When communism fell and the Soviet Union broke apart, Kharkov’s Jewish community was faced with the huge challenge of finding all of its members scattered and hidden by decades of anti-semitism. No one could have imagined 20 years later there would be a community 40,000-strong and in need of a new JCC to serve its thriving membership.
Last weekend hundreds of community members came out for the opening of the new Kharkov JCC. The new building houses areas for Jewish education and community life, including a 250-seat auditorium, dance halls and space for communal festival celebrations. The center will also provide welfare services and support to community members in need, including the elderly and handicapped.
Representatives from JDC attended the festive ceremony, along with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, local dignitaries, donors, volunteers and staff of World Jewish Relief, which raised the funds for and oversaw construction of the building.
After 20 years of nourishing this budding community we were thrilled to see the joy and pride on their faces as they come together to celebrate this landmark moment in their history.
Find out more about the Kharkov JCC’s grand opening.