History of the Russians in Baltimore
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|Ethnicity in Baltimore|
The history of the Russians in Baltimore dates back to the mid-19th century. The Russian community is a growing population and constitutes a major source of new immigrants to the city. Historically the Russian community was centered in East Baltimore, but most Russians now live in Northwest Baltimore's Arlington neighborhood and in Baltimore's suburb of Pikesville.
In 1920, 4,632 people in Baltimore spoke the Russian language, many of them being Russian-speaking Jews. Russian was the second most widely spoken Slavic or Eastern European language in the city after the Polish language.
In the 1930 United States Census, Russian-Americans were the largest foreign-born group in Baltimore. In that year 17,500 Russian-born immigrants lived in the city and more than 24,000 Baltimoreans were of Russian parentage.
The Russian community in the Baltimore metropolitan area numbered 35,763 as of 2000, making up 1.4% of the area's population. In the same year Baltimore city's Russian population was 5,526, 0.8% of the city's population. 19,430 Russians live in adjacent Baltimore County and in total 7.2% of the Baltimore metropolitan area's foreign-born population is Russian-American.
As of 2005, Baltimore had the 15th-largest Russian-speaking population in the United States.
In 2013, an estimated 5,647 Russian-Americans resided in Baltimore city, 0.9% of the population.
Most Russian immigrants to Baltimore have been Russian Jews. In the 1930 United States Census there were 17,000 Russians living in the city, most of whom were Jewish. In comparison to Baltimore's wealthy and assimilated German Jews, the Russian Jews were largely poor and lived in slums with other Russians. The German-Russian divide among Baltimore's Jewry lead many Jews from Russia to associate more with the Russian community than the wider Jewish community. Baltimore's Russian community, including the Russian Jews, was originally centered in Southeast Baltimore. The largest wave of Russian-Jewish immigrants to Baltimore occurred during the 1880s. A second wave of Russian-Jewish immigrants came during the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
While most people of Russian descent in Baltimore are Jewish, a significant minority are Christians, mostly from the Russian Orthodox Church. Ethnic Russians from Belarus established the Transfiguration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in 1963 in order to serve the needs of the Russian Orthodox community. Russian Orthodox Christians also established the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church.
To facilitate the integration of Russian immigrants into American society, the Baltimore branch of the HIAS established a bilingual Russian-English newspaper titled The News Exchange in May, 1978.
In the 1990 United States Census over 30,000 people of Russian descent lived in Baltimore and Baltimore County. At the time, over 400 Russian-speaking people settled in the Baltimore area each year.
Ze Mean Bean Café in Fell's Point opened in 1995. It is a restaurant which offers Russian cuisine, as well as other Slavic and Eastern European fare.
An annual Russian Festival is held at the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in October. The festival celebrates Russian heritage, history, and cuisine.
Notable Russian-Americans from Baltimore
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- Pamela Wood (June 16, 2013). "Slavic heritage celebrated at museum dedication". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-10-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Russians in Baltimore.|
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- Ze Mean Bean Café