris Schechter
Marion Wiesel
Albert Wojnilower


March 2, 2022

To whom it may concern:

We are writing to you on behalf of our Russian-speaking constituents and as advocates of Holocaust survivors. We were shocked to learn that Optimum TV’s Russian cable package includes channels such as Channel 1 Russia, NTV Russia, and RTR Planeta, among others that are known for disinformation campaigns and pro-Putin propaganda. These networks air shows and talk shows that downplay the Holocaust and attempt to cover up the former Soviet Union’s antisemitic practices by brainwashing their viewers.

We consider the airing of these networks to be outright support of the ideas that these channels purport, which, aside from being blatant lies, are harmful to the mental health and wellbeing of elderly Russian-speaking viewers, especially Holocaust survivors. There are still an estimated 65,000 Holocaust survivors in the US today, many of whom live in New York City and the majority of whom are native Russian speakers. The propaganda aired on these channels can trigger memories from the Holocaust experiences of antisemitism in the Soviet Union, often causing feelings of distress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms.

These survivors turn to Optimum TV as a means of information and entertainment, not to be bombarded with triggering lies and propaganda. We find it unacceptable to expose viewers to this content and ask that it be removed from Optimum TV packages immediately. We request that Channel 1 Russia, NTV Russia, and RTR Planeta either be removed from the Optimum Russia package or that the propaganda shows and talk shows on all channels be banned from the air. In their place, we invite you to air programming that provides accurate news and uplifts the stories of Holocaust survivors.

On behalf of Holocaust survivors in New York.

Elie Rubinstein President, The Blue Card

Vanessa L. Gibson, Bronx Borough President Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President

Leroy Comrie, NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky, NYS Senator Sean Ryan, NYS Senator Diane Savino, NYS Senator James Skoufis, NYS Senator Toby Stavisky, NYS Senator

Peter Abbate, NYS Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, NYS Assembly Member Didi Barrett, NYS Assembly Member Ed Braunstein, NYS Assembly Member

Steven Cymbrowitz, NYS Assembly Member Maritza Davila, NYS Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez, NYS Assembly Member Latoya Joyner, NYS Assembly Member

Charles Lavine, NYS Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato, NYS Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, NYS Assembly Member Nily Rozic, NYS Assembly Member

David Weprin, NYS Assembly Member

Shaun Abreu, NYC Council Member Joe Borelli, NYC Council Member Eric Bottcher, NYC Council Member Justin Brannan, NYC Council Member Eric Dinowitz, NYC Council Member Jim Gennaro, NYC Council Member

Kamillah Hanks, NYC Council Member Rita Joseph, NYC Council Member

Ari Kagan, NYC Council Member Julie Menin, NYC Council Member Keith Powers, NYC Council Member Lynn Schulman, NYC Council Member

Marjorie Velazquez, NYC Council Member

THE BLUE CARD, INC.      171 MADISON AVENUE, SUITE 1405            NEW YORK, NY 10016

TEL 212.239.2251              FAX 212.594.6881              WWW.BLUECARDFUND.ORG         INFO@BLUECARDFUND.ORG

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