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Jewish Odessa
26.01.2015, 21:37

The Jewish Museum 

The 1st Ukrainian museum of the Jewish culture, named in honor to Mendel Moycher-Sforim, was open in Odessa in 1927. Its richest collection, that were one of the largest in Europe (about 35 thousand units of exponents), disappeared almost without a trace in the years of occupation.   
In the second half of 19th - first fourth of 20th centuries Odessa city was the third in the world (after New York and Warsaw) at the amount of the Jewish population. At this period in Odessa the Jewish writers and poets lived and actively worked. They are: Mendel Moycher-Sforim, Byalik, Chernikhovsky, historians Dubnov, Clauzner and the others.   At the beginning of 1920th the Jewish constituent becomes the biggest among the other national communities in Odessa (more than 40%).
Since the second half of 1960th the movement of "Jewish resistance", getting the name of "refusing ("otkaznichestvo"),  had it place. The subsequent processes of emigration in the period of "perestroika" are connected with this movement, and on the other hand, the movement was the pre-condition of the Jewish revival in Odessa at the beginning of the 1990th. That's why since the 1990th the Jewish communal center "Migdal" with a support of the district of  "Joint"  began a preparation to its opening. 
On the 12th of November, 2002, Odessa Museum Migdal-Shorashym of the History of Jews opened its doors for the first visitors. 
Nowadays the collection of the museum - it is more than 1000 objects (documents, books, newspapers, postals, articles of a way of life, cult objects, works of art etc.; most of them are original) and more than 10 000 units of the exponents in the museum funds - is mainly formed due to the charity.  


The Main Synagogue of Odesa was built in 1850 by an architect Morandi. At the period of the Soviet Union the building of the Synagogue was passed to the Odessa Pedagogical College, to the faculty of a physical culture. In 1996 the building of the Main Synagogue was passed to Odesa judaic religious community, and in September,1996, on Rosh Hashanah, jews of Odesa at first during a long period of time prayed in the Main Synagogue of the city.
From 1996 to 2008 the building was on the reconstruction, the bima was recovered and the mikveh was built. Today the everyday and holiday prayers are conducted here, collecting several hundred of parishioners. On the 9th of March, 2008, the Jew Ari Shymmel from Great Britain, on the day of his 80th birthday and of one of his grandchildren Nataniel's Bar Nitzvah, presented to the Main Synagogue of Odesa the new scroll of Tora. 

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