Archive for September, 2009


[FAR New York]: Kevork S. Hovnanian Memorial Service

September 30, 2009

Dear Friends,

A memorial service will be held for Kevork Hovnanian at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City, on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

We will mourn the loss of an outstanding American Armenian and a founder of the Fund for Armenian Relief.

– The FAR Family


[FAR New York]: In Memoriam: Kevork S. Hovnanian (1923-2009)

September 30, 2009

[FAR New York]: In Memoriam: Kevork S. Hovnanian (1923-2009)

September 29, 2009

With great sorrow, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America mourns the death of Mr. Kevork S. Hovnanian, who passed away on September 24, 2009, at New York Presbyterian Hospital.  He was 86.

It would be impossible in a few words to pay proper tribute to Mr. Hovnanian, or to convey what he has meant to the Armenian Church, to the Republic of Armenia, and to the cause of our people.  Our own Diocese was blessed to have his active presence, his wise counsel, and his bold, imaginative leadership, as part of its daily experience for many years.  His influence over our leadership bodies—principally the Fund for Armenian Relief, the Armenian Church Endowment Fund, and the Diocesan Board of Directors—has been incalculable.  Indeed, were it not for Kevork Hovnanian, our Diocese would be a vastly different institution today.

Mr. Hovnanian was also a great supporter of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.  Among his many benefactions was the renovation of the 130-year-old Kevorkian Seminary.

Certainly, he was one of the great men of his generation; a giant not only in Armenian affairs, but in the worlds of industry, international commerce, and philanthropy.  He felt at ease among great dignitaries and world leaders.  Yet he was equally at home among people of every station and walk of life.

It has been my privilege to witness the great faith and piety which animated his actions, and filled his heart—a quality which he shared with his loving wife, Sirvart, their children Sossi, Esto, Ara, Lucy, and Nadia, and their many grandchildren.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

He was above all a family man, the patriarch of a vibrant, noble, and loving family, in whose intense embrace he spent his final days.  On Monday, September 28, the family held a private funeral, over which I presided, at the St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, N.J., which Mr. Hovnanian had built in honor of his mother.

We wish to inform the public that a memorial service will be held for Kevork Hovnanian at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City, on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

The family has asked that in-lieu-of-flowers donations in memory of Kevork Hovnanian be made to the Fund for Armenian Relief (630 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016), or to the St. Stepanos Armenian Church endowment trust fund (1184 Ocean Avenue, Elberon, N.J. 07740).

A brief film produced by the Fund for Armenian Relief in 2006, honoring Mr. Hovnanian’s remarkable contributions to our church and to the Republic of Armenia, is available on our Diocesan website, at

May our risen Lord remember his faithful servant on the day of His judgment.

With prayers,
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian


[FAR New York]: Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Fund for Armenian Relief, Kevork Hovnanian Passed Away

September 28, 2009

Beloved founder and Honorary Chairman of the Fund for Armenian Relief, Kevork Hovnanian passed away last Thursday.

A loving father and a successful businessman, Mr. Hovnanian was a pioneering advocate for the Armenian people. He did not hesitate a moment to help his fellow brethern in need when, in 1988, he travel to the earthquake ravaged regions of Gyumri and Spitak. Following that journey, FAR was born from his vision and that of his two colleagues, Dr. Edgar Housepian and Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, who also traveled with him to Armenia in this dark time of our Nation.

For the past 20 years Mr. Hovnanian’s dedication, strength, and support helped FAR to become one of the leading development organizations in Armenia. FAR is devastated by the news of his passing. His example and his vision will always serve as an inspiration to this organization and to the Armenian people.

Kevork Hovnanian



[FAR Soup Kitchens]: Madagh Dinner at FAR Soup Kitchen

September 25, 2009

Each year, FAR supporters who are members of the Armenian Diaspora visit their motherland.  This year, FAR was graced with the visit of a generous supporter named Michael Ohanian.  Mr. Ohanian is an Armenian engineer from Boston, who first visited Armenia in 1988 and witnessed the great needs of its people.  As a result of this experience, Mr. Ohanian decided to lend a helping hand. Every year he donates a few computers to the Armenian State Engineering University and Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) State University.

On his most recent trip to Armenia with his wife Sonya, Mr. Ohanian expressed his wish to deliver a daily meal to the beneficiaries of FAR’s Nor Hatchn Soup Kitchen.  Mr. Ohanian mobilized his local community and collected money from several Armenian families in order to fund a traditional Madagh meal at the Soup Kitchen.  A Madagh (sacrifice) meal is an Armenian tradition whereby a meal is blessed by a priest, then donated to the needy by an individual who has recently experienced good fortune.

We thank Mr. Ohanian for his generous contributions to FAR!

Sonya and Michael Ohanian

New Hajn 1

Credit: FAR Staff


[GTech]: Fundraiser for FAR’s Gyumri Information Technology Center Successful

September 23, 2009

Dedication in New York City brings progress in Gyumri. The energetic GTech Committee, chaired by Elena Sarkissian, spearheaded a fantastic fundraising event for FAR’s Gyumri Information Technology Center (GTech) this past Saturday night at the SoHo House in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District.

Ms Sarkissian, her brother Patrick and eight committee members of all professional backgrounds brought together friends, colleagues, Armenians and non Armenians alike to get the word out on the self-sustaining possibilities afforded to Armenia by GTech. Ms. Sarkissian’s leadership and the talents that each committee member untiringly offer to GTech promotion and fundraising not only makes more possible in Armenia but communicates to the Armenian-American community new ways to get involved.

As Patrick Sarkissian put it to Saturday’s guests, “There is a brain drain in Armenia, and we need to help Armenia keep its talents at home.”  Thanks to his and Ms Sarkissian’s enthusiasm to start a GTech-dedicated committee three years ago, Gyumri’s talent has more opportunities than ever to advance and practice their professions in their own hometown.

GTech Committee (clockwise):
Talene Baroyan, Greg Bazarian, Martha Mensoian,
Elena Sarkissian (Chair), Patrick Sarkissian,
Shant Madjarian, Marina Sarian, Rafi Hovsepian,
Melanie Dadourian, and Kirk Hourdajian.

DSC_1594 - Version 2

asb360. © 2009


[FAR New York]: Prominent FAR Board Member Featured in The New York Times

September 22, 2009

Boston University dean and FAR board member Dr. Aram Chobanian was quoted in the recent New York Times article Too Much Salt Takes a Blood-Pressure Toll, where he talks about the importance of activity and low-sodium diet.

Dr. Chobanian works closely with many of FAR’s medical education programs, and is spearheading efforts to reform curriculum at Yerevan State Medical University.

Dr. Aam Chobanian;
here with Dr. Edgar Housepian,
another distinguished FAR Board Member


Credit: FAR Staff