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.
A few more facts related to the Odessa’s Jewry:
- When the city was one year old (1795), the census showed that the Jews made up 10% in the city magistrate, among the house owners and small traders.
- The first Jewish hospital was opened in the early eighteen hundreds
- In 1905 the Jewish population made up 34% (175,000) of the total
- The first synagogue in the Russian Empire that got an organ was in Odessa
- Odessa is the place where Bialik, Dizengoff and many other Tel-Aviv leaders arrived from
To discover Odessa’s Jewish history, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a private tour. The tour is available in two formats: a 2.5-hour walking tour and a more comprehensive 4.5-hour tour on foot and by car.