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New Life in the Old Country

Ukraine was once the home of countless thriving Jewish communities — cities and towns where many American Jews have our roots. But the 20th century took a terrible toll: The Holocaust and Soviet rule devastated the Jewish communities of Ukraine, and most of the survivors either hid their Judaism or emigrated. Yet today, the old country is experiencing a reemergence of Jewish life, led by a new generation empowered by JDC.

Travel with us to Kiev and Odessa, where we’ll witness Ukraine’s inspiring Jewish renaissance and celebrate an unforgettable Shabbat with the hundreds of Jewish teens from across the former Soviet Union who represent its Jewish communities’ bright future.

Traveling with JDC is a rare window in the corners of the global Jewish community that often go unseen, and an opportunity to witness firsthand the life-changing work we’re doing around the world. There is no more meaningful or authentic way to explore the breadth and depth of the Jewish experience than alongside the people nurturing and sustaining it.


  • Attend the Active Jewish Teens conference — the engine of Jewish renewal across the continent — alongside hundreds of young Jewish leaders.
  • Visit the Jewish Community Centers and Hesed Social Welfare Centers at the heart of JDC’s work, including the Beit Grand in Odessa and JCC Halom in Kiev.
  • Meet and spend quality time with the elderly clients who benefit from your support.
  • Tour historic Jewish Ukraine, and honor the past while we look to the future with kaddish and memorial at Babi Yar.

Mission Co-Chairs: Kathy Kanter, JDC Ambassador & Maya Kadar Kovalsky, JDC Board Member

Dates & Destinations:
Core Mission: Kiev & Odessa | November 3-7
Estimated Costs: Double Occupancy per person: $2600 | Single Occupancy: $3,110

Extend your trip with the Shabbat experience at the AJT Conference | November 8-10
Estimated Costs: Double Occupancy: $815 | Single Occupancy: $1,050

Costs cover ground transportation, unique visits, hotels, meals, guides and processing fees; they do not include cost of airfare between countries or transatlantic flights. Costs represent actual expenses for JDC.

Register now and save your seat on this moving journey into the heart of the former Soviet Union.

JDC Ambassadors Missions are offered exclusively to individuals who make a minimum annual gift commitment of $10,000 to support JDC’s rescue, relief, and renewal programs around the world.

Current year Ambassadors, individuals who have already made a gift of $10,000 or more during the current calendar year, are eligible to travel without an additional donation. Some exceptions, including for families and first time JDC travelers, may apply. Email us at to learn more.