2 New Synagogues Open in Kiev for Reform and Orthodox Jews

'Real Awakening' Among Jews in the Ukraine

There’s Company: Kiev’s Central Synagogue is an imposing structure. Now there are two new synagogues in the Ukrainian capital.
There’s Company: Kiev’s Central Synagogue is an imposing structure. Now there are two new synagogues in the Ukrainian capital.

By JTA

Published October 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Two new synagogues, one of them for a Reform community, opened in Kiev.

Some 120 people attended the Sept. 27 dedication ceremony of the Reform synagogue and community center of the Congregation Hatikva in the Ukrainian capital, according to Alexander Haydar, executive director of the Religious Union for Progressive Jewish Congregations of Ukraine.

The new structure, bought and paid for with donations by three North American families, replaced “very inadequate rental facilities” which had served the community for 22 years, a statement published Thursday by the World Union for Progressive Judaism read.

Situated in Kiev’s historic Jewish neighborhood, Podol, the new, 4,000 square-feet center cost about $1 million to build, Mike Garbiner, the world union’s chairman, told JTA. The center has a sanctuary with seating for 150; activity rooms; a library; youth center and kitchenette.

Haydar old JTA that some 12,000 people take part in the programs run by 40 Progressive congregations in Ukraine. Kiev’s has some 800 members, he said. Ukraine has some 360,000 Jews, according to the European Jewish Congress.

Just south of the Reform center, Rabbi Moshe-Reuven Azman, a chief rabbi of Ukraine, on Sept. 25 helped inaugurate the new Orthodox Abraham Malach Synagogue, which was purchased for local Jews by philanthropist Ze’ev Levitan, Azman said. The new synagogue has a small dormitory for Jews who want to spent Shabbat and holidays there, Azman said.

“Synagogues are getting crowded. There is a real Jewish awakening among Ukrainian Jews,” Azman told JTA. “That’s why we are seeing new synagogues opening up.”

The Reform center‘s dedication ceremony was attended by its three donating families — Susan and James Klau of Rhode Island; Austin and Nani Beutel of Toronto; and Anne Molloy and Henry Posner III of Pittsburgh – and leaders of other Progressive Jewish communities.

The guests also held a memorial service at Babi Yar, the place where Nazis gunned down more than 33,000 Jews in September 1941 in one of the worst Holocaust-era massacres.

“Today is no less real than yesterday,” Rabbi Joel Oseran of the Union said during a speech. “And today we look around this new synagogue center and feel the power of Jewish renewal and rebirth.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.