New Citizens Welcome Reception at Armenian Heritage Park on Oct. 13

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On Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. a New Citizens Welcome Reception will be held at Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway. The festivities include Dan Teager’s Black Sea Salsa Band, Dance Caliente, Vicki Lee’s luscious desserts, and much more. All are invited to welcome the new citizens. RSVP is appreciated; please email

Armenian Heritage Park (Photo: Peter Vanderwarker)

Proudly sponsored by Eastern Bank, the welcome reception immediately follows the Naturalization Ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall where foreign born men and women will take the Oath of Allegiance to become Naturalized Citizens, exercising their right to vote and to fully engage in democracy and the community. The Oath of Allegiance has led to American citizenship for more than 220 years, including those from our own families.

“By appealing to a range of new American citizens, the welcome reception contributes decisively to the Armenian Heritage Park’s core mission of inclusion. As a celebration of the immigrant experience in Boston, the welcome speaks directly to central themes of the Park and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Welcome ‘acknowledges the history of Boston as a port of entry for immigrants worldwide,’ and ‘celebrate those who…contribute to the richness of American life and culture,’ which is the Park’s intent,” comments Armine Afeyan, Friends of Armenian Heritage Park, an initiative of the Armenian Heritage Foundation, sponsors of Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway.

We are pleased that The Honorable Judge Rya W. Zobel, the presiding judge during the Naturalization Ceremony, will join us for the Reception at the Park to offer the welcoming remark. Judge Zobel has been pivotal in the planning of the Welcome Reception as has Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. The inaugural speaker in 2014 was Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The Honorable Judge Rya W. Zobel, a 34-year veteran and the first female judge of the federal court in Massachusetts, is now retired from the bench and serving on senior status. “Judge Zobel is beloved as a trial judge because of her pragmatism, creativity, fairness, and sheer intelligence,” commented U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris in Veteran federal judge to retire, Boston Globe (Nov. 22, 2013).

Appointed by President Carter in 1979, Judge Zobel remained that only female judge in federal courts in Massachusetts for fifteen years. From 1995 to 1999, she served as the director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington. The Center trains federal judges and court employees across the country. She was previously a partner at the law firm then known as Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, specializing in matrimonial law. A native of Germany and a Holocaust survivor, Judge Zobel is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School.

Representative David K. Muradian, Jr., Massachusetts House of Representatives will welcome the new citizens, their families and friends to the Park and introduce Judge Zobel. Rep. Muradian, a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, was sworn in January 2015. A resident of Grafton, he was elected as a Republican to represent the 9th Worcester District. Prior to that, Rep. Muradian was the Director of Local Affairs for his predecessor former Rep George N. Peterson, Jr. Rep. Muradian, for seven years “working side-by-side with Rep. Peterson enabled him to forge close working relationships with many elected officials and staff members, before taking office himself”. Shortly after being sworn into office, Rep. Muradian was named the Ranking Member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, as well as the Assistant Ranking Member on the Joint Committee on Transportation. Rep. Muradian was born and raised in Central Massachusetts. He attended Sutton High School and played on their baseball and basketball teams. He graduated from Worcester State University with a degree in communications, with a minor in history.

Last year’s inaugural Welcome Reception was generously funded by the Anna and Noubar Afeyan Fund, an endowed fund supporting programs at Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway. The Welcome Reception is an initiative of the Friends of Armenian Heritage Park in collaboration with the United States District Court, City of Boston/Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Office of Immigrant Advancement, Office of Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

For further information, please email

Source: Armenian Weekly
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