From Holocaust to Renaissance משואה לתקומה (A great giving opportunity!)

18 Nov
by Ilan Bloch

Potemkin Stairs in Odessa (Photo credit: Ilan Bloch)

In June I had the pleasure of serving as the Israel education speaker at a conference of European Masorti (Conservative) Rabbinical, lay and student leaders. This included spending a lovely Shabbat in Kiev, paying our respects at Babi Yar, visiting Uman(where Rebbe Nachman’s grave is), and helping guide in Odessa (including guiding at Jabotinsky’s house). 
One might expect a land which saw around one million of its Jews murdered during the Shoah (including 33,771 in just two days at Babi Yar), and the spiritual-national life of its Jewish community decimated under Soviet restrictions, to be largely devoid of Jewish life today. But, it was truly amazing to see active and proud Jewish communities during the trip. One of the most touching moments was being hosted for dinner in the Masorti JCC (Jewish community center, in this case a rented flat) in Odessa. One of the community activists said in his remarks: “We’re not miskenim [nebuchs] begging for money; we’re happy to devote our life to this community and to volunteer for whatever is needed. But, it would be nice if we didn’t have to use our own money for supplies.” And this is in the context of a country in which average incomes are ~$2400-$4800 a year. (US and Australian average income per capita is ~$60,000.)
If every reader of this blog donates just US$36 (or even US$18; any amount of tzedakah for this very good cause is very good) our overall donation to these emerging communities would be the equivalent of donating US$60,000 to an Australian synagogue (just imagine how much that is!). This could be huge! Click here to donate (please make sure you click “Specific Program or Community” and specify “Kiev and Odessa communities.”)
Ilan Bloch is the Director of Teaching Israel.

One Response to “From Holocaust to Renaissance משואה לתקומה (A great giving opportunity!)”

  1. John Smith December 3, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

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