Published! "Estonians in America, 1945-1995: Exiles in a Land of Promise"

History of Estonians in America Now Published !

The Estonian American National Council is pleased to announce that it is taking orders for “Estonians in America, 1945-1995: Exiles in a Land of Promise,” the history of Estonians in the United States from the time of the World War II.  The hard-cover book has over 560 pages, and provides details and photos on the history and activities of Estonian refugees, and their descendants, who came to the U.S. after Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union. 

Editor Priit Vesilind has built on the manuscript originally prepared by Mr. Enn Kõiva, with contributions by many other individuals.  Mr. Vesilind, currently a freelance writer, is a former senior writer and photojournalist for National Geographic magazine.

“Estonians in America, 1945-1995: Exiles in a Land of Promise,” is the perfect gift for your friends and family. Also consider donating a copy to your local public library, as it is an important historical reference book.

The cost is $97.50 ($90.00 plus $7.50 for regular shipping and handling.   Please use the form below to reserve your copies.  You can also pay by credit card via PayPal at a slightly higher cost to cover PayPal fees:  $100.50 including shipping and handling.  Please include your mailing address and e-mail! 

Expedited shipping is available for an additional cost: $103.60 with check, $107.00 if paying by PayPal/credit card.

Contact:  Linda Rink, EANC Executive Director: 215-546-5863, erku@estosite.org.



I wish to order ________ copies of “Estonians in America, 1945-1995: Exiles in a Land of Promise” at a cost of $97.50 per book ($90.00 plus $7.50 for regular shipping & handling) or $103.60 for expedited shipping. 

Enclosed is a check for ____________ .

Name:  ____________________________________________   

Address:  _____________________________________________________________________


Email:  ________________________________________   Phone:  _______________________


Write checks to “EANC” and send to:

Linda Rink

1420 Locust St., Suite 31N

Philadelphia PA 19102.  


EANC supports two important new projects/ERKÜ toetab kahte tähtsat projekti 

An important part of EANC’s work includes providing grants and financial support to organizations and cultural projects across the U.S. that further Estonian American interests, and help maintain language and heritage.   The following two projects have been selected by the Estonian American National Council’s Board of Directors to receive a portion of the proceeds from this year’s November 5 Gala Evening, as well as support in 2017.  

*  Singing Revolution University  -- EANC’s grant will help launch a new streaming website containing the films “The Singing Revolution” and “To Breathe As One” by Jim and Maureen Tusty, plus interview segments and commentary, newsreels, original documents, and many additional video segments not in the films.  The site is intended for academics, Estophiles, film fans, music fans and others to delve into the Singing Revolution, Laulupidu and Estonia’s Soviet Occupation.

 *  East and West Coast Estonian Children’s Choirs’ song festival participation -- Choirs on both the East and West Coasts are preparing to attend next year’s Noorte Laulu- ja Tantsupidu in Tallinn, Estonia.  EANC’s grant will help defray the expenses of families, so that more of these hard-working children and their music directors can participate.

If you would like to support these projects, mail your donation check made out to “EANC” to Linda Rink, 1420 Locust St., Ste. 31N, Philadelphia, PA 19102.  You can also pay by credit card via PayPal at www.estosite.org.


Üks suur osa ERKÜ tööst on võimaldada  toetust ja rahalist abi Am. Ühendriikides olevatele organisatsioonidele ja kultuurilistele projektidele, mis kaitsevad Eesti-Ameerika hüve, sellega toetades ka eesti keele ja eesti traditsioonide säilitamist.  Rahvuskomitee juhatus on valinud kaks sellist projekti, kellele osutada osa nov. 5 Gala õhtusest sissetulekust ja toetada 2017. aastal.

  • Singing Revolution University -  ERKÜ annetus võimaldab uue website’I loomist, kus esinevad Jim ja Maureen Tusty filmid, “The Singing Revolution” ja “To Breathe As One”, nendele järgneb palju informatsiooni, mida saaks kasutada akadeemilises töös, või mis huvitaks “Estophiile” , samuti muusika ja filmi fan’e.  Sealt võib lugeda originaalseid intervjuusid, originaalseid dokumente, väljavõtteid video saadetistest, jm.  Üldiselt annab see ka informatsiooni “Singing Revolutioniga” ühenduses olevast vene okupatsioonist ja eesti traditsioonilistest laulupidudest.  
  • Lääne ja Idaranniku eestlaste laste kooride toetus lastele, et laulupeost osa võtta.  - Laste laulukoorid mõlemil rannikul teevad ettevalmistusi, et osa võtta tuleval suvel Tallinnas toimuvast noorte laulu- ja tantsupeost.  ERKÜ annetus on suureks abiks nendele laste peredele ja võimaldaks lastel oma raske töö tagajärgi laululaval nautida! Samuti võimaldab see toetus ka meie laste suurearvulisemat  osavõttu.   

Kui te sooviksite toetada neid eelnimetatud projekte, saatke check Linda Rink, 1420 Locust St. Ste. 31N, Philadelphia, PA 19102.  Check kirjutada “EANC” nimele.  On ka võimalik krediit kaardiga maksta, via PayPal at www.estosite.org  


EANC Congratulates President-Elect Trump

Nov. 17, 2016 Press Release

The Estonian American National Council offers congratulations to Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence on their election to the nation’s highest offices.  We look forward to working with them and their administration to ensure sound policy development on issues concerning U.S.-Estonian relations.

Together with our partners in the Joint Baltic American National Committee and the Central and East European Coalition, we will continue to foster strong ties in Congress in support of our collective regional interests.  We intend to invite newly elected members to join the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus and the House Baltic Caucus, and to keep Congress informed on the issues that impact the Baltic States.  At the same time, we invite our Estonian-American constituency to also contact their Senators and Representatives to voice their concerns for Estonian security and policy for the region.

Strong U.S. leadership in NATO remains the foundation of European – and therefore Estonian – security and stability.  We are ardent supporters of the $3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative allocation in the current National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and call on Congress to pass it without delay.  This bilateral funding allows European allies to maximize their interoperability with NATO to ensure all members are well-prepared for deterrence and allied operations.  Though Estonia has exceeded the 2% of GDP benchmark for defense spending and is making smart decisions under their Article 3 responsibilities to develop their own forces, it relies on cooperation and support from larger members to bolster its ability to defend its borders and maintain the integrity of the alliance as a whole.  The multinational presence deploying there next year is a welcome implementation of the outcomes of the Wales and Warsaw summits.

While there is still much uncertainty regarding Mr. Trump’s national security policy and the team that will implement it, the EANC will make it a top priority to educate on and advocate for the importance of maintaining strong transatlantic relationships.  Estonia’s small size in no way diminishes its status as a sovereign nation.  Under Article 2, all NATO member nations signed on to “…contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being.”  We call on Mr. Trump to uphold and promote these values and to appoint a policy team that will do the same.


EANC supports Estonian animation tour to help Estonian American children showcase their roots.

In a project funded by a grant from the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Estonian American National Council with the aim of bringing Estonian-American children's connections to their families' homeland to life, the Animation Generation team held its first three workshops in Lakewood, N. J. and New York City on May 6 and 7, creating stop-motion animations with a total of 33 Estonian-American children.

The Estonian community in Lakewood centers around a trio consisting of the Estonian House, the church belonging to the Lakewood Holy Ghost (Pühavaimu) congregation, a member of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Estonian Archives in the U.S. (EAU). The Estonian community there is one of the most organized in the US, with weekly events and church services. Pastor Thomas Vaga, who came to the United States in 1949, met with the Animation Generation team and spoke of the changing needs of the community.

Vaga explained that the Estonian community in Lakewood began as a refugee community, and there comes a time, as in every such community, when a decision must be made regarding whether to continue services only in Estonian, even as such services are needed less and less, or move into two languages.

The church now offers services in English once a month, even as it remains a bastion of Estonian identity in the coastal state. The church building itself was designed by an Esto-nian architect and built from stone from an Estonian quarry. According to church record, the massive front altar painting “…depicts the fate of the Estonian people, wherein Jesus Christ has come to their aid and provided strength to those deported to Siberia, freedom fighters suffering in prison camps, refugees escaping through stormy seas, and those who escaped to a new country and freedom.”

The Estonian archive, located directly next door to the church, houses not only written records, but also things such as artwork, textiles, ethnographic items, medals, and memorial stamps. Displayed items include walls of framed medals from Estonian high schools, handcrafted folk costume pieces, and even 1970s-era Barbie dolls painstakingly dressed in ethnic styles from all over Estonia. The pastor’s wife, Airi, explained that these pieces were made from memory during a time when refugees believed that Estonia might truly someday be no more.

The main-floor bar at the Lakewood Estonian House, located a few miles away, doesn’t serve Saku, but there is enough activity to go around anyway. There are meetings and classes for Estonian Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, senior clubs, and special occasion events, like the Mother’s Day meal held on Sunday.

Saturday's animation workshop, much anticipated by local Estonian children, took place in the building’s basement room, where the local Lithuanian School rents space alongside the twice-monthly Estonian School classes. The kids dove right in, creating two stop-motion animation works and a fun pixelation wherein all of the children appeared to climb into a box which was mailed to Estonia by Helica DeShaw, the newly elected President of the Lakewood Estonian Association (LEÜ).

Animation Generation hosted its first US workshop at the Lakewood Estonian House in Lakewood, N.J. on Saturday, May 7, 2016. (Kreeta Käeri)

Animation Generation Takes Manhattan

The reception was equally warm at the New York Estonian House on Sunday, where due to demand, two workshops were held for the children.

“I think workshops like this are an excellent idea, and we were really excited to see it coming,” said Paul Kuldkepp, a parent of one of the participants of the animation workshop in New York. “My son Oskar has an iPad and has done some stop-motion animations at home. He had so much fun in the first session that he asked to participate again in the second one. There are things like the Estonian opera that come here for adults, but workshops for the kids that support a direct cultural link are much more rare. This allows kids to do stuff that’s hands-on. After this, you can introduce things like [award-winning Estonian cartoonist] Priit Pärn, and you’re not trying to interest kids in something they have no experience with.”

In addition to screening the animations and pixelations made by the children themselves, the Animation Generation team also screened several short films, including Ülo Pikkov’s “ADA + OTTO,” which the children proclaimed was “Sooooo cute!”

The three-person team’s next stop will be at the Chicago Estonian House in Riverwoods, Ill.

- Erin Crouch


Ülemaailmse Eesti Kesknõukogu aastakoosolek toimub Washington DC lähedal

Ülemaailmne Eesti Kesknõukogu (ÜEKN) peab oma aastakoosolekut reedel ja laupäeval, 22. ja 23. aprillil, Embassy Suites by Hilton Crystal City National Airport hotellis.  Koosolek on avatud publikule.  Registreerimine algab kell 9.00 reedel ja koosoleku rakendamine on kell 9.30, millele järgneb tervitus Eesti Suursaadikult Eerik Marmeilt.

Kavas on ülevaade liikmesmaade tegevusest, arutelu ESTO ja Eesti 100 plaanidest, ÜEKNi kodukorra uuendamine, ÜEKNi majandus- ning tegevuskavad, ning juhatuse valimised.  Laupäeva õhtul toimub ühine õhtusöök kuhu tuleb ette registreerida.  

ÜEKNi liikmesmaad on Austraalia, Inglismaa, Kanada, Läti, Leedu, Rootsi, Saksamaa, Tsehhi, Ukraina, USA, Venemaa ja Soome.

Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides on kohapealne koosoleku korraldaja. Küsimustega pöörduda Marju Rink-Abelile 301-587-8353 või marju.rink_abel@verizon.net.  Hotelli aadress on 1402 South Eads St., Arlington, VA 22202.

EANC 2016 awards program - nominations due May 1 / ERKÜ 2016 auhinnad 

The Estonian American National Council (EANC) announces solicitation of nominees for the 2016 EANC awards program to recognize exceptional individuals or organizations in America who should be noted for their contributions to Estonia or to the Estonian-American community, or to the broader American community in a way that has some connection to Estonia or the Estonian people. EANC invites you to submit your nominations for these awards, which this year will be given out at a public ceremony during the dinner following EANC’s annual meeting on November 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. 

The awards can recognize many different kinds of contributions.  Estonian-American individuals can be recognized for outstanding achievements, or for distinguished service related to Estonia or Estonian-American activities, including for outstanding contributions to the EANC.   Organizations can be recognized for their outstanding contributions to Estonia or to the Estonian-American community. This year, eligibility has been expanded to include Americans not of Estonian descent who may have made contributions to Estonia or the Estonian American community. As these awards are meant to recognize truly outstanding contributions, EANC will not necessarily give awards in all the above categories.  Selections of recipients will be made by the EANC board.

Written nominations should include the name of the nominee, the specific type of contribution that he or she has made, and a brief (no more than one page) rationale for the nomination.  (If the selection committee requires more documentation, they will request it.) Nominations must be accompanied by contact information for the nominator.  Nominations may be submitted via e-mail (preferred) to Linda Rink, EANC Executive Director, at erku@estosite.org, or by regular mail to Linda Rink, 1420 Locust Street, Suite 31N, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

To be considered, nominations must be received by May 1, 2016.  
ERKÜ 2016 auhinnad 
Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides (ERKÜ) teatab, et avatud on nominentide esitamine 2016 aasta ERKÜ auhindadele, tunnustamaks erakordseid üksikisikuid või organisatsioone Ameerikas, kes on edendanud Eesti Vabariigi või Eesti Ameerika kogukonda, või Ameerika ühiskonda laiemalt, millel on side Eesti või eestlastega. 
ERKÜ kutsub kõiki üles esitama kandidaate auhindadele, mis sel aastal antakse välja ERKÜ iga-aastase konverentsi järgsel gaalal 5.novembril 2016 San Franciscos, Californias.

Need auhinnad tunnustavad mitmeid panuseid. Eesti ameeriklasi võib tunnustada Eestiga seotud saavutustes või auväärt teenistuses, samuti Eesti Ameerika tegevuses, sealhulgas erilises panuses ERKÜ tegevusesse.
Organisatsioone võib tunnustada nende erilises panuses Eesti heaks või Eesti Ameerika ühiskonna heaks. Sel aastal on kategooria laiendatud ka hõlmamaks mitte Eesti päritolu ameeriklastele, kes on andnud oma panuse Eesti või Ameerika Eesti ühiskonna heaks. Kuna need autasud on mõeldud tõeliselt erakorraliste saavutuste tunnustamiseks, ei pruugi ERKÜ anda välja autasu igas kategoorias, kui seda väärivat kandidaati ei leita. Lõpliku valiku teeb ERKÜ juhtkond.

Kandidaatide kirjalikul esitamisel tuleb märkida kandidaadi nimi, millise spetsiifilise panuse on nad andnud ning lühike kirjeldus (mitte pikem kui üks lehekülg), miks neid esitatakse. Samuti esitaja kontaktinfo juhuks, kui ERKÜ auhindade komitee vajab täiendavat informatsiooni.

Kandidatuurid palun saata meili teel ERKÜ tegevdirektor Linda Rink´ile: erku@estosite.org.
Või posti teel aadressil:
Linda Rink
1420 Locust Street, Suite 31N
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Kandidaatide esitamise tähtaeg on 1.mai 2016. 



EANC Board Member Arne Kalm to Receive BAFL Freedom Award

The Estonian American National Council is pleased to announce that Arne Kalm will be honored by the Baltic American Freedom League (BAFL) in recognition of his dedication to the cause of Baltic freedom and security. Kalm will be one of three award recipients honored at BAFL’s 34th Awards Banquet on April 2, 2016 at the Latvian Community Center in Los Angeles, California. The two other honorees are Angele Nelsas and Janis Kukainis.

Arne Kalm is an Estonian-born American businessman with a long record of participation in civic and community activities.  Now retired, he is an elected member of the Estonian American National Council, where he serves on the Board of Directors. As an active member of the Estonian community in Los Angeles, Kalm’s career over the years has emphasized participation in local, state and national political activities as a means of bringing the cause of the Baltic peoples in front of the people of the United States and their elected representatives.  Kalm has held numerous leadership positions in the Estonian League of the West Coast, which organizes the biennial West Coast Estonian Days in various Pacific Coast cities, including vice president in 1961-63 and president in 1997-99.

He is also the author of the book, “Baltic Musketeers in the U.S. Congress,” a history of the first resolutions in the U.S. Congress seeking freedom for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  Kalm has first-hand perspective on this subject, since he served from 1961 through 1969 as the Estonian vice president of Americans for Congressional Action to Free the Baltic States, a Los Angeles based organization formed by Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians to support the introduction and passage of Baltic freedom resolutions.

Born in Tallinn, Kalm was brought to the United States in 1945, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area.  He graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Engineering (cum laude) and an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering.  Later, he earned an M.B.A. with high distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Kalm and his wife, Celia, are long-time residents of Arcadia, California.  

Information regarding the April 2 banquet can be obtained from Aavo Reinfeldt (949) 481-1915.
ERKÜ juhatuse liige Arne Kalm saab BAFL’i Vabaduse auhinna
Eesti Rahvuskomiteel Ühendriikides (ERKÜ) on hea meel teatada et Balti Ameerika Vabaduse Liit (Baltic American Freedom League, ehk BAFL) austab Arne Kalmi Vabaduse auhinnaga.  BAFL’i 34. Auhindade Bankett toimub 2. aprillil, 2016, Los Angelesi Läti Seltsi Majas.   Auhinnaga tunnustatakse tema silmapaistvat pühendust Balti riikide vabadusele ja julgeolekule.

Arne Kalm on Eestis sündinud Ameerika ärimees kellel on olnud pikajaline osavõtt  kodakondlikudes ja ühiskondlikes tegevustes.  Nüüd pensionil, ta on ERKÜ Esinduskogu ja juhatuse liige.  Olles aktiivne Los Angelesi eesti ühiskonnas, tema tegevuse pearõhk aastate jooksul on olnud osavõtt kohalikes, osariiklikes, ja föderaalsetes poliitilistes üritustes, et  Ameerika rahva ja Kongressis esindajate tähelepanu juhtida Balti rahvaste sihtidele.  Kalm on olnud mitmetes juhtivates positsioonides Eesti Organisatsioonide Liidus Läänerannikul (EOLL), organisatsioon mis korraldab iga teise aasta tagant Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad (LEP) erinevates lääneranniku asupaikades Ameerikas ja Kanadas.  Kalm oli EOLL’i asepresident a. 1961-63 ja president a. 1997-99. 

Arne Kalm on ka „Balti Musketärid USA Kongressis“ autor, ajalugu esimestest USA Kongressi resolutsioonidest mis taotlesid vabadust Eestile, Lätile, ja Leedule.  Kalmil on isiklik perspektiiv sellest teemast, kuna a. 1961-1969 ta oli Eesti asepresident organisatsioonis Ameeriklased Kongressi Aktsiooni Poolt et Vabastada Balti Riike (Americans for Congressional Action to Free the Baltic States). See Los Angelesis asuv organisatsioon oli moodustatud leedulaste, lätlaste, ja eestlaste poolt et toetada Balti vabaduse resolutsioonide tutvustamist ja läbi viimist Kongressis.

Sündinud Tallinnas, Kalm oli noor poiss kui ta tuli 1945 a. Ameerika Ühendriikidess, kus ta kasvas ülesse San Francisco ümbruses.  Ta lõpetas Kalifornia Tehnoloogia Instituudi (California Institute of Technology) cum laude B.S. kraadiga inseneri alal ja saavutas magistri kraadi ehitusinsenerina.  Hiljem ta lõpetas Harvard’i Ülikooli Graduate School of Business Administration magistri kraadiga ärijuhtimises kõrge kiitusega.  Kalm ja tema abikaasa Celia on kauaaegsed Arcadia, Kalifornia elanikud.

Informatsioon 2. aprilli banketti kohta võib saada Aavo Reinfeldt’ilt (949) 481-1915.

EANC Meets with State Department, plus an Overview of Current Developments affecting the Baltics

From Karin Shuey, EANC Washington DC Director:

Estonian American National Council representatives joined Baltic colleagues for a briefing from the State Department’s Baltic team on Friday, February 19.  The Director of Nordic and Baltic Affairs, Nathaniel Dean, and desk officers for Estonia, Kathleen Bresnahan, and Lithuania, Carol Werner, shared their insights on policy and current and upcoming events focused on U.S.-Baltic cooperation.  EANC, JBANC and State Department representatives discuss Baltic policy. From left: Ausma Tomsevics, Carol Werner, Nathaniel Dean, Kathleen Bresnahan, Karin Shuey, Ilze Garoza, Peter Blumberg, Marju Rink-Abel

The Baltic region is starting the year with a high level of diplomatic engagement.  From the visit in January by Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland to the meeting in April of the Nordic-Baltic Eight’s foreign ministers in Riga, and many lower-profile events in between, State Department attention on the Baltics is intense.  The posting of career diplomats as ambassadors in all three countries, rather than political appointees, is also a clear signal that the U.S. sees the importance of professional diplomacy to ensure solid collaboration leading up to the July NATO Summit in Warsaw and beyond.

Funding for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI - https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/02/fact-sheet-fy2017-european-reassurance-initiative-budget-request) was an important topic of discussion.  President Obama introduced this budget appropriation in 2014 to reassure our NATO allies of the U.S. commitment to member nations’ security and territorial integrity.  This year’s allocation of nearly $800 million was quadrupled for 2017 to $3.4 billion.  While specific distribution of the funds is not yet decided, they are intended for increased U.S. presence, exercises, prepositioning of equipment, infrastructure improvements, and building partner capacity throughout the alliance.  In the Baltics, this would include equipment, training and improving existing facilities to ensure they are ready to host deployments of allied troops.  The funding has received wide bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress.  

The State representatives expressed a high level of confidence in the effectiveness of these planned measures.  The focus is on deterrence of any possible Russian aggression through increased NATO presence along its eastern borders, equipment that reinforces the deterrent capability, and building strong relationships throughout the alliance.  One example is Assistant Secretary Nuland’s effort to expand the rotational presence of companies in the Baltics by getting more of the allies involved, similar to the ongoing air policing mission.  

The State Department is taking seriously the recent Rand Corporation study (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1253.html) that predicted Russian forces could overtake Tallinn or Riga in 60 hours or less.  The report was characterized as “eye-opening and concerning.”  The steps that ERI is making will help position the U.S. to respond faster.   At the same time, whether Russia will make conventional moves in the Baltics is questionable, and redefining what constitutes an attack that would invoke Article V of the NATO treaty is an ongoing discussion leading up to the Warsaw Summit.  

On the topic of sanctions against Russia, U.S. policy’s firm adherence to the measures laid out in the Minsk II agreement was underscored.  While Russia has tried to introduce countersanctions and gain leverage with European countries who would like to see the sanctions lifted for economic reasons, they have so far been met with resistance.  

In the meantime, there are several efforts underway beyond military reinforcement.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been working with border security forces while the European Union is also investing in securing its eastern frontier.  Estonia has invested $70 million in border improvements and is engaged with DHS in training and guidance.  State is conducting public diplomacy efforts and sponsoring English lessons for the Russian-speaking population to increase their access to Western media and information sources, which seem to be well-received among the Russian speaking community.

While there are still many areas of concern that affect the Baltic region, to include Russian non-compliance with Minsk II, corruption in Russian and Ukrainian government and banking systems, and the shortage of rational behavior coming out of Moscow, the overall tone of the meeting was cautious optimism.  The U.S. and NATO are very concerned about Baltic security.   They are committed to realistically assessing and responding to the Russian threat with measured and effective means of deterrence.  Time will tell if the intense diplomatic engagement and resources dedicated in the process are successful in influencing the future of the region.

- Karin Shuey, EANC Washington DC Director


Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäeva tervitus ERKÜlt / Estonian Independence Day greetings from Marju Rink-Abel, EANC president.

Lgp. kaasmaalased!

Kui jälgida maailma sündmusi, tundub et igal pool maailmas on aina süvenemas kriisid ja sõjad.  
Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil on organisatsioon – Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides -  kes peab sündmustele silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele, pidades silmas Eesti Vabariigi heaolu ja julgeolekut.
Venemaa kurja sõjalist kätt on näha Ukrainas ja Süürias, ja tema valed ja propaganda on ülemaailma levinud. Lääs ei paista suutvat temast jagu saada, vaid loodab peamiselt diplomaatia abiga midagi saavutada, siiani tulemusteta.  Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil oleks olemas organisatsioon kes peab sündmustel silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele.

Euroopa proovib Süüria ja Afganistani põgenikkude vooluga toime tulla, kuid Euroopa Liit (EL) võib hoopis laguneda selle surve ja sisemiste vastuolude tõttu.  Suur Britannia võimalik lahkumine EL-ist võib olla üks otsustav löök.  Kui kaua EL on nõus Venemaa sanktsioone veel kehtestama on küsimus, eriti Saksamaa ja Prantsusmaa toetuse puudumisel. Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil oleks olemas organisatsioon kes peab sündmustel silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele.

Põhja Korea näib tõsiselt liikuma tuumarelvastuse valmistamise poole, vaatamata pidevatest hoiatustest ja sanktsioonidest Läänest.  Puna Hiinal on omad probleemid dissidentidega ja repressioonid aina kasvavad seal.  Samal ajal tema laiutab ennast naaberriikide arvel, ja kuigi ta on ainuke kellel on see ehk võimalik, ta ei pidurda Põhja Korea tegevust.  Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil oleks olemas organisatsioon kes peab sündmustel silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele.

Ja muidugi Ameerika presidendi valimiskampaania paneb pead raputama, eriti kui Vabariiklaste (Republican) kandidaadid omavahel tülitsevad ja ultrakonservatiivsed seisukohad domineerivad.  Nende seas välispoliitikas kogemusi ei paista olevat, mis on eriti murettekitav kui mõelda ülaltoodud nimekirja peale.  Demokraatidel on siiski üks kandidaat, Hillary Clinton, kellel on tugevaid välispoliitilisi kogemusi, kuid kelle saatus on küsimusmärgi all.  Säärast vaenu Ameerika kahe partei vahel pole varem nähtud, lõhed mis takistavad valitsemist ja ei võimalda kompromisside saavutamist, millest kõige hilisem näide on Ülemkohtu just vabaks saanud koha täitmine.  Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil oleks olemas organisatsioon kes peab sündmustel silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele.
Kontakt Eesti Saatkonnaga ning Eesti ja teiste Balti riikide esindajatega on vajalik informatsiooni vahetamiseks ja Ameerika eestlaste tegevuse tutvustamiseks. See võib osutada eriti tähtsaks uue Eesti presidendi valmisega suvel.  Ameerika eestlastel on tähtis, et meil on organisatsioon kes peab sündmustele silma peal ja reageerib vastavalt vajadustele.

Washingtonis jälgib ERKÜ sündmusi, kuulab ekspertide arvamusi, kohtub kongressiliikmetega ja valitsuse staapidega, ning edestab meie seisukohti küsimustes mis meid puudutavad.  Kui on valimised möödas ja uued inimesed valituses, siis teeme sama nendega.  Pidev töö sel alal on ainus viis kuidas midagi saavutada.  Ja üks positiivne saavutus ongi USA eelarves suurendatud summad Kesk- ja Ida-Euroopa kaitseks ja NATO ja USA otsus tugevdada sõjaväe varustust ja vägesid Baltikumis ja Poolas.  Siiski, see mis on praegu plaanis on kaugelt see mida hiljuti avaldatud RANDi uurimuses oleks vajalik, et tõrjuda Venemaa sissetungi nendesse riikidesse, kui see peaks toimuma.  

ERKÜ tänab oma toetajaid kelle abiga on võimalik seda tööd jätkata.  Tänu teie annetustele, on ERKÜ-l nüüd täisajaline Washingtoni direktor, kes aitab sellel kriitilisel ajal meie sihte läbi viia.  Üheskoos oleme valvel, et Eesti vabadus püsiks veel kaua!  

Tervitusi ERKÜ juhatuse ja liikmete poolt kõigile Eesti Vabariigi 98. aastapäeva puhul!

Marju Rink-Abel
Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides esimees


Dear fellow Estonians and friends of Estonia!

When following world events, it seems as though there are only deepening crises and wars throughout the world.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization – the Estonian American National Council – to follow events and respond appropriately, keeping in mind the Republic of Estonia’s welfare and security.

Russia’s villainous militaristic hand is in Ukraine and Syria, and its lies and propaganda have spread throughout the world.  The West does not seem to be able to deal with the situation, using primarily diplomacy, so far without results.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization to follow  events and respond appropriately.

Europe is trying to come to terms with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, but the European Union (EU) might instead disintegrate under the pressures and internal strife.  Great Britain’s possible departure from the EU could be a deciding blow.  It is a question how long the EU will agree to extend the sanctions on Russia, especially lacking the support of Germany and France.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization to follow events and respond appropriately.

North Korea seems to be serious moving towards developing nuclear weapons, despite constant warning and sanctions from the West.  Red China has its problems with dissidents and repressions are growing.  China at the same time is expanding territorially at the expense of its neighbors, but even though it is the only country that could, is not stopping North Korea’s endeavors.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization to follow events and respond appropriately.

And of course, America’s presidential campaign causes heads to shake, especially as the Republican candidates quarrel among themselves and ultraconservative agendas dominate.  Foreign policy experience appears non-existent, which is worrying, considering the above list.  The Democrats have one candidate, Hillary Clinton, who has strong foreign policy experience, but her campaign is running into questions.  We have never before seen such animosity between the two parties, a divide which precludes governing and prevents compromises.  The latest example is the filling of the vacant Supreme Court position.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization to follow events and respond appropriately.

Contacts with the Embassy of Estonia and representatives from Estonia and the other Baltic countries are important for information exchange and to acquaint them of Estonian American activities.  This could become more important with the election of the new Estonian president this summer.  It is important that Estonian Americans have an organization to follow events and respond appropriately.

The EANC follows events in Washington, listens to expert opinions, meets with members of Congress and government staff, and brings to the table our positions on issues that affect us.  When the U.S. elections are over and newly elected people are in office, we will continue with them.  Constant follow up is the only way to achieve results.  And one positive result is the increased funding in the U.S. budget for Central and East European security enhancements, and U.S. and NATO decisions to strengthen military equipment and troops in the Baltics and Poland.  Still, what is being planned is far from that which would be necessary to deter a Russian invasion should it occur, according to a recently released RAND report.

The EANC thanks its supporters, with whose help it possible to continue this work.  Thanks to your donations, EANC now has a full-time Washington DC director, who is helping us achieve our goals at this critical time.  Together we remain watchful to ensure the preservation of Estonia’s independence!

EANC’s board of directors and members send you greetings on the occasion of the 98th anniversary of Estonian independence!

Marju Rink-Abel

President, Estonian American National Council




January 1, 2016 --- The Estonian American National Council, Inc., (EANC) has named Karin Shuey as its Washington DC Director, a newly-established position.  K. Shuey will be responsible for EANC’s Washington DC activities and programs, representing EANC with Congress and the Administration, and at DC-area meetings and functions.  She will also work closely with organizations such as the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) and the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC).  Ms. Shuey will report to the EANC Board of Directors.

Shuey is retired from a 22-year active duty career in the U.S. Navy, where she had significant experience with the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and with the Estonian Ministry of Defense as the U.S. Embassy’s Defense Attaché in Tallinn.  Shuey holds a B.A. degree in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.  

After her retirement from active duty, Ms. Shuey obtained her second Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology; most recently she has conducted therapy for active duty military and veterans dealing with service-related challenges.  

With the addition of this position focusing on EANC’s political objectives, the organization will be able to intensify its work to counteract Russia’s aggressive actions, misinformation, and anti-Estonian propaganda.  Funding for the position comes from individual donations, and EANC thanks its contributors for their generous support.  


1. jaanuar, 2016 – Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides (ERKÜ) on nimetanud Karin Shuey ERKÜ hiljuti asutatud positsioonile, Washingtoni büroo juhatajaks.  K. Shuey on vastutav ERKÜ Washingtoni tegevuse ja programmide eest, esindades ERKÜ-t Kongressis ja valitsuses, ning kohalikkudel koosolekutel ja üritustel. Ta hakkab arendama tihedamat koostööd organisatsioonidega nagu Ühendatud Balti Ameerika Komitee (JBANC) ja Kesk- ja Ida Euroopa Koalitsioon (CEEC).  K. Shuey vastutab ERKÜ juhatusele.

K. Shuey läks erru peale 22-aastast karjääri Ameerika mereväes, saades olulisi kogemusi Ameerika European Command peastaabis Stuttgartis, Saksamaal, ja Ameerika saatkonnas Tallinnas kaitse atašeena.  Tal on bakalaureus Vene ja Ida Euroopa uurimuste alal Washingon (Seattle) ülikoolist ja magistrikraad riikliku julgeoleku alal Naval Postgraduate koolist Montereys, CA.

Peale erru minekut, K. Shuey omandas teise magistrikraadi psühholoogia alal.  Ta viimati nõustas teenivaid sõjaväelasi ning veteraane teenimisajaga seotud probleemide lahendamisega.

Selle uue töökohaga on ERKÜ-l võimalik arendada ja paremini läbi viia ERKÜ poliitikat Washingtonis, võideldes Venemaa agressiooni, vale informatsiooni, ning Eesti-vastase propaganda vastu.  Töökoht on majandatud üksikisikute annetustest.  ERKÜ tänab toetajaid lahkete annetuste eest.



ERKÜ Jõulu tervitus - 2015

Jõulud on jälle ukse ees.  Kuid sel aastal ähvardab sumbutada jõulude rõõmu ja rahu olukord mis valitseb paljudes kohtades maailmas - sõda, terrorism, põgenikud ilma koduta, surm.  Olenemata usust, on elu karm nendel kes kannatavad ja otsivad varjupaika.  Venemaa on ründanud oma naabreid, Kruusia ja viimanti Ukraina.  Ukrainas üksinda on 1.5 miljonit elaniku kes on pidanud kodu maha jätma Venemaa algatud sõja tõttu.  Kuid lisaks on uued põgenikud – Süüriast, Afghanistanist, Irakist, ja mujalt – kes tekitavad suurt muret Euroopas, kuhu nad põgenevad.

Igaüks meist peab otsustama mida meie oleme võimelised tegema - kõike aidata ei saa.  Meie, ameerika eestlased, oleme mures, et Venemaa käitumine võib ähvardada Balti riikide julgeolekut. Praegu seisab Ukraina Euroopa kaitse eesrindel.  Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides, koostöös teiste organisatsioonidega, on töötanud, et USA valitsuse tähelepanu pöörata Ukraina vajavale abile.  Sellest on ka kasu olnud – Kongress on just eemaldanud  veel 300 miljon dollarit Ukraina abiks.  Kui Venemaad saab seal peatada, on lootus, et tema globaalsed sihid võivad ebaõnnestuda.  Selleks et ERKÜ säärast tööd saaks ka tulevikus jätkata on vaja teie kõikide majanduslikku toetust, ja lisaks poliitilist aktiivsust, et tähelepanu hoida Venemaa agressioonile, teiste maailma probleemidele vaatamata.

Seitsekümmend aastat tagasi olime meie, ehk meie vanemad või vanavanemad, koos teiste rahvusgruppidega kelle maal valitses sõda, põgenikud.   Pikapeale leidsid enamus endale uued kodud võõrsil, kui teised riigid tegid põgenikkudele oma uksed lahti.  Aegamööda sai nendest kohtadest uued kodud, kus elati, pühitseti, leinati, ja tehti kõik mida normaalses ühiskonnas tehakse.  Uutest tulijatest oli suur kasu oma uue asukohamaa arenemisel, samal ajal säilitades oma kodumaa kombeid.  Jõulupühad on alati olnud meile tähtsad, tuues eestlasi kokku jumalateenistustel, täienduskoolide aktustele, ning oma kodudes perega oodates jõuluvana tulekut ja pühade röömu.

Loodame, et maailm saab varsti jälle rahu näha, et need kes on oma kodud kaotanud saavad kas tagasi või leivad uut peavarju, kus on võimalik elu jätkata.  Eesti Rahvuskomitee nimel soovin kõigile ilusaid ja rahulikke jõulupühi, ning lootust, et uus aasta toob paremaid uudiseid.

Pühade tervitustega,
Marju Rink-Abel, ERKÜ esimees

EANC Board Member Mirjam Krull honored

Eesti Välisministeerium tunnustas Kodanikupäeva puhul aukirjaga rahvadiplomaate, kes on andnud suure panuse Eesti tutvustamisel maailmas. Mirjam Krull sai tunnustuse kultuurisidemete hoidmise ja Washingtoni Eesti Seltsi juhtimise eest. Mirjam on ERKÜ juhatuses. Palju õnne, Mirjam! Washingtoni Eesti Kooli tunnustati eestluse hoidmise ja edendamise eest USAs.  /
The Estonian Foreign Ministry has recognized EANC Board member Mirjam Krull for her work in supporting Estonian culture in the U.S., particularly with the Washington DC Estonian Society.  Congratulations, Mirjam! The Washington Estonian School also received recognition for furthering Estonian heritage and culture in the U.S.

EANC co-hosts Congress at LEP-Whistler

By Mai-Liis Bartling

The Estonian American National Council (EANC) and Estonian Central Council in Canada (EKN) co-hosted the August 5th Congress.   It was particularly ambitious in its scope, framed by such questions as: What is Estonia to me, to us, to the world? How do Estonians in North America cooperate with those in Estonia to advance a common and unified cultural sphere?  What new opportunities, technology, and resources are available?  Dr. Maarja Lõhmus of the University of Tartu Institute of Social Studies and Media Studies moderated the session and provided a foundation for the discussion, suggesting that we need a new integration model, and perhaps could find inspiration from the 19th century transformation that occurred when the “maa rahvas” (people of the land) became “Estonians” – an identified people.  EANC and EKN were asked to address the essential role and contributions of exiled Estonians – both political and cultural -- during the period between 1940 and 1990, and to express their priorities for preserving this heritage and taking it forward to build a global Estonian culture.  EANC’s  response to these themes, presented by Mai-Liis Bartling, are:

8 küsimust ERKÜle 
1. millised on pagulaseesti kujunemise etapid/perioodid ja kuidas jõudis eestlaskond oma ülemaailmste organisatsioonideni ja Eesti ühise kultuuriväljani paguluses?   (What were the stages or periods of formation for exiled Estonians and how did the Estonian community achieve its international organizations and unified culture in exile?)
Answer:  This is a complicated question that needs a layered answer, as well as more formal study of the history of Estonians in the U.S.    If we only look to the post-war period, we will miss the critical antecedents to the development of Estonian culture and organization here. We know that Estonians have been in the U.S. since early colonial times, as the book “Estonians in America 1627-1975,” published 40 years ago, lays out.  The foundations of organized Estonian-American activity might be set at the turn of the 20th century, with individuals like Rev. Hans Rebane who – before his death in 1911 -- was organizing Estonian congregations and putting out Estonian language publications.  This critical pre-DP period had its own interesting history.  By 1940, New York was already an activity hub, upon which the later explosive growth in organizations (including ERKU) was built. 
Post war Estonian refugees began to organize themselves as soon as they fled into exile, by 1944/45. Already in Sweden and Germany there was religious life, Estonian schools, Seltsid, choirs, dance groups, scouting, etc. It was a way of continuing life with purpose and meaning when the future was so uncertain.  This time spent in refugee camps was very important, and the strong bonds formed between DP camp residents have persisted to this day.  By 1948/49, it became evident there would be no quick return to a free Estonia, and as Estonian immigrants came to the US and Canada they looked to their Estonian organizations for a sense of belonging and positive social engagement for their families.  They also wanted to do their part to preserve the Estonian language and culture and – not to be overlooked – to organize to effect political outcomes.   The 1950’s through 70’s were years of great development. 

2. pikal perioodil Eesti riigikaotuse perioodil 1940 - 1990ndate alguseni esindas eesti pagulaskond Eesti riiki rahvusvahelistes organisatsioonides (ÜRO, UNESCO jt ), milline on olnud põhiline töö ja panus selles vallas Eesti riigikaotuse perioodil rahvusvaheliselt?   (During the long period of the loss of the Estonian state (1940 until beginning of 1990) Estonians in exile represented the Estonian nation in international organizations (e.g...….) -- what was the essential work and contribution in this field during this period, internationally?) 
Answer:  In the pre-DP period, there were remaining Consuls, such as Kuusik, Kaiv and Johnson, who provided service.   (There were also fascinating conflicts within the Estonian-American community between those loyal to the Estonian government, and those more red-leaning who tried to take over representation of Estonia.) New York -- the hub of Estonian activity -- was also the location of the Estonian legation(diplomatic mission), which had an unbroken period of service throughout these years.  The political torch was carried by these official diplomatic representatives of Estonia until there was a critical mass of refugees to activate organizations.
Already in the summer of 1940, Estonian diplomats in America and leaders in the Estonian-American community formed the U’lemaailne Eesti U’hing (World Association of Estonians), to work for Estonian interests. Both the legation and non-governmental organizations played an important role in promoting the non-recognition policy of the U.S. vis-à-vis the Soviet Occupation (the Welles Declaration).  It is believed that this declaration helped avoid forced repatriation of DP’s to occupied countries.  
The non-governmental organizations evolved along two paths 1) formal entities representing local, regional, or national groups of Estonians (Seltsid, EOLL, ERKU, Ulemaailmne Eesti Kesknougogu (UEKN), eventually the Pan-Baltic JBANC), and 2) ad hoc volunteer organizations (BATUN, BAFL, ACA).    They jousted to an extent, but all had a role with pushing the Baltic cause in Congress and the UN.  Thanks to them, the Baltics remained a topic of discussion, even when no specific, positive action could be taken.  (Arne Kalm’s new book covers these topics well.) UEKN coordinated political activity and facilitated communication among the central organizations of the countries where Estonian DP’s went to live.  Their activity was significant enough to cause the KGB and Soviety authorities anxiety and countermeasures.

3.  Tänu kellele on Eestlaskond suutnud organiseeruda ja luua poliitilise-kultuurilise struktuuri Eesti riigikaotuse/ENSV perioodil? Kellele tuleb teha kummardused ja kelle mälestuse juurde ei tohi rohtuda teerajad? ( Thanks to whom did Estonians manage to organize themselves and create a political-cultural structure during the period when the nation was lost?  Whom should we recognize and whose memory should not be buried in overgrown paths?)  
Answer:  To answer who deserves credit for the organizational work -- there is an enormous list of individuals from many different periods.  What is really being asked for is a more complete history of a long period of Estonian-American society, spanning from the 1890’s through the 1990’s.  This is what EANC is supporting with the Estonians in America project, which will produce a book covering the period 1945-1995.   There is a need to also do histories of ERKU, UEKN, and other organizations to better understand their many facets.   If we are enumerating heroes, we can’t forget those – who in addition to the lead organizers – helped with all the preparations, cooked food, taught in Estonian schools, established summer camps and childrens’ activities, raised funds to buy property, and made “being Estonian” part of everyday life.

4.  mida peate Eesti ühiskonna ja kultuuri elujõu ja kestmise põhialusteks (Eestlaste Elujõud - vt Oskar Loorits 1951) ?  (What do you hold as the basis for Estonian community and culture vitality and survival?
Answer:  What kept the Estonian community together over such a long period?  This is also complicated.  In the pre-war period up to 1940, there was free movement of people between the US and Estonia.  Estonian organizations helped people “connect” as an Estonian community.  In the post-war period, the focus became working for the restoration of independence, and at the same time “preserving” culture that was under threat in the homeland.  Post 1991, these post-war purposes have come to wane and emphasis has been on offering cultural community, with the exception of the important work of reminding the world and motivating actions that support security in the region.   
Just why Estonians abroad, members of such a tiny community, continue to find value in their heritage -- why Estonia should continue to touch our hearts - is a deeper question.

5. Kuidas koguda, säilitada ning tutvustada pagulaseestlaste elulugusid ja kultuurisaavutusi? (How should we collect, preserve, and introduce the exiled Estonian life stories and cultural accomplishments?)
Answer:   It is so important to collect the life stories.  There can be more efforts like “Kogu Me Lugu.”   Other ideas: Appeal for archival materials before they are lost forever.  Create films and other media.  Create a special center in Tartu perhaps to collect and coordinate the collection of diaspora materials, and make them available digitally.   Define new study topics that encourage use of the collected materials.  Partner with others who have ideas for interesting projects.
There are many Archives in many of the countries where Estonians settled, and the archival work has been done mainly with volunteers.  It is time to devote professional attention to this area.  While the Estonian government has provided some help here, permanent attention and funding is needed.  It can’t be expected that the 3rd and 4th generations of the refugees, or the influx of Estonians here, will provide the financial support.

6. mida saavad kodueesti ja maailmaEesti koos teha - milliseid uusi koostöövorme peaksime arendama?  (What can the homeland and globalEstonia together do -- what new collaborative forms should we develop?)  
Answer:   We need to work together on collecting, coordinating, centralizing Estonian diaspora materials and information.  We also need to work together on collecting, organizing Estonian heritage materials and support their teaching to new generations outside Estonia.   These kinds of projects can be done in ways that create new collaborations, new connections between people.   How about getting students from Estonia together with members of the diaspora, specifically to collect and record oral histories, as a practical part of their curriculum? Skype could be used if travel is not possible.

7. ajal, kui virtuaalne ruum hakkab hõlmama ja kohati lausa asendama reaalset ruumi, tekib olukord, kus 'lokaalne' võib olla ka Eesti kultuur - Eesti jõuab kõikjale üle maailma, Eesti jõuab igasse eesti kodusse.  Kuidas seda uut maailmastruktuuri -- virtuaalse ruumi peatset domineerimist -- kultuuriliselt ja hariduslikult paremini ära kasutada globaalse eestlaskonna kultuurivälja loomisel ja hoidmisel?   (In this time when we start to embrace virtual space, in some places standing in for real space …. Estonian culture can reach worldwide, reach every Estonian home.  How can we use this new global structure – the imminent domination of virtual space  -- to create and keep global Estonian culture?) 
Answer:  Build on existing websites and Facebook pages, but also look to new models, for example the wealth of online learning systems and tools.   All of us involved with Estonian organizations here are challenged to use new media to continue to engage the next generation. This is something that the EANC, too, is putting focus on going forward.   Can Estonia can contribute its high tech and e-government expertise to this endeavor?
But even with the emphasis on virtual space, it will always be important to connect people to real life experiences with the Estonian homeland and people.

8. Loome ülemaailmse Eesti kultuuri-teaduse-hariduse portaali ESTICA, kus säilitame ja saame kasutada Eesti kultuuri ülemaailmselt. ESTICA eesmärk on, et Eesti kultuur muutuks ülemaailmselt kommunikatiivseks ja eesmärk saada Eesti tundmine, eesti keele õpetus kaasaegsele ülemaailmsele järjele, mis oleks sisuliseks edulooks maailma teistele kultuuridele. Kuidas peaksime selle tegema?  (We're creating a worldwide Estonian cultural-knowledge-education portal ESTICA, to preserve and where we can use Estonian culture around the world. The objective is for Estonian culture to become communicable worldwide.  The objective to get to know Estonia, study the language using contemporary worldwide standards, which would be a success story to the world's other cultures.   How do we do this?) 
Answer:   A short answer here—make this new portal interesting and fun, and not too academic.  Have an English version, too, to reach the largest number of people and connect them with their Estonian heritage.  

Calling all Estonian-American historians!


The Estonian American National Council (EANC) needs your help to complete its documentary book, “Estonian Americans: Exiles in a Land of Promise.”  Priit Vesilind, the retired senior writer and editor at National Geographic magazine, is the current editor of the book...

Scheduled for publication in late 2016, “Estonian Americans: Exiles in a Land of Promise” will cover the fifty years between 1945 until 1995. Part documentary, part reference and part narrative, the 500-plus pages will tell the story of the Estonian-Americans’ “Greatest Generation”, those who came to the United States after World War II via displaced persons camps. Traveling with limited physical belongings, but carrying a passion to right the injustice of the Soviet occupation of Estonia, they settled in enclaves around the country.

Vesilind has been compiling manuscripts collected by the previous editors, Enn Koiva and Marju Rink-Abel, which were written by a host of regional correspondents from throughout the Estonian-American community since 1995. He’s now searching for photographs and illustrations to round out the coverage. According to Vesilind, he still needs old photograph material from these geographical areas and topics: Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Buffalo, NY; Fresno, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Cincinnati, OH; Florida; Indianapolis, IN; church life; charities; fraternities and sororities; and women’s organisations. You can reach him at priitvesilind@aol.com.



The Estonian American National Council held its annual meeting on October 3, 2015, at the Sheraton BWI Airport.  

Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides aastakoosolek toimus Sheraton BWI Airport hotellis 3. oktoobril.  

EANC members and guests at 2015 annual meeting. Front row: Eric Suuberg (Vice President), Marki Tihhonova-Kreek (Deputy Chief of Mission, Estonian Embassy in DC), Marju Rink-Abel (President), Maia Linask (Secretary), Tiina Urv (Treasurer), Linda Rink (Executive Director). Photo: Ülle Ederma



EANC Special Promotion: FREE Vaba Eesti Sõna Subscription!/ ERKÜ erakordne pakkumine: Tasuta Vaba Eesti Sõna tellimine! 

Now you can support both EANC and Vaba Eesti Sõna!  The Estonian American National Council announces a special promotion:  every person who donates $500 or more to EANC will receive a free subscription to Vaba Eesti Sõna, the only Estonian-language newspaper published in the U.S.!   You can choose either a free ½ year printed newspaper subscription or a full-year digital subscription.  Are you already a VES subscriber?  You can gift the free subscription to someone else!

The Estonian American National Council’s special $200,000 2015 fundraising campaign is still going strong.  Remember, your donations help support a free Estonia and preserve your Estonian heritage for future generations, so please give generously!

Contact: Linda Rink, erku@estosite.org, 215-546-5863
Please write checks to “EANC” and send to: EANC, c/o Linda Rink, 1420 Locust St., Suite 31N, Philadelphia PA 19102.  Include this form with your donation check.

Nüüd teie saata toetada mõlemaid ERKÜ-t ja Vaba Eesti Sõna!  Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides kuulutab välja erilise pakkumise: iga inimene kes annetab ERKÜ-le $500 või enam saab tasuta tellimise Vaba Eesti Sõnale, ainsale eestikeelse ajalehele mis on USA-s välja antud!  Teie võite valida kas trükitud ajalehe ½ -aastase tellimise või digitaalse versiooni aastase tellimise.  Kas juba tellite VES-i?  Võite tasuta tellimise kellegile teisele edasi kinkida!

Eesti Rahvuskomitee 2015 a. erakordne $200,000 korjanduse aktsioon on tugevalt edasi liikumas.  Tuletame meelde, et teie annetused aitavad toetada vaba Eesti riiki ja alal hoida teie eesti pärandit järgmistele generatsioonidele.  Palun annetage lahkelt!
Kontakt: Linda Rink, erku@estosite.org, 215-546-5863

Tsekid kirjutada “EANC” nimele ja saata: EANC, c/o Linda Rink, 1420 Locust St., Suite 31N, Philadelphia PA 19102.  Saatke vorm koos tsekiga.

EANC enables free-to-the-public Baltic Diaspora Exhibit in Philadelphia this summer

From June 22 through August 30, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch, will open an unprecedented exhibition of the Baltic diaspora, drawing on the memories, documents, photographs, and memorabilia of families and individuals who lived through the WWII experience.
Where: Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street. Second Floor West Gallery, see www.freelibrary.org for directions and parking
When:  June 22 through August 30, 2015, hours: M-Th 9am – 9pm; F 9am – 6pm; Sat 9am – 5pm; Sun 1pm – 5pm
Exhibition opening reception: free and open to the public, Tuesday, June 23, 5:30pm – 7pm; RSVP required, to request invitation contact: office@kristabard.com.
For more information: 773-582-6500 or info@balzekasmuseum.org Karile Vaitkute, Rita Janz,
215-735-7110 or office@kristabard.com Krista Bard

The creation of this exhibition reflects the collaborative effort of numerous institutions including: the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, the Latvian Folk Art Museum, the Chicago Estonian House, and the Lithuanian Emigration Institute.  
This project is partially supported by grants from the Kazickas Family Foundation, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Women’s Guild of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, the Latvian Foundation, Inc., Cultural Foundation of the World Federation of Free Latvians, the Philadelphia Society of Free Letts, the Estonian American National Council and the Philadelphia Estonian Society, the Lithuanian American Association of Philadelphia, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania and private donations.

EANC Assists Young Adults Attending JBANC Conference

The Estonian American National Council sponsored the following four young Estonian Americans to the 11th Joint Baltic American National Committee Baltic Conference: 

Alex Hubschmidt, Philadelphia, PA Brennen Kelly, Leili Tõõtsov, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Alex Hubschmidt, and Ivan Kavoleff at the JBANC Conference (Photo: Peter Alunans)
Ivan Kavoleff, Jackson, NJ 
Brennen Kelly, New York City
Leili Tõõtsov, Randolph, NJ

These individuals were selected based on their applications, which included a short essay stating why they wished to attend the JBANC conference in Washington, DC on April 17-18, 2015.  

“History Repeated: Baltics and Eastern Europe in Peril?” was the conference theme; diplomats and political experts discussed what Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and its neighbors. Conference details  are available at www.jbanc.org.

Maryland Air National Guard Briefed on Estonia

Marju Rink-Abel, president of the Estonian American National Council, provided an overview of Estonia to the Maryland Air National Guard, stationed at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, MD, on February 8, 2015.   Many members are going to Estonia in June to participate in training and exercises, and were interested in learning more about the country before they left. EANC president Marju Rink-Abel addresses the Maryland Air National Guard

Her presentation covered Estonia’s history, major cities, language, culture, government, economy and achievements.   Interest in the topic was high, as there was standing room only in a crowd of over 100. 
Estonia and Maryland have a special relationship that started with the end of the Cold War and as part of the NATO Partnership for Peace program.  In 1993 a section of the American part of this initiative became known as the State Partnership Program (SPP).  As part of SPP, Maryland through its National Guard was assigned a special relationship with Estonia and the Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit).
The military to military association proved to be so successful that the Republic of Estonia and the State of Maryland have enlarged the scope of their partnership to include civilian to civilian relationships.  These include university-to-university programs and Sister City relationships (including Talllinn-Annapolis, Tartu-Salisbury, and Narva-Bel Air).  In 2009, a Sister State agreement between Harju County in Estonia and the State of Maryland was signed, leading to further cultural and educational exchanges.

Currently, the Maryland Estonia Exchange Council (MEEC) helps to coordinate the civilian activity.  Col. Milton Davis (ret.), is Executive Director of MEEC, Dr. Barbara Tower is vice-president, and Mrs. Elizabeth Davis is secretary.  Estonian Americans who have been active in MEEC activities include Chairman Toivo Tagamets, Karl Altau, and Erik Puskar.  



EANC supports planned Museum to the Victims of Communism

The Estonian American National Council made a substantial contribution at the end of 2014 to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) for the purpose of supporting its planned Museum.Pictured are JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau (a board member of the VOCMF), VOCMF chairman Dr. Lee Edwards, Marju Rink-Abel (ENAC president), and VOCMF Executive Director Marion Smith.