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!
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • 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.