Odessa Jewish Heritage Tour (4 1/5-hour tour)


The two contrasting phrases – “To live like God in Odessa” and “The fires of hell burn for 7 miles around Odessa”, originated among the Ashkenazi Jews, are about Odessa, the city, which at the dawn of the twentieth century became one of the largest Jewish places in the world. Indeed, the Jewish history of Odessa is absorbing and packed full of fascinating and at times controversial facts: the nineteenth’s century Odessa welcomed Jews and yet the first pogrom in Russian Empire happened in this city; while paradise in the eyes of some, the city was a hotbed of depravity in the eyes of others. Odessa enthusiastically embraced Haskalah movement, and yet later became home to Zionism and Hasidism.

Jewish Odessa is a phenomenon that attracts many historians, researchers, as well as ordinary travelers. Despite decades of anti-Semitism under the Soviet regime, the city preserved much of its Jewish heritage and is now experiencing rebirth of the Jewish culture and religion.

This tour explores the fascinating Jewish history of Odessa since the city’s foundation till modern days. By car and on foot we visit many sights, which are connected with such prominent names as Shalom Aleichem, Isaac Babel and Hayim Nahman Bialik, we walk in the footsteps of a famous Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the first mayor of Tel Aviv Meir Dizengoff. We visit temples – the Great Choral Synagogue and Shomrei Shabbos Synagogue. We explore some of the darkest sides of Odessa’s Jewish history – pogroms and Holocaust. But more importantly, we not just visit the sights – our guides skillfully tell the story of the Jewish Odessa, covering spiritual, religious and business aspects and talk of the evolvement of the local Jewish community from old to modern days.

Aah, and if you’ve read the famous Edmund de Waal’s bestseller “The Hare with Amber Eyes” and keen on envisioning Odessa’s Golden Age and walk in the footsteps of the Ephrussis, then you should definitely take this tour!

The tour can be upgraded to a full day exploration of the Jewish Odessa with a stop at a local Kosher restaurant for refreshments or lunch

Customer Reviews

“…the history about Jewish life in Odessa from the settlement of Odessa till to-day.”
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Photos of the Tour

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