Community Building

Tikva has helped pioneer the revitalisation of Jewish communal life in Odessa, offering a range of community initiatives to help sustain its continued growth. As part of its effort to inspire and enrich Jewish life, Tikva created the following programs that have impacted the lives of thousands of men, women and children in the Jewish community:

• Meals-on-Wheels providing hot meals and holiday packages to more than 175 Jewish elderly every day.

• 500 weekly meals at the synagogue for community members in need.

• Shabbat and festival meals at the synagogue for over 500 people of all ages.

• The Great Choral Synagogue, reclaimed and renovated by Tikva on behalf of the Jewish community in 1997.

• An adult Jewish educational program offering lectures, Hebrew language classes, and cultural activities reaching nearly 400 previously unaffiliated adults.

• The Kosher Food Market, established in 2001, that enables Jews in Odessa to purchase Kosher products.

• Chevron, a Kosher meat restaurant frequented by Tikva’s staff and visitors, as well as the broader Jewish and non-Jewish community.

With other activities such as Passover seder meals for 2,000 people, regular synagogue services, and drives for warm clothing and other essentials, Tikva responds to the critical needs of this developing Jewish community while finding ways to strengthen Jewish involvement and promote personal enrichment.

These community-building activities have created a Jewish environment for Tikva’s children in a region where Jewish expression was once forbidden. In addition, this supportive infrastructure serves as a surrogate family for Tikva’s orphans while promoting a Jewish revival for Tikva residents and staff and the broader Jewish community.

“I remember the Jewish holidays celebrated in my parents home when I was a little boy,” says Leible, a Tikva meals-on-wheels recipient. “But after the War, we were left with nothing Jewish to hold onto. Unfortunately, that’s how my children were raised – completely cut off from their Jewish past. But today, I eat kosher, and my grandchildren go to Jewish schools… all because of Tikva we can live like Jews”.