Odessa Jewish Heritage: the Jewish hospital – one of the Jewish artifacts, which survived the pogroms, revolution, the Civil war, WW2 and the Soviet period. Built by the Jewish community in 1860s-1870s on the funds, which came from the interest on the special bank deposit and kosher butcher’s tax, the Jewish hospital provided medical services to the Odessa’s Jewry as well as all other people who needed treatment. Around 20000 people could come see the doctor there annually.
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The Jewish Odessa phenomenon is well-known far outside the borders of Ukraine. The book, which greatly contributed to the city’s fame is The Hare with Amber Eyes. This is just one of many beuatiful descriptions of Odessa in this book: “Odessa was a city within the Pale of Settlement, the area on the western borders of imperial Russia in which Jews were allowed to live. It was famous for its rabbinical schools and synagogues, rich in literature and music, a magnet for the impoverished Jewish shtetls of Galicia. It was also a city, which doubled its population of Jews and Greeks and Russians every decade”… (a quote from the best-seller The Hare with Amber Eyes”). Below are old photos of the Brodsky and Main Synagogue, Odessa’s port and Jewish street. #odessa #jewish #history #heritage #tour
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Odessa’s Jewish history is a fascinating story to tell. Opportunities provided by the fast growing city and port both for the poor Jews from the shtetls and rich Galicia Jews were plentiful. In hundred years Odessa boasted Jewish bankers and traders, architects and doctors. The city became home to the Jewish intellectuals, housed the Haskalah movement and Odessa’s Palestine Committee. The “Star in Exile” to a Jew in the Russian Empire during the first half of the nineteenth century, Odessa evolved into the “Gates of Zion” several decades later.