United States of America
United States of America. A federal republic on the North American continent with an area of 9,147,590 sq km. In 2020 the official US population was 331,449,281. The 1,009,874 Americans of Ukrainian origin (0.30 percent of the total) form the 26st-largest American ethnic group.
Immigration. Isolated individuals from what is today Ukraine began arriving with the first white settlers in the New World. Ukrainian-sounding names appear in references to and in the records of the Jamestown colony in Virginia and of New Amsterdam (now New York), in the rolls of the American revolutionary army, and in the US census of 1790.
The first documented Ukrainian on American soil was Rev Ahapii Honcharenko, an Orthodox priest. After arriving in 1865 and settling eventually in San Francisco, he began publishing the Alaska Herald, a bilingual (Russian-English) newspaper aimed at the Slavic inhabitants of America’s newly acquired territory. The first issue of his publication contained a short article about Taras Shevchenko and his ideals as well as a Russian-language translation of the United States Constitution.
The first wave of mass Ukrainian immigration to the United States began in the late 1870s and ended in 1914. The majority of the approximately 250,000 immigrants who arrived during this period were single young men. Most of the earliest arrivals came from the Ukrainian borderland region of Transcarpathia, then under Hungarian rule. They possessed little awareness of a Ukrainian national identity and generally regarded themselves, in a regional sense, as ‘Rusyns’ (Ruthenians) or ‘Uhro-Rusyns’ (Hungarian-Ruthenians). After 1900 a greater number of immigrants began to arrive from the more nationally conscious region of Galicia. The primary goal of both types of Ukrainian immigrants was economic improvement in the face of land shortages and a chronically depressed agrarian economy.
A second wave of mass Ukrainian immigration began in 1920 and ended in 1939. Immigration restrictions imposed by the US Congress in 1921 and 1924 limited the number of Ukrainians immigrating to the United States during this period to approximately 20,000. Although most of the new arrivals came to improve their economic situation, some were political refugees fleeing persecution by the Soviet, Polish, Romanian, or Czechoslovak authorities. The second wave differed from the first in that it included people who had participated in Ukraine’s struggle for independence (1917–20), were keenly aware of their Ukrainian heritage, and, generally, were literate.
The third wave of Ukrainian immigrants to the United States arrived between 1947 and 1955. Almost all were displaced persons from the displaced persons camps of Austria and Germany. The United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, a charitable organization founded in 1944, had sponsored some 33,000 incoming Ukrainians by 1952. Relaxed immigration restrictions provided by the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 permitted a total of approximately 85,000 new Ukrainian immigrants to enter the United States. The majority were from Western Ukraine, most were literate, and a relatively high percentage (compared to the previous immigrations) had had some higher education.
No more than 7,000 Ukrainians immigrated to the United States after 1955 and before Ukraine’s independence in 1991. With the exception of Ukrainian Jews and a few human rights dissidents, who arrived from Soviet Ukraine, most Ukrainian immigrants from that time resettled from other countries, primarily Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Australia, and Venezuela.
Population. Because the earliest Ukrainian immigrants had little sense of their national identity, and the concept of Ukrainians as a distinct people was largely unknown in the United States prior to the Revolution of 1917, Ukrainians were often labeled by immigration officials as Austrians, Hungarians, Poles, or Ruthenians. Furthermore, US census statistics have been suspect until recent times, when mother-tongue and ethnic ancestry questions have been added to census forms. As a result, tallying the number of Ukrainians in the country has been problematic. The 1930 census, for example, listed 68,500 Ukrainians at a time when Ukrainian scholars, such as Yaroslav Chyzh and Wasyl Halich, were estimating the total Ukrainian population as between 650,000 and 900,000. The 1950 census listed 79,800 Ukrainians, half of them American-born. The 1960 census recorded 107,000 persons who listed the Ukrainian language as their mother tongue, and in 1970 the number jumped to 249,351. The 1980 census, which included an ethnic ancestry question, counted 730,056 Ukrainians. Only 52 percent (381,054), however, claimed single Ukrainian ancestry. Volodymyr Kubijovyč estimated that there were up to 1.5 million Ukrainians in the United States.
Settlement and distribution. Most Ukrainians who immigrated to the United States prior to the First World War settled in Pennsylvania and, in smaller numbers, in the New York State, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, where they usually worked in factories. With the exception of the growing Ukrainian population in the warmer states of Florida (where some Ukrainians have established retirement communities) and California (where employment rates are usually high), this pattern of settlement has remained relatively stable (see table 1). Only a small number of Ukrainians have followed agricultural pursuits. Prior to the First World War Ukrainian farm communities were established in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia, and Texas. Ukrainians also lived in Hawaii as contract workers, often under abominable conditions.
During the First World War many Ukrainian workers were attracted to the cities by war industries; Ukrainian communities in Allentown-Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark (New Jersey), New Haven (Connecticut), Rochester (New York State), Youngstown (Pennsylvania), and Wilmington (Delaware) consequently developed or expanded. Most of these centers continued to grow during and after the Second World War as a result of both the burgeoning war economy and the influx of new immigrants. Visible Ukrainian communities also emerged in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Tampa–Saint Petersburg, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, and Washington, DC.
In 1980 the largest concentrations of Ukrainians were found in the metropolitan areas of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Newark (see table 2). Distinct Ukrainian neighborhoods were fading, however. In New York (between East 2nd and East 14th Streets in Lower Manhattan) and Chicago (between Rockwell, Damen, Superior, and Division) one can still find local churches, stores, youth and community centers, banks and credit unions. In Detroit and Cleveland, however, the center of Ukrainian life has shifted to the suburban towns of Warren and Parma respectively.
Socioeconomic development. According to US immigration records, 97.2 percent of the 174,375 ‘Ruthenians’ who arrived in the United States between 1899 and 1910 had been peasant farmers, unskilled laborers, or servants. A mere 0.06 percent (109 persons) claimed to be professionals or business people. Not surprisingly, fewer than 1 percent went into business, usually a grocery store, butcher shop, or tavern.
After the First World War the number of Ukrainians who went into business increased. Grocery stores predominated (some 2,000 in 250 communities were recorded in 1934), but bakeries, restaurants, pharmacies, hardware stores, funeral homes, service stations, barber and beauty salons, laundries, and window-cleaning establishments were also owned and managed by Ukrainians. According to a survey conducted by Wasyl Halich, there were some 1,207 professionals in the United States in 1937. Of this number, 625 were clergymen, 262 teachers, 68 attorneys, 66 nurses, 61 physicians, and 34 engineers.
The socioeconomic profile of the third immigration revealed a greater number of professionals and persons with skills. Among the Ukrainians living in Germany’s displaced persons camps in 1948 (many destined to move on to the United States), 12.3 percent were professionals, business people, or administrators; 26.6 percent skilled laborers; and 61 percent unskilled or farm workers. By 1965 there were 1,200 Ukrainian physicians in the United States, 700 engineers, 150 lawyers, almost 2,000 school teachers, 250 college and university professors, nearly 200 librarians, and over 100 veterinarians. According to the 1970 census 22.4 percent of Ukrainian-American males were either professionals or administrators, 23.7 percent craftsmen, 20.4 percent skilled laborers, 22.5 percent unskilled laborers, and 11 percent service or farm workers. The annual median income for Ukrainian-American males, however, was only 6,200 dollars, 500 dollars less than the US average. For Ukrainian-American females, in contrast, the annual median income was 3,000 dollars, 900 dollars more than the US average. In terms of education, 9.1 percent of Ukrainian-American males and 2.5 percent of Ukrainian-American females had completed 17 or more years of schooling.
The 1980 census identified groups according to ancestry, and so gave a more complete and accurate socioeconomic profile of Ukrainians. In 1980, 10.2 percent of Ukrainian-American males held managerial positions; 8.5 percent were professionals; 5.3 percent were in education at all levels; 5.9 percent were artists, athletes, or technicians; 27.7 percent were in direct sales or sales-related fields; 12.3 percent were in the service industry; 1.3 percent were employed in agriculture and mining; 24.3 percent were skilled laborers; 4.2 percent were unskilled laborers; and 0.4 percent were unemployed. The 1980 educational picture showed that 11.1 percent of Ukrainian males and 5.6 percent of Ukrainian females had completed 17 or more years of schooling; this figure was above the US national average of 10.2 and 5.3 percent respectively. Individual income for males was 13,150 dollars (958 dollars above the US average) and 6,123 dollars for females (861 dollars above the US average).
The first Ukrainian business ventures were grocery stores established in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, in 1887. The stores were later combined to form the so-called Co-operative General Store, which had expanded to five neighboring cities by 1889. The co-operative movement began to decline after 1910 and by 1936 Ukrainian co-operatives existed in only four American centers. Ukrainians, however, excelled as private entrepreneurs. From an early date Ukrainians owned boardinghouses, saloons, grocery stores, bakeries, and steamship agencies. By 1936 there were 2,723 Ukrainian-owned enterprises, including 847 grocery stores, 487 restaurants, 307 hotels, 46 window-cleaning establishments, and 11 financial establishments. Consumer co-operative stores were opened in Chicago and Philadelphia after the Second World War, but the co-operative movement became static as Ukrainians continued to concentrate on the professions and small business. A few Ukrainians succeeded in establishing or owning their own corporations. Before the Second World War, Dr S. Sochotzky established the Zellotone Chemical Company in New York; P. Yarosh owned a canning factory near Orange, Connecticut; and William Dzus founded a company in West Islip, New York State, to produce the industrial fastener he invented. After the war Ukrainians established successful engineering firms, tool companies, printing shops, and construction firms.
Ukrainian banking began after 1919 with the establishment of building and loan associations. Usually associated with neighborhood churches, some were able to survive the Great Depression and to re-establish themselves later in new, modern facilities as savings and loan associations. Among those that thrived during the 1950s were Parma Savings and Loan in Cleveland (founded in 1915), Ukrainian Savings and Loan in Philadelphia (1918), Trident Savings and Loan in Newark, New Jersey (1924), and Trident Savings and Loan in Chicago (1935). In 1964 Security Savings and Loan was established in Chicago; the name was changed to First Security Savings Bank in 1984, and by the end of 1988 the institution had assets of 136 million dollars. During the 1950s a number of Ukrainian federal credit unions were opened in major cities throughout the United States. In 1989 the Ukrainian National Credit Union Association included 32 separate financial institutions, with total assets approaching 300 million dollars.
The first organization of Ukrainian businessmen was established in New York in 1890. By 1942 it had over 100 members and was called the Association of Ukrainian Businessmen. A Ukrainian Graduates’ Club (open to all college graduates) was founded in Detroit in 1939. The Ukrainian Professional Association was established in 1933. Called the Ukrainian Professional Society of North America after the Second World War, the organization faded out of existence in the early 1970s after various professional groups created separate organizations. The Ukrainian Engineers' Society of America and the Ukrainian Veterinary Medical Association were both founded in 1948. Ukrainian professional groups formed later included the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers, founded in 1949 and reorganized as the Ukrainian American Bar Association in 1977; the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (1950); the Ukrainian Journalists' Association of America (1952); the Ukrainian Catholic Press Association (1952); the Ukrainian Library Association of America (1961); the Ukrainian American Association of University Professors (1961); and the Ukrainian Teachers' Association of the USA (1966). Among the most active of all professional groups are the medical doctors, lawyers, and university professors. During the 1980s local professional and business clubs were created in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.
Participation in American political life. Ukrainians were not active in American political life until after the Second World War, largely because they lacked the numerical and financial strength to launch successful campaigns for the US House or Senate. Of the 435 congressional districts, Ukrainians are statistically referenced in only 44: 16 in Pennsylvania, 12 in the New York State, 9 in New Jersey, 3 in Ohio, and 2 each in Illinois and Michigan. Of these 44 districts, Ukrainians account for 1 percent or more of the total population in only 8 (see table 3). Despite the odds, Ukrainians have run for congressional seats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida.
A number of Ukrainians have been appointed to significant posts in the federal government. Of these, Dr George Bohdan Kistiakowsky served as a special adviser to President D. Eisenhower for science and technology (1959–61), J. Charyk was an air force undersecretary (1960–3) during the J.F. Kennedy administration, Dr Michael Yarymovych was deputy director of the Energy Research Development Agency (1975–77), and Dr Myron Kuropas served in the White House under President G. Ford as special assistant to the president for ethnic affairs (1975–6). Constantine Warvariv was agency director of UNESCO Affairs in the Department of State (1978–9) during the J. Carter years. Dr Lev Dobriansky was appointed US ambassador to the Bahamas in 1982–6 by President R. Reagan. Bohdan Futey was appointed a federal judge in the US Foreign Claims Court by President Reagan in 1987. D. Bonior (Democrat, Michigan) was elected House majority whip in July 1991.
Ukrainian-American leaders have encouraged involvement in local American politics since the early 1900s. Svoboda, the oldest Ukrainian newspaper in North America, urged the creation of local political clubs in every Ukrainian community followed by the establishment of a national political federation. The idea was never realized, and the few chapters that were organized accomplished little. An exception was the Ukrainian American Citizens' Club of Philadelphia, organized in 1909 with the help of Bishop Soter Ortynsky. The First World War and the hope of Ukrainian independence mobilized the Ukrainian community to organize a national political lobby. A ‘Ukrainian Day’ was proclaimed by President Thomas Woodrow Wilson for 21 April 1917, largely as a result of Ukrainian efforts. Ukrainian Americans have lobbied in Washington, DC, ever since then. In 1959 the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UKKA) was instrumental in having the US Congress pass Public Law 86–90, which mandated the annual observance of Captive Nations Week during the third week of July. The Ukrainian National Association (UNA) and the UKKA combined forces to press for a statue of Taras Shevchenko on public land in Washington, DC. The statue was unveiled in 1964 during a ceremony which included participation by former President D. Eisenhower and approximately 100,000 Ukrainian Americans. The most successful lobbying effort was conducted by Americans for Human Rights in Ukraine on behalf of a US commission to study the 1932–3 famine in Ukraine. The commission was established in 1984, monies were authorized in 1985, and a staff headed by Dr James Mace was hired in 1986. In 1988 the commission presented a 524-page report to Congress documenting the nature of the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3.
Republicans and Democrats have had Ukrainian affiliates since the 1920s, but their effectiveness within both the party and the community has been minimal. Ukrainian Republicans created the Ukrainian Republican Federation in 1969, with 20 state organizations from the New York State to California. But with the advent of television advertising during national campaigns, the need for special-interest political affiliates has waned. This change in approach has not diminished Ukrainian lobbying activities in the capital, however. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America opened a Washington office in 1977, and the Ukrainian National Association opened its office in Washington, DC, in 1988.
Religion. The early immigrants from Western Ukraine were predominantly Greek Catholic (now ‘Ukrainian Catholic’) in religion. Because early immigrants had no churches of their own, they initially attended the Roman Catholic churches of Poles and Slovaks. They petitioned Metropolitan Sylvester Sembratovych of Lviv for priests from Galicia or Carpatho-Ukraine to serve them, and in 1884 Rev Ivan Ya. Voliansky arrived in Shenandoah, to organize America’s first Ukrainian community. Because he was a married priest, Archbishop P. Ryan of Philadelphia petitioned the Vatican to recall him, thereby opening a struggle between American Roman and Greek Catholics over celibacy that has lasted to the present day. During Voliansky’s five years in the United States, he established parishes in five Pennsylvania towns (Kingston, Freeland, Olyphant, Shamokin, and Wilkes-Barre) as well as in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1890 the Roman Curia approved a prohibition against married Ukrainian priests’ holding parishes in North America. As a result many priests and parishioners joined the Russian Orthodox church, following the lead of Rev Aleksei Tovt, the first cleric to convert. Centered in Minneapolis, the new Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic church had converted over 7,000 Ruthenians to Russian Orthodoxy by 1900.
Despite the substantial loss of clergy and parishioners, the Ukrainian Catholic church survived. By 1894 there were 30 Greek Catholic priests in the United States, 26 from Mukachevo eparchy and Prešov eparchy in Carpatho-Ukraine and 4 from Lviv eparchy in Galicia. The most consciously Ukrainian of them was the small contingent from Galicia, which was later to play a critical role in the development of a Ukrainian community in America. Other priests arrived with different loyalties. After 1892, pro-Magyar Greek Catholic priests from the Carpatho-Ukrainian eparchies were instructed by the Hungarian government to remain ‘faithful Magyars’ in America and to remember their Hungarian homeland. Because of their numbers, the Hungarian-Ruthenian clergy dominated the Ruthenian-American community, at least initially. Like their Russian counterparts, they opposed the Ukrainian national revival.
In the 1890s eight ethnonationally conscious priests from Galicia arrived in the United States: Revs Ivan Konstankevych, Nestor Dmytriv, M. Stefanovych, Ivan Ardan, Antin Bonchevsky, Stefan Makar, M. Pidhoretsky, and P. Tymkevych. Called the ‘American Circle’ by their supporters, they stemmed the Russian and Hungarian-Ruthenian tides and helped to establish a distinctly Ukrainian Catholic community in the United States, primarily by taking control of Svoboda and the Ukrainian National Association from the Russophiles and expanding reading rooms, Ukrainian schools, publications, and choirs. The American Circle introduced the term ‘Ukrainian’ into Ruthenian social consciousness by publishing the poems of Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko, by explaining political developments in Galicia in the pages of Svoboda, and by elaborating on the idea of a united and free Ukraine. In 1901 the circle established the Association of Ruthenian Church Communities in the USA and Canada. Renamed the Ruthenian Church in America in 1902, this society organized a convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which called for the appointment of a Greek Catholic bishop for Ruthenians in the United States.
A struggle between the American Circle and the Hungarian-Ruthenian clergy for control of the Ruthenian Catholic church ensued for the next five years. In 1907 the Holy See appointed Soter Ortynsky, a monk of the Basilian monastic order from Galicia, the first Greek Catholic bishop in America. The Ruthenian-American community, while highly supportive of Ortynsky’s appointment, did not like Ea Semper, the papal bull, that defined the bishop’s prerogatives. Ortynsky had to obtain permission from local Latin rite bishops before visiting Ruthenian parishes in their dioceses; he had to file a full report with the Latin bishop after each visit; and he could not allow his Ruthenian priests to administer confirmation. In mixed Catholic marriages the primacy of the Latin rite was maintained. In 1913 the situation was rectified, when Rome granted Ortynsky ‘full and ordinary jurisdiction over all Greek Catholics coming from Galicia and Podcarpathia [Subcarpathia].’ A year later the Holy See issued Cum Episcopo Graeco, another papal bull, which removed the more offensive canons of Ea Semper.
After Soter Ortynsky’s death in 1916, the Holy See created two Greek Catholic jurisdictions in the United States, one for the Ukrainians and another for the Ruthenians (Carpatho-Rusyns). Rev Petro Poniatyshyn was appointed administrator of the Ukrainian parishes. The division was reconfirmed in 1924, when two exarchates were established along the same administrative lines. Bishop Constantine Bohachevsky was appointed bishop of an exarchate that included 144 parishes, 102 priests, and 237,445 faithful. Vasyl Takach, the Ruthenian exarch, received 155 parishes, 129 priests, and 288,390 faithful. The division between the two ethnically identical groups has remained to the present.
The Ukrainian Orthodox movement in America began in Chicago in 1915, when a group of disgruntled parishioners left Saint Nicholas’s Ukrainian Catholic church to form the Independent People’s Church. They were soon joined by other disaffected Catholics and former Ukrainian adherents of Russian Orthodoxy, and in 1919 established the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, which was affiliated with the recently established Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine. In 1924 the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council in Kyiv appointed Archbishop Ioan Teodorovych the first hierarch of America’s newly created Ukrainian Orthodox community. In the late 1920s more Catholics joined the diocese, which by 1939 consisted of 24 parishes, 22 priests, and 19,000 faithful. Concerned by doubts of the canonicity of Teodorovych’s consecration in Kyiv, another group of ex-Catholic priests and laity met in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1928 and founded a second Orthodox diocese, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, which was headed for a time by Yosyf Zhuk and later by Bohdan Shpylka. The second diocese included 43 parishes and 36 priests by 1939.
Ukrainian Protestantism in the United States began in the 1890s, when a group of Baptists (Stundists) from villages in the Kyiv region settled first in Virginia and later in North Dakota. Converted from Orthodoxy by German colonists in Ukraine, they had fled religious persecution by the tsar. The spread of Protestantism in Ukrainian-American urban centers benefited from the religious conflicts among Ruthenian Catholics, Ukrainian Catholics, and Russian Orthodox, and before the First World War Baptist groups emerged in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and a Presbyterian congregation was established in Newark, New Jersey (1909). In addition Bloomfield College (New Jersey) and the University of Dubuque (Iowa), two institutions which prepared Presbyterian ministers, offered Ukrainian language, history of Ukraine, and Ukrainian literature courses. In 1922 the Ukrainian Evangelical Alliance of North America was formed, and a group of Presbyterian parishes established the Ukrainian Evangelical Reformed church.
All Ukrainian religious denominations benefited from the influx of new immigrants after the Second World War. The third immigration followed the pattern of church membership established earlier. Ukrainians from Galicia generally joined Catholic parishes; Ukrainians from Bukovyna, Volhynia, and eastern Ukraine usually joined the Orthodox. In 1954 the Vatican elevated Constantine Bohachevsky to the rank of archbishop and the exarchate to the status of an eparchy. Two years later a second Ukrainian Catholic eparchy was created. Headed by Bishop Ambrose Senyshyn, whose seat was in Stamford, Connecticut, the new jurisdiction comprised all the New England states and the New York State, with 53 parishes, 101 priests, and 86,324 faithful. The Philadelphia eparchy was headed by an auxiliary bishop (Joseph Schmondiuk became the first American-born Ukrainian Catholic bishop on 8 November 1956) and included 122 parishes, 93 priests, and 219,720 faithful. In 1958, when Bohachevsky was elevated to the rank of metropolitan, the Ukrainian Catholic church in America had 300 priests, 2 bishops, 223 churches or chapels, 2 orphanages, 3 homes for the aged, 2 colleges, 4 high schools, and 32 parochial day schools. Bohachevsky died in 1961 and was succeeded by Senyshyn. In the same year Schmondiuk moved to Stamford, and a third eparchy was established to include Ukrainian Catholics in Michigan and all states west of the western boundaries of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Jaroslav Gabro, with his episcopal seat in his native Chicago, was consecrated in 1961 to oversee 31 parishes and 20,439 faithful.
During the 1960s the Ukrainian Catholic church in the United States suffered a serious rift. In Chicago, Bishop Jaroslav Gabro changed the religious calendar from Julian to Gregorian, thereby creating a split among the parishioners of Saint Nicholas’s Cathedral, with the result that half of the congregation built a new church, Saints Volodymyr and Olha.
Metropolitan Ambrose Senyshyn died in 1976 and was succeeded by Joseph Schmondiuk. When Schmondiuk died unexpectedly in 1979, he was succeeded by Myroslav Liubachivsky. When the pope convened a synod of Ukrainian bishops in 1980, Lubachivsky was selected coadjutor to the aging Cardinal Yosyf Slipy. He was replaced in Philadelphia by Rev Stephen Sulyk, who was consecrated on 31 March 1981. Two days later he participated in the consecration of Rev Innocent Lotocky as successor in Chicago to Jaroslav Gabro, who had died the previous year. In 1983 a fourth Ukrainian eparchy, headed by Bishop Robert Moskal, was created for the 60,000 Ukrainian Catholics living in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Although the Ukrainian Catholic church maintains the heritage of the Greek Catholic church in Ukraine, Old Church Slavonic, which until the 1960s was used exclusively as the liturgical language, was to a great extent replaced by the vernacular in 1965.
The Ukrainian Orthodox church in America also experienced a period of expansion immediately after the Second World War. In 1947 a synod of Ukrainian Orthodox bishops was convened in Germany under the leadership of Metropolitan Polikarp Sikorsky. Hoping to unite the Ukrainian Orthodox in North America, the synod delegated Archbishop Mstyslav Skrypnyk to approach Metropolitan Ioan Teodorovych to effect his reconsecration. The two newly constituted Orthodox groups attempted to unite at a 1948 conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with Archbishop Skrypnyk as the head of a Ukrainian Orthodox church. Bishop Bohdan Shpylka’s refusal to join prompted some of his parishes to place themselves under Skrypnyk’s jurisdiction, thereby creating a third Orthodox diocese. On 27 August 1949 Teodorovych was reconsecrated by a Syrian exarch, and in 1950 Skrypnyk’s parishes came under Teodorovych’s jurisdiction. A 1950 synod in New York constituted the hierarchy of the newly unified Ukrainian Orthodox church, with Teodorovych as its head and Skrypnyk head of the consistory. Also included in the hierarchy were Archbishops Volodymyr Malets and H. Shyprykevych. By 1964 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA consisted of 104 churches, 127 clergy, and 87,200 faithful. Metropolitan Teodorovych died in 1971 and was succeeded by Skrypnyk, who headed an archdiocese centered in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, with two dioceses (one in Chicago headed by Archbishop Constantine Buggan, the other in New York headed by Bishop A. Scherba) consisting of 90 parishes with 80,000 faithful. The administrative offices, along with a museum, publishing house, memorial church, and central cemetery, are located in South Bound Brook. Ukrainian is used predominantly in the Divine Liturgy, although English services and sermons are occasionally given in some parishes to accommodate the younger generation. In 1990 Metropolitan Skrypnyk became the patriarch of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church and was succeeded as American metropolitan by Archbishop Buggan in 1992.
Bishop Bohdan Shpylka, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, died in 1965 and was succeeded by Archbishop Palladii Vydybida-Rudenko and, in 1967, by Bishop Andrii Kushchak. Consecrated a metropolitan in 1983, Kushchak died in 1986 and was succeeded by Bishop Vsevolod Maidansky, whose diocese remains under the canonical jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. The church includes 22 parishes and 22 priests. Old Church Slavonic is used in the Divine Liturgy exclusively.
The influx of new immigrants from Ukraine also helped strengthen the Ukrainian Protestant churches in the United States. After 1950, new Baptist congregations were established in Hartford, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and the California cities of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Hemet. In the mid 1990s there were 30,000 Ukrainian Protestants in the United States, most of whom belonged to congregations organized into two national federations. The largest was the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, headed by Rev Oleksa Harbuziuk, with 24 churches and some 10,000 faithful. Baptist leaders are visible in mainstream Ukrainian-American life as well as in Ukraine itself. A daily radio broadcast, the ‘Ukrainian Voice of the Gospel,’ was initiated in 1952. In addition the Baptist Convention delivered some 250,000 Ukrainian-language religious books to Ukraine, including 10,000 copies of the New Testament in 1988. The other Protestant group, the Ukrainian Evangelical Alliance of North America, once included some 12 Presbyterian parishes (Reformed confession). Since the death of its head, Rev. Volodymyr Borovsky, in 1987, however, most of the parishes have ceased to exist. Ukrainians in the United States are also Pentecostals (many of whom are fairly recent émigrés), Methodists, Lutherans, and Seventh Day Adventists.
Civic and political organizations. The oldest and most significant civic organizations in the Ukrainian-American community are the fraternal insurance associations established prior to the First World War, whose major purpose was to provide low-cost insurance to Ukrainian immigrants, most of whom had limited savings and little income. They continue to provide insurance plus a variety of benefits to their members and to the Ukrainian community to the present day.
The first fraternal insurance association, the Brotherhood of Saint Nicholas, was established by Rev Ivan Ya. Voliansky in 1885, but dissolved soon after he returned to Ukraine. The first permanent fraternal society was the Greek Catholic Union of the USA (GCU), which was founded in 1892. Although membership was open to all Ruthenians, disputes over finances and national orientation resulted in an exodus of the Galician leadership and the establishment in 1894 of the Ruthenian National Association (renamed the Ukrainian National Association [UNA] in 1914). From its inception the UNA represented a Ukrainian perspective, while the GCU initially supported the Hungarian-Ruthenian point of view. Both fraternal societies aided their respective churches—the formation of a local UNA branch was often a prelude to the establishment of a local parish—and developed various educational means to promote their ethnic identity. The fraternal newspapers were the most influential in developing popular public opinion. The GCU published Amerikanskii russkii viestnik; the UNA was responsible for Svoboda. Today the GCU does not have an active ethnocultural orientation, but focuses its resources on spiritual and social programs.
In 1908 the convention of the Ukrainian National Association (UNA) proclaimed Bishop Soter Ortynsky as ‘patron’ of the organization. In his capacity as chairman of the bylaws committee at the 1910 convention, Ortynsky, despite strong lay opposition, pushed through resolutions which changed the name of the organization to the Greek Catholic Ruthenian Association, subordinated the renamed fraternal society to the bishop’s office, restricted the election of future convention delegates to Catholics exclusively, and obligated all members to attend confession at least once a year, during Easter. The bishop’s action, subsequently approved by the majority, led to the first serious split in the Ukrainian/Ruthenian camp. Delegates from 14 branches walked out and, with other newly established local brotherhoods, called a convention which in 1911 gave birth to the Ukrainian Workingmen’s Association (today the Ukrainian Fraternal Association [UFA]). In 1912 an all-Catholic fraternal organization, the Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America, appeared. A fourth fraternal society, the Ukrainian National Aid Association of America, was established two years later. Each fraternal society supported Ukraine’s struggle for freedom during the First World War by organizing political action committees and raising thousands of dollars in support of this cause. Ideological differences during the interwar period put a temporary end to such co-operation. In 1940, however, the four organizations set aside their political differences to form the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UKKA), an all-Ukrainian coalition to lobby on behalf of Ukrainian interests in Europe. The four fraternal societies helped establish the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (1944) and fully supported its later efforts to resettle Ukrainian displaced persons and refugees at the end of the Second World War. The united fraternal front collapsed in 1980, when the UNA and the UFA withdrew from the UKKA in response to attempts by the militant nationalist wing of the community to extend its control over the body. In 1983 the two fraternals were instrumental in establishing the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, a parallel umbrella organization.
The Ukrainian National Association, with headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey, has approximately 60,000 members and remains the largest and most influential Ukrainian fraternal benefit society in America. The Ukrainian Fraternal Association, with headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has some 18,000 members. The Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America has 17,000 members and headquarters in Philadelphia. With a national membership of 8,000, the Ukrainian National Aid Association of America, centered in Chicago, is the smallest of the 4 Ukrainian fraternal organizations. A major concern of fraternal executives is declining membership. Although assets and insurance in force have increased, membership, usually measured in terms of certificates in force, dwindled by an average of 1 percent per year in 1977–87 (see table 5).
The first political ideology to influence the thinking of American Ruthenian-Ukrainians was socialism. Under the leadership of the American Circle, the political posture of the community essentially reflected the ideology of the Ruthenian-Ukrainian Radical party in Galicia. After the Radicals split into Social Democrats (the Ukrainian Social Democratic party) and National Democrats (the National Democratic party) in 1899, the leadership of the Ukrainian National Association leaned toward the more moderate National Democrats. The first socialist organization to appear in the Ukrainian-American community was Haidamaky, in 1907. An even more radical group, the Ukrainian Workers’ party, formed in 1909, was dissolved a short time later. With Ukrainian socialist organizations multiplying, a convention in 1915 established the Ukrainian Federation of Socialist Parties of America.
The first Ruthenian-Ukrainian national congress was held in Jersey City on 1 January 1900, with subsequent congresses in 1903, 1904, and 1905. At the last congress the participants formed the Society of Ruthenian Patriots. Disagreements between social and national democrats within the society continued to escalate, however, and the fledgling organization soon ceased to exist.
The First World War and the Ukrainian struggle for independence (1917–20) galvanized the Ukrainian-American community and strengthened its sense of ethnonational identity. Following a meeting of fraternal society leaders after the onset of hostilities, an all-Ukrainian national organization was created on behalf of Ukrainians in the United States and Europe. In late October 1915 a convention in New York established a new, national umbrella organization, the Federation of Ukrainians in the United States, with Dr Volodymyr Simenovych as president. Almost from its inception internal strife between those who supported social reform in Ukraine and those whose first priority was national independence made the federation ineffective. In 1916 the Ukrainian National Association withdrew from the federation and joined forces with the Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America to create a second all-Ukrainian umbrella organization, the Ukrainian Alliance of America, which was headed by Rev Petro Poniatyshyn. The federation’s main base was thus reduced to Haidamaky, the Ukrainian Fraternal Association, and socialists.
Both the Federation of Ukrainians in the United States and the Ukrainian Alliance of America competed for the loyalty of the community, now fully conscious of its Ukrainian identity. Representatives of both organizations urged the White House and Congress to assist a war-torn Ukraine. In response to a congressional resolution, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on 2 March 1917 which designated 21 April 1917 as ‘Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Day’ in the United States. The alliance also succeeded in creating a Washington office in the Capitol building suite of Congressman J.A. Hammill (Democrat, New Jersey), one of the most articulate allies the Ukrainian-American community has ever had in Washington, DC. On 18 November 1918 the alliance changed its name to the Ukrainian National Committee (United States), realigned its executive to include disenchanted former members of the Federation of Ukrainians in the United States, and embarked on a new phase of international lobbying, still under the leadership of Petro Poniatyshyn.
At the second convention of the Ukrainian Federation of Socialist Parties of America (UFSPA), held in 1917, participants were split between the ‘internationalists,’ who believed the first priority for Ukraine should be economic reform, and the Social Patriots, who were more nationalistic in their orientation. With the internationalists in the majority, resolutions were passed calling for the destruction of capitalism. In August 1919 an official delegation of UFSPA officers attended the first convention of the Communist Party of America, and a month later the UFSPA was renamed the Ukrainian Federation of the Communist Party of America. This development forced the Social Patriots to form a new socialist organization, Oborona Ukrainy.
Ukrainian Communist activity in the United States flourished following the creation of the United Ukrainian Toilers Organization (SURO) in 1924. Its growth was dramatic. By the fifth SURO convention in 1932, its network included 2,750 members in 112 branches, 3,400 members in affiliated front organizations, 12 Young Pioneer branches (with some 300 children), 36 Ukrainian schools, 64 reading rooms, 35 drama groups, 17 choirs, 12 mandolin orchestras, and 23 owned or rented ‘labor temples.’ The Communists expanded their activities during the 1930s, especially after the United States extended diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union. In 1932, Ukrainian Communists established their own fraternal insurance society by creating separate Ukrainian branches of the International Workers’ Order. By 1938 there were some 15,000 Ukrainian members of the order, including 3,000 children. During the late 1930s and all through the early 1940s America’s Ukrainian Communists were engaged in a vicious and continuous polemics with most other Ukrainian associations in the country. Ukrainian Communist influence in the United States all but disappeared with the end of the Second World War (see League of American Ukrainians).
The first political organization to counter the Communists was the Hetman Sich (see United Hetman Organization), which consisted of individuals loyal to Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky. The Sich society movement began in the United States in 1902, when Rev M. Strutynsky established the first Sich Athletic Society in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. By 1918 there were 14 Sich branches on the eastern seaboard, all dedicated primarily to bodybuilding. During the First World War some Sich members attempted to organize a Ukrainian military legion to fight for Ukrainian independence. The project failed, but the idea lived on. Militarization began with the introduction of uniforms and the election of Stepan Hrynevetsky as supreme otaman at the 1922 convention. Sich began to change ideologically soon after Osyp Nazaruk, a leading monarchist theorist, convinced Hrynevetsky that monarchism was the only viable ideological alternative to the increasingly popular Bolsheviks. The Sich came under attack during the 1930s when Ukrainian-American Communists and others alleged that it was a Nazi underground organization serving Germany. Even though the FBI could substantiate none of the charges, the cloud of accusation caused a serious setback for the group. When the Second World War began, the Communist network in the United States accused Sich (renamed the United Hetman Organization, or SHD) of conducting espionage to sabotage the American war effort. Although another FBI investigation, which continued until 1943, completely exonerated the SHD, the barrage of negative commentaries heard on radio and published in American books, newspapers, and magazines made SHD members fearful that their activity might someday lead to deportation to the USSR, and caused them to leave the organization in droves. The SHD Supreme Executive voted for dissolution on 7 March 1942.
The second anticommunist political organization to emerge in the United States between the two world wars was the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (ODVU). Founded in 1931 with moral assistance from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), ODVU was by 1939 the single most powerful anticommunist political organization in the Ukrainian-American community. Two other affiliated organizations came into being during the early 1930s, the Ukrainian Gold Cross (a women’s society) and the Young Ukrainian Nationalists (MUN). The first All-American Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists took place in 1935, with 223 delegates representing ODVU, the Ukrainian Gold Cross, MUN, the Black Sea Sich, and the Ukrainian War Veterans’ Association of the USA in attendance. By 1938 the combined ODVU network—some 70 ODVU branches, 70 Ukrainian Gold Cross branches, and 41 MUN branches—had a total American membership estimated to be over 10,000.
Meanwhile, the dissolution of the Federation of Ukrainians in the United States in 1921, coupled with the subsequent decline of the Ukrainian National Committee (United States) in 1922, prompted another attempt to form a truly representative umbrella political organization for all Ukrainians. On 26–27 October 1922, 130 delegates representing 176 Ukrainian organizations established the United Ukrainian Organizations in America (UUOA), which survived for 18 years. The UUOA was soon under attack by the Communists, and the executive was forced to reconstitute the organization under a new name.
In May 1940, 805 delegates from 168 different communities met in Washington, DC, and formed the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UKKA). Included were practically all the organizations that had once belonged to the United Ukrainian Organizations in America. In 1944 the UKKA established the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (ZUADK) to aid Ukrainian displaced persons. Between 1947 and 1957 the ZUADK helped resettle approximately 60,000 Ukrainian refugees in the United States. With the exception of the Communists, all segments of Ukrainian-American society—religious, political, cultural, and social—belonged to the UKKA. In 1967 it helped to organize the first World Congress of Free Ukrainians (SKVU), in New York. During the 1970s the UKKA increasingly fell under the direction of the Liberation Front, a post-Second World War coalition of OUN (Bandera faction) organizations which included the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine (OOChSU), the OOChSU Women’s Society, the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM), and the Ukrainian Student Organization of Mikhnovsky (TUSM). The Liberation Front arrived at the 1980 UKKA convention with a majority of delegates and took total control of the organization. As a result, delegates from 27 national organizations walked out of the conclave. Led by the Ukrainian National Association (UNA), the dissidents included the Ukrainian Fraternal Association (UFA), the Ukrainian National Women's League of America (SUA), the Ukrainian War Veterans’ Association of the USA, ODVU, the Ukrainian Gold Cross, MUN, the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, the Ukrainian Democratic Youth Association (ODUM), most professional and scholarly societies, and a number of smaller organizations. Remaining within the UKKA were the Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America, the Ukrainian National Aid Association of America, OOChSU, TUSM, SUM, OOChSU Women’s Society, and the Association for the Liberation of Ukraine. Subsequent compromise talks failed, and on 1 October 1983 approximately 100 delegates from the UNA, UFA, ODVU, and many (but not all) other dissenting societies came together in Washington, DC, to form the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council.
The first Ukrainian women’s organization in the United States was the Sisterhood of Saint Olha, a fraternal insurance society established in 1897 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The second national women’s organization was the Ukrainian Women’s Alliance of America, established in Chicago as a fraternal benefit society in 1917. Both organizations dissolved within a few years. The Ukrainian Women’s Society of New York, established in 1921, lasted longer. In 1925 the society founded the first Ukrainian women’s confederation, changed its name to the Ukrainian National Women's League of America (SUA), and began establishing branches on the east coast. A national congress of Ukrainian women was held in New York in 1932, with 68 delegates in attendance. By 1940 the SUA had 61 branches throughout the United States, organized into three regional councils. With the arrival of the third immigration, the SUA enjoyed unprecedented growth, and by 1984 there were 120 branches from the New York State to California. Other national Ukrainian women’s organizations in the United States include the Ukrainian Gold Cross (est 1931), the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods (est 1961), and the OOChSU Women’s Society (est 1967).
The first Ukrainian youth organization in the United States was Sokil, a gymnastic society. Patterned after its European Sokil counterpart, the first branch was organized by Rev P. Tymkevych in Yonkers in 1902. That same year Rev M. Strutynsky established the first Sich society branch in Olyphant. Sokil eventually faded, and Sich became associated with the political agenda of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky and eventually evolved into an adult-dominated political organization.
The lack of viable youth organizations was not perceived as a problem by community leaders until the 1930s, when the generation born during and after the First World War was in its early teens. Hoping to activate the younger generation, many organizations began forming youth affiliates. The first to develop youth cadres was the Ukrainian Orthodox community. In 1932 the League of Ukrainian Clubs (LUK) was created. Three years later there were some 20 LUK clubs throughout the United States. The LUK eventually disappeared; it was replaced in 1941 by the Organization of Ukrainian Orthodox Youth (renamed the Ukrainian Orthodox League of the USA in 1947).
The most successful early coalition of secular, nonpartisan youth groups was the Ukrainian Youth League of North America (UYLNA), which emerged in 1933. At a constitutional convention during Ukrainian Week at the Chicago World’s Fair, delegates established a North American organization that sought to hold annual youth conventions, sponsor annual sports rallies, publish a cultural monthly in the English language (Ukrainian Trend), and form local clubs. By 1939, 69 American and Canadian youth organizations were affiliated with the UYLNA. Except for the war years, the UYLNA held annual conventions until the 1970s, when it ceased to exist.
In 1933 the Ukrainian Catholic church established the Ukrainian Catholic Youth League in America, renamed the Ukrainian Catholic Youth League of North America (UCYLNA) in 1938, when the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada joined its ranks. In 1939 it consisted of 60 clubs. With support from the Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America and the church, the UCYLNA held annual conventions and sponsored track and field events. In 1962 the name was changed to the League of Ukrainian Catholics of America, a reflection of its aging membership. Conventions are still held annually.
Ukrainian political organizations also created youth affiliates. The United Hetman Organization (SHD) established ‘Junior Siege’ (ie, Junior Sich) branches, whose activities included flying lessons, horseback riding, track and field events, and baseball. The Junior Siege disappeared when the SHD was dissolved. The first nationalist youth organization was the Young Ukrainian Nationalists (MUN), founded in New York in 1933. Activities included military drill, drama, basketball, baseball, writing articles for The Trident, and glider and airplane flying. With support from the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (ODVU), which became associated with the OUN (Melnyk faction) after the Second World War, MUN survived as a national organization until the early 1960s. Communist youth affiliates, the Young Pioneers, were prevalent before the war, but all but disappeared completely during the Cold War era of the 1950s. With many Ukrainian young people serving in the armed forces during the Second World War, all Ukrainian youth organizations suffered major drops in membership.
While prewar Ukrainian youth organizations struggled to survive in the postwar era, three new youth organizations founded by the third immigration flourished. The Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM), established in 1949, claimed 4,100 members in 34 local branches and 5 summer camps in 1984. Today it is the largest and most affluent Ukrainian youth organization in America. Part of the Liberation Front network, SUM is a member of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. The Ukrainian Democratic Youth Association (ODUM) was created in 1950. It claimed 450 members in 1984, with local branches in the larger cities and a summer camp in New York State. A member of the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, ODUM is associated with the ‘democratic’ political network composed mostly of the Second World War immigrants from eastern Ukraine. A virtual transplant of the Ukrainian scouting organization founded in Western Ukraine in 1912, the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association was established in the United States in 1951. In 1984 it claimed some 4,000 members, 27 local chapters, and 5 summer camps. Politically, Plast is nonaligned.
Although several Ukrainian student clubs existed prior to 1940, it was only after the arrival of the third immigration that a national effort was made to organize Ukrainian college students. The Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations of America (SUSTA) was founded in 1953 and by 1971 had approximately 30 university campus branches. The most successful endeavor initiated by SUSTA was the creation of the Ukrainian Studies Fund in 1957. Other student organizations established after the Second World War include the Ukrainian Student Organization of Mikhnovsky (TUSM), associated with the OUN (Bandera faction); the Zarevo Ukrainian Student Association, associated with the OUN (Melnyk faction); and the Obnova Society of Ukrainian Catholic Students.
Education. The first Ukrainian heritage school was established in Shenandoah, in 1888 by Rev Ivan Ya. Voliansky, and a second was begun in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, in 1893 by Rev Ivan Konstankevych. Within a year similar part-time heritage classes existed in Mount Carmel, Wilkes-Barre, and Olyphant in Pennsylvania, and in Minneapolis. By 1913 most large Ukrainian-American communities had such schools, thanks largely to the efforts of priests who viewed the expansion of Ukrainian education among youth as part of their ministry. During the early days of the movement, texts were substandard, there was no co-ordinated curriculum, and the facilities were poor, with many classes held in damp church basements. Reform measures began in 1913, soon after the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Teachers’ Association was created, and in 1918 proficiency exams for teachers were introduced. A new teachers’ organization, Ridna Shkola, was established in 1927. By 1939 there were 86 Ukrainian heritage schools in the United States, with 56 taught by the precentors, 18 by the Basilian order of nuns, and 12 by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. The third immigration increased school enrollments and improved curriculum co-ordination under the auspices of the Educational Council of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (established in 1953), which also provided school accreditation. By 1971 there were some 150 Ukrainian heritage schools. Approximately half were under the jurisdiction of the Educational Council; the others were administered by Catholic and Orthodox parishes.
The first Ukrainian college, Ruska Kolegiia, was opened in Shamokin in 1905. Organized on the European gymnasium model, it accepted all students who had the equivalent of an American high-school education. The school folded after a year, but college-level courses were later established at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and at the University of Dubuque, in Iowa, two institutions that had once trained Presbyterian missionaries for work among Ukrainian immigrants. Bloomfield offered courses in Ukrainian language, history of Ukraine, and literature from 1910 to 1920, and Dubuque offered them from 1912 to 1935. During the 1970s approximately 20 American universities and colleges were offering courses in the Ukrainian language. Today the Ukrainian Catholic church operates Manor Junior College for girls in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and Saint Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Seminary for boys in Stamford. Both offer courses in Ukrainian language and culture. The most comprehensive program of Ukrainian studies can be found at Harvard University (see Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute).
The first boarding school (for boys) was established in Yonkers, New York State, by Rev P. Tymkevych in 1904. Opened as a high school, it lasted less than two years. The first permanent boarding school was an orphanage opened by Bishop Soter Ortynsky in 1912 in Philadelphia. In 1931 the first accredited Ukrainian high school, Saint Basil’s Academy for girls, was dedicated by Bishop Constantine Bohachevsky in Fox Chase, Pennsylvania. A Catholic preparatory school for boys opened in Stamford in 1933. A third high school for boys and girls was established in 1951 in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Bishop Constantine Bohachevsky opened the first permanent Ukrainian parochial day school in 1925. Six years later he initiated a national campaign to build schools which resulted in full-time elementary classes in Pittsburgh (1933), New Kensington, Pennsylvania (1936), Chicago (1936), Hamtramck (1936), Newark (1939), and Watervliet, New York State (1940). The influx of immigrant children in the postwar era resulted in the opening of more schools. By 1967 there were 33 elementary schools, 3 high schools, and 2 college-level institutions. Twenty years later the elementary-school population had dropped by more than 50 percent (see table 6).
Press. Ukrainian press history in the United States began in 1868, when Rev Ahapii Honcharenko brought out the Alaska Herald. In the same year he added Svoboda (Liberty), a supplement that included articles about Ukraine written in Russian. The first Ukrainian-language newspaper in America was Ameryka, first published by Rev Ivan Ya. Voliansky in Shenandoah, on 15 August 1886. It lasted until 1890. Two other early Ukrainian publications were Ruske slovo and Novyi svit, both of which came into existence in 1891 and folded the same year.
The first permanent Ukrainian newspaper in the United States was Svoboda, today the world’s oldest continuously published Ukrainian-language daily (later weekly) newspaper. First published by Rev Hryhorii Hrushka on 15 September 1893, Svoboda became the official press organ of the Ukrainian National Association in 1894. Between 1886 and 1934, 79 different Ukrainian periodicals were established in the United States, most of them short-lived. Those that survived were usually backed by fraternal or religious organizations.
Shershen’, a twice-monthly literary journal which first appeared as a satirical periodical (see Humoristic and satiric press) in 1908, became the official organ of the Ukrainian Workingmen's Association (UWA) in 1910. It was replaced in 1911 by a new UWA publication, Narodna volia, which today is published weekly in Ukrainian and English. The Providence Association of Ukrainian Catholics in America began to publish the newspaper Ameryka (Philadelphia) (not to be confused with Ivan Ya. Voliansky’s Ameryka) in 1912. Narodne slovo (Ukraïns’ke narodne slovo from 1959) made its appearance in 1914 as the organ of the Ukrainian National Aid Association of America.
In 1908–21 a group of Ukrainian Presbyterians brought out Soiuz. Pislanets’ pravdy, a Baptist periodical first published in Poland in 1927, was revived as a US publication in 1947. The Ukrainian Evangelical Alliance of North America began publishing Ievanhel’s’kyi ranok in 1961.
In 1909 Rev Petro Poniatyshyn started Dushpastyr, a Catholic monthly which soon became the official organ of Bishop Soter Ortynsky. The Ukrainian Catholic exarchate began publishing Shliakh in 1940. The Ukrainian Catholic eparchy of Chicago has published the bilingual weekly Nova zoria (Chicago) since 1965. In 1967 the Ukrainian Patriarchal Society in the United States began publishing Patriiarkhat, a quarterly magazine.
Two widely read Ukrainian Orthodox periodicals, Dnipro (USA) (1922–50) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Herald (from 1928), were published prior to the Second World War. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA began publishing Ukraïns’ke pravoslavne slovo in 1950 and its English edition in 1967. Another periodical, Pravoslavnyi ukraïnets’, was published by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Conciliar) from 1952.
Ukrainian socialists began publishing Khlops’kyi paragraf and Haidamaky in 1909. The latter periodical survived until 1916. Another early socialist weekly was Robitnyk (1914–20), founded in 1914. It was replaced by Ukraïns’ki shchodenni visty in 1920, soon after the formation of the Ukrainian Federation of the Communist Party of America. It is still published in New York as Ukraïns’ki visti (New York).
The Sich society began publishing Sichovi visty (United States) in 1918, renamed Sich in 1924 after the monarchists took over. As the official organ of the United Hetman Organization, during the 1930s it was renamed Nash stiah.
The Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (ODVU) began publishing Vistnyk ODVU in 1932, and in 1935 created Natsionalist, a bilingual paper (Ukrainian-English) whose name was later changed to Ukraïna. In 1939 the ODVU took over publication of The Trident, an English-language monthly periodical initiated by the Young Ukrainian Nationalists (MUN) in 1936. After the Second World War the ODVU began publishing Samostiina Ukraïna, initially as a monthly and then as a quarterly. It now appears irregularly as a journal of political opinion. MUN resurrected The Trident as a quarterly in 1960, but publication was discontinued in 1962.
The Liberation Front has published Visnyk (New York) since 1947. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America has published The Ukrainian Quarterly since 1944. The latter also sponsored The Ukrainian Bulletin between 1948 and 1970.
The Ukrainian Women's Alliance of America published Rannia zoria between 1918 and 1920. The oldest women’s journal in the United States, Zhinochyi svit, was first published in 1933 by the Ukrainian National Women's League of America (SUA). SUA began publication of Nashe zhyttia/Our Life in 1944.
Periodicals exclusively for Ukrainian youth began appearing in the 1930s. Among them were Junior Siege, published by the United Hetman Organization; The Trident (1936–41), initially published by MUN; the Ukrainian Trend (1937–69), the official organ of the Ukrainian Youth League of North America; and Ukrainian Youth (1934–42), a periodical of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth League of North America. Postwar youth publications include Krylati (1951–), published by the Ukrainian Youth Association; Hotuis’ (1953–), published by the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association; and the monthly Veselka (1954–), a children’s magazine published by the Ukrainian National Association (UNA).
The most successful English-language periodicals are the UNA-sponsored The Ukrainian Weekly, which first appeared in 1933 as a youth-oriented newspaper, and Forum, published by the Ukrainian Fraternal Association.
In the 1990s the Ukrainian press in the United States included some 53 Ukrainian-language periodicals, 23 bilingual publications, and 15 English-language publications. These included 1 daily publication, 10 weekly, and 20 monthly; the remainder appeared less frequently. The estimated readership for all Ukrainian periodicals at that time was 208,000.
Particularly popular among Ukrainian Americans are the calendars or almanacs published annually by the three major Ukrainian churches, the four fraternal societies, and other organizations. In addition to such periodicals, books, pamphlets, and other literature are produced regularly by publishing houses and cultural and scholarly institutions. These include the four fraternal societies, the three major churches, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Prolog Research Corporation, the Ukrainian Academic Press, Smoloskyp publishers, Bulava, and Chervona Kalyna.
Literature. Ukrainian-American literature began with the development of the Ukrainian press in the 1890s. Many editors and contributors to Svoboda wrote dramas, short stories, essays, and poetry, as well as journalistic articles. Among the pioneers in this field were Rev Hryhorii Hrushka, who wrote poetry and short stories; Rev Stefan Makar, who was renowned for his short stories about the perils of assimilation and the demoralizing aspects of American life (his ‘American Boy’ is an early classic); Rev Nestor Dmytriv, who provided factual and fictional accounts of immigrant life; and S. Chernetsky, a poet and satirist. Most early immigrant literature focused on the hardships of life in the United States and on a romanticized version of life in the old country.
During and immediately after the First World War Ukrainian immigrant literature was devoted to patriotic themes reflecting Ukraine’s struggle for independence (1917–20). Poets who emerged during this period included Stepan Musiichuk, D. Zakharchuk, and M. Kostyshyn. A central literary figure was Alexander Granovsky, a professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota. Granovsky published three separate collections of lyric poetry between 1910 and 1914 while still in Ukraine. In the United States his poetry became more patriotic, in keeping with his work as an American activist in Ukraine’s liberation struggle. Some writers who tried their hand at prose during this period were M. Biela, Zh. Bachynsky, M. Strutynsky, and Yu. Chupka. All wrote on social themes centered around immigrant life.
In contrast the literary works of American-Ukrainian writers (approximately 150 in number), the Ukrainian literary figures after the Second World War tended by and large to ignore immigrant life and to focus on more universal themes. Among the most noteworthy are the poets Yevhen Malaniuk, Teodosii Osmachka, Vasyl Barka, Ostap Tarnavsky, Bohdan Boychuk, Bohdan Rubchak, and Yuriy Tarnawsky; the humorists Mykola Ponedilok and Ivan S. Kernytsky; the novelists Yurii Kosach and Dokiia Humenna; the dramatist Leonid Poltava; and the literary critics George Yurii Shevelov, Yurii Lavrinenko, and Hryhory Kostiuk. The writers organized themselves into literary societies, the most notable being the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile. Founded in 1954, it published the almanac Slovo, , a periodical devoted to new literary works and literary criticism, and sponsored literary evenings and conferences. Another postwar group, the Association of Ukrainian Writers for Young People, was transplanted from West Germany during the 1950s and has edited the Ukrainian children’s monthly Veselka. . A circle of younger writers constituting the so-called New York Group introduced modernist trends into the Ukrainian literary process. It published Novi poeziï on an annual basis in 1959–79.
The Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the US, and the Ukrainian studies program at Harvard University (see Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute) provide studies on literary topics, usually in the form of conference proceedings. Also enhancing Ukrainian literary life in America are such small literary groups as Svitannia and Volosozhar, and literary discussion clubs in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. Two Ukrainian writers who have succeeded in the American literary market are Marie Bloch and Yaroslava Surmach-Mills, both of whom write children's literature.
Scholarship. Among Ukrainians who excelled in the American academic world prior to the Second World War were George Bohdan Kistiakowsky, a chemist and researcher in atomic energy at Harvard University; Stephen Timoshenko, a pioneering scientist in strength of materials at the University of Michigan and Stanford University; the historian George Vernadsky, at Yale University; the entomologist Alexander Granovsky, at the University of Minnesota; and the geneticist T. Dobzhansky of Columbia University. Among the Ukrainians who gained national and international renown as scholars after the Second World War were the Byzantologist Ihor Ševčenko and the Turkologist Omeljan Pritsak of Harvard University; the political scientists and historians John Reshetar of the University of Washington in Seattle and Alexander Motyl at Columbia University; the philologist and Slavist George Yurii Shevelov of Columbia University; the political scientist Yaroslav Bilinsky of the University of Delaware; the historians Roman Szporluk of the University of Michigan and Harvard University and Jaroslaw Pelenski of the University of Iowa; the archeologist and art historian Renata Holod of the University of Pennsylvania; the scientists Oleksander Smakula, Roman Jackiw, and D. Sadoway of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Liubomyr Romankiv of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Olexa Bilaniuk of Swarthmore College, N. Holoniak of the University of Illinois, Leon Dmochowski of Baylor University, Swiatoslaw Trofimenko of Du Pont Experimental Station, and Michael Kasha of Florida State University and the literary scholars Bohdan Rubchak at the University of Illinois and George Grabowicz at Harvard University.
A valuable contribution of the third immigration has been the formation of scientific research institutes. These include organizations with European antecedents, such as the Shevchenko Scientific Society, which publishes its Proceedings in English and Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka in Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences, which publishes its Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States in English. Societies founded in the United States include the Lypynsky East European Research Institute (Philadelphia), the Ukrainian Historical Association (Kent, Ohio), the Ukrainian Center for Social Research (New York), and the Ukrainian Research and Documentation Center (New York).
Music. The first Ukrainian choir in America was established in Shenandoah, by Volodymyr Simenovych in 1887. Choral ensembles were later organized in Shamokin, Olyphant, and Mayfield. Even though they were enthusiastically supported by the local community, most early choral ensembles were mediocre. Choral performances improved dramatically after 1900 when a number of fully qualified cantors came to the United States and took up residence in parishes that could afford their services. By the beginning of the First World War good Ukrainian choirs existed in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Newark, New Haven, New York, and Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
The arrival of the Ukrainian National Choir under Oleksander Koshyts (formerly the Ukrainian Republican Kapelle) was a milestone in Ukrainian-American musical history. In 1922 and 1923 the chorus toured North America and set a new standard for Ukrainian choral performance. By 1936 former chorus members were directing outstanding choral ensembles in Newark, Cleveland, and Chicago. Ukrainian music was also being recorded during this period by such American companies as Columbia and RCA Victor. Between 1923 and 1952 Columbia released 430 separate Ukrainian recordings, and Victor produced over 100. Two of the most popular Ukrainian recording artists of the time were the fiddler P. Humeniuk, whose Ukraïns'ke vesil'ia (Ukrainian Wedding) became a classic, and W. Gula and his Trembita Orchestra, who recorded for Columbia.
The highly professional character of Ukrainian choral music was maintained after the Second World War by choruses in New York (Dumka), Philadelphia (Prometheus and Kobzar), Detroit (Trembita), Cleveland (Dnipro), and Chicago (Surma). Today the best-known Ukrainian choral ensemble in the United States is the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus in Detroit.
Ukrainian vocal performers who have excelled in the American music world include the Metropolitan Opera star Paul Plishka, who has starred in over 40 roles, and Andrii Dobriansky, who has sung with the Met since the 1969–70 season.
Ukrainian instrumental music also dates back to the days of the early immigrants. The first Ukrainian band was organized in Shamokin in 1891, and within a few years marching bands, often with elaborate uniforms, existed in Olyphant, Mayfield, Shenandoah, Braddock, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. As interest in marching bands waned after the First World War, the popularity of mandolin orchestras increased. A Ukrainian Conservatory of Music existed in New York during the 1920s. The Association of Friends of Ukrainian Music was established in New York in 1934 and contributed greatly to the growing popularity of Ukrainian instrumental music. String orchestras were established in New York (under the direction of the composer Mykhailo Haivoronsky) and in Chicago during the 1950s. The Ukrainian Music Institute of America was created in 1952 and soon had 16 branches throughout the country. In recent years bandura ensembles have become a popular form of instrumental expression, especially among the young. Ukrainian Americans who have enjoyed the most success in American music circles include Mykola Malko, who was director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1945 to 1957; Virko Baley, conductor of the Las Vegas Symphony; and the concert pianist Lidia Artymiw.
Theater, film, and dance. The first drama troupes were established in Shamokin and Olyphant in 1880 and were soon followed by ensembles in other Ukrainian communities of eastern Pennsylvania. The first performance of the popular Ukrainian opera Zaporozhets' za Dunaiem (Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube) was staged in New York in 1910. By 1940 such classic Ukrainian operas as Natalka Poltavka, Kateryna, and Taras Bulba were seen regularly on Ukrainian-American stages. Most dramatic productions, however, dealt with local themes, such as those by Rev Stefan Makar, who wrote Amerykans'kyi shliakhtych (American Noble) and Skupar (Miser). Both were popular productions prior to the First World War. Efforts to establish permanent drama societies in major Ukrainian cities persisted through the 1920s and 1930s. Most troupes, however, were short-lived. Ukrainian theater in the United States greatly improved following the arrival in the 1950s of the Ensemble of Ukrainian Actors (see Ukrainian Theater in Philadelphia), under the direction of Volodymyr Blavatsky, in Philadelphia and the Theater-Studio of Y. Hirniak and O. Dobrovolska. Both companies staged a series of popularly acclaimed productions during the 1950s and 1960s. After 1965 their theatrical tradition was continued by the drama school of Lidiia Krushelnytska in New York.
During the 1930s Ukrainian amateur film studios under the direction of Vasyl Avramenko produced films such as Natalka Poltavka, Marusia, and Zaporozhets' za Dunaiem. Ukrainian filmmaking later improved, with the emergence of Slawko Nowytski of Minneapolis, who has produced such prizewinning films as Pysanka, Harvest of Despair (a documentary about the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 in Ukraine), and Helm of Destiny (the story of America’s Ukrainians). Ukrainian Americans who have pursued successful film careers in Hollywood include Anna Sten, Nick Adams, John Hodiak, Mike Mazurki, Jack Palance, and the director Edward Dmytryk.
Like the early choirs, Ukrainian dance ensembles prior to the First World War were supported by a handful of enthusiastic supporters. This changed soon after the arrival in 1928 of Vasyl Avramenko, a dance master from Ukraine. After settling in New York, Avramenko began his American dance career by advertising dance lessons in Svoboda. Supported almost entirely by contributions from the community, Avramenko began visiting Ukrainian communities and by 1936 had organized over 50 dance troupes throughout the country. A high point in his career came on 25 April 1931, when approximately 500 of his dancers performed at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Ukrainian dance troupes proliferated in the United States after the Second World War; some may have been given new impetus by the tour of Pavlo Virsky’s State Dance Ensemble of Ukraine in 1966. Today outstanding dance groups perform in Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Detroit, and Cleveland. As in the past, Ukrainian dance remains the single most effective vehicle for retaining the interest of young people in Ukrainian culture.
Fine arts, architecture, and folk art. Early Ukrainian artists in the United States were icon painters, such as Rev H. Verkhovsky, who painted the sanctuary of Saint Nicholas’s Cathedral in Chicago, and E. Vasylenko. American-born painters who emerged between the two world wars, such as M. Myrosh and I. Kuchmak, devoted much of their time to creative painting. Others became involved with film illustration (A. Palyvoda), graphic art (Nik Bervinchak), and commercial illustration (J. Rosol). The most celebrated Ukrainian artist in the United States was the Ukraine-born Alexander Archipenko, internationally acclaimed as one of the great innovators of modern sculpture. During his American period he produced over 750 pieces, many of which can be found in major museums throughout the world.
Some 100 Ukrainian painters and sculptors immigrated to the United States after the Second World War. In 1952 they founded the Ukrainian Artists' Association in the USA. Centered in New York, the association sponsors art exhibits and individual showings. Similar local art groups exist in Chicago (home of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art), Minneapolis, and Detroit. Among the individual Ukrainian artists who have exhibited in many American cities in the postwar period, the most consistently popular have been Mykhailo Moroz, Liuboslav Hutsaliuk, Mykola Butovych, Edvard Kozak, and Jurij Solovij. The best-known Ukrainian artist in recent years has been the late Jacques Hnizdovsky, whose unique graphic art is part of many museum and private collections. Ukrainian religious art has been preserved by such artists as Sviatoslav Hordynsky, Mykhailo Dmytrenko, and Petro P. Kholodny. Other Ukrainian artists worked as illustrators (Yaroslava Surmach-Mills) or art instructors (N. Brytsky, J. Gaboda, and Arcadia Olenska-Petryshyn). Perhaps the most commercially successful artist was cinematographer William Tytla, who spent many years working for Walt Disney Studios in Hollywood. Ukrainian sculptors who have gained renown in America include Serhii Lytvynenko, Mykola Mukhyn, Konstantin Milonadis, Mykhailo Chereshnovsky, and Andrii Darahan.
Another aspect of the Ukrainian artistic experience in the United States is Ukrainian church architecture. Noteworthy examples of traditional styles include Chicago’s Saint Nicholas’s (Catholic) Cathedral, modeled after the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv; the neo-Byzantine Saint Andrew’s (Orthodox) Church in Bloomingdale, Illinois; the Cossack-baroque Saint Andrew’s (Orthodox) Memorial Church in South Bound Brook; and Sacred Heart (Catholic) Church in Johnson City, New York State. Churches built in a more modern style include Saint Joseph’s (Catholic) Church in Chicago; Holy Trinity (Catholic) Church in Kerhonkson, New York State; and Saint Josaphat’s (Catholic) Church in Rochester, New York State. A unique blend of traditional and innovative architectural styles can be found in the Ukrainian Catholic Church Shrine in Washington, DC, and in the Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Clifton, New Jersey.
Ukrainian folk art—pysanky (Easter eggs), wood carvings, ceramics, embroidery, kilims—is much in demand in cities with large Ukrainian populations. Most of these cities have retail stores which market such products. The recent availability of Easter egg-making kits has meant that this ancient folk art can be passed on more easily from one generation to another.
The most significant cultural achievement of the Ukrainian community prior to the Second World War was the 1933 erection of a Ukrainian pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair. The displays featured folk and modern Ukrainian art from Europe and the United States, highlighted by the works of the sculptor Alexander Archipenko. Another major cultural accomplishment was the Ukrainian Cultural Gardens in Cleveland. Dedicated on 2 June 1940, the gardens eventually were the site of statues of Volodymyr the Great, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko (all sculpted by Archipenko), and Lesia Ukrainka (rendered by Mykhailo Chereshnovsky). After some of the art was stolen or destroyed by vandals during the 1970s, the remaining statues were removed. Since the Second World War, memorial statues to Shevchenko have been erected in Washington, DC (1964), and Elmira Heights, New York State (1981).
Archives, museums, libraries. Prior to the Second World War most Ukrainian archival materials were found in the private collections of older immigrants who appreciated the significance of historical documentation. Unfortunately many archives were either lost or destroyed after the collectors died. Only more recently large depositories have been established at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the US; at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, South Bound Brook, and Detroit; at the Ukrainian National Museum (Chicago); at the Ukrainian Diocesan Museum of Stamford; and at the Ukrainian Cultural Institute at Dickinson State College, Dickinson, North Dakota. The most extensive collection of archival materials for all periods can be found at the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
The creation of museums was pursued particularly strongly by the third immigration. Ukrainian museums now exist in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, South Bound Brook, and Stamford. Of special significance is the Ukrainian Institute of America, founded by the millionaire William Dzus and housed in a New York landmark mansion. The institute features a permanent collection of paintings and occasional exhibits of Ukrainian fine and folk art.
Extensive Ukrainian book collections can be found at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the New York Public Library, and the libraries of Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, the University of Chicago, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Sport. In the interwar period Sich societies established their own track and field, swimming, volleyball, soccer, softball, basketball, bowling, and tennis clubs and competitions. Ukrainian youth athletic competitions were held in Philadelphia in 1935 and 1936. Young athletes from the United States and Canada competed in the first Ukrainian-American Olympiad, held in Philadelphia in 1936. In 1938 the Ukrainian National Association founded a baseball league; by 1940 it had 28 teams.
After the mass emigration of displaced persons and refugees to the New World in the late 1940s, new Ukrainian sports clubs were founded. Soccer, tennis, volleyball, and swimming have been particularly popular. The Ukrainian Sports Federation of the USA and Canada was founded in 1954–5. In 1980 it organized, with other émigré communities of the captive nations of the USSR, the Free Olympiad in Toronto. The Ukrainian delegation won 11 gold, 8 silver, and 7 bronze medals and took second place overall.
Assimilation. Statistics showing lower church and organizational membership and decreased language retention suggest that Ukrainians are assimilating rapidly into mainstream American society. Table 4 and table 5 examine church and fraternal-benefit society membership; the 1980 US census revealed that Ukrainian language use among Ukrainian Americans in the country stood at only 17 percent. Among certain professional groups the percentage is even lower (see table 7). No solution to the steady decline in language use has been found, nor does there appear to be any antidote for assimilation. Ukraine’s independence, however, and the intensification of contacts with the mother country may slow down this process.
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[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]