A Polish minister on a trip to America said the Polish government has set aside $22 million in grants to strengthen its ties to the Polish-American community, Nowy Dziennik reports. The minister visited and hailed the success of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union in Greenpoint, Brooklyn — an institution that he used himself, when he lived in New York. The article is translated from Polish below.
Janusz Cisek, the undersecretary of state in Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and head of the Department of Consular Affairs and the Polish Diaspora, met with representatives from the management board, the supervisory board and the board of directors of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union to announce upcoming changes in policies affecting the Polish diaspora. He added that the ministry has set aside $22 million for the community’s goals.
“I am glad to see the Union thrive and develop so vibrantly,” said Minister Cisek on a visit to PSFCU headquaters at McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint. The meeting with representatives from the credit union, which took place on Thursday, Aug. 23, was one of many stops the minister made during his visit to the United States.
Mariusz Motyl, director of the credit union’s marketing department, presented the history of the largest Polish-American financial institution and talked about its present activities, as well as its cooperation with Polish-American organizations.
“We currently have 15 branches in New York, New Jersey and Illinois, as well as mobile and Internet branches,” said Motyl. “This year, we will add two new locations – in Staten Island and Chicago.”
PSFCU is one of the most vibrant ethnic credit unions in the United States. It enjoys good financial results and a growing number of members.
“We currently have over $1.5 billion in assets and over 77,000 members,” said the marketing department head.
As it turns out, Minister Cisek was well-acquainted with the credit union. As the chairman of the New York-based Pilsudski Institute of America, he lived in New York for a couple of years, and kept his savings at PSFCU. He said he was impressed by the way the credit union had expanded.
He added that in his opinion, the PSFCU is an example of the direction in which the Polish-American community should develop.
“If the institution has a sound financial basis and is able to cooperate with the community it serves, that’s the right formula and direction of cooperation,” he said.
Minister Ciesek came to the US to find a way of launching new cooperative efforts between the Polish government and the Polish-American immigrant community. The new direction, he said, means an “opening for Polish communities living abroad, beyond those living behind the Eastern border, which divided them from the motherland after the Second World War.”
The new policy for cooperating with Polish-Americans involves uniting organizations and institutions from different states and creating for them a platform for networking, so that Polish-Americans can be better represented in American politics. Such cooperation between organizations is expected to increase the role of the Polish immigrant community in America. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assigned some $20 to $22 million to support the activities of Polish immigrant groups in the West.