Hello everyone and welcome to our second day in the beautiful town of Odessa. We had a lot of things going on today, very interesting and eye-opening.

Day 4 - Statue of Writer

Anna Misiuk shared her outstanding journey with us this morning about how difficult it was for Jews to live under the Soviet regime and how challenging it is at times to live in post-Soviet countries, particularly Ukraine of course. This made me think of how we must not take for granted what we’ve achieved so far as a Jewish people and always stick together and help each other when necessary. Additionally, it also made me think of how grateful I am for having a powerful and viable Jewish state.

Day 4 - Chabad

Rabbi Avraham Wolf at Chabad and the community orphanage opened my eyes like there is no tomorrow. Seeing these little kids, which either no parents or their parents have abandoned them is heart breaking from the one hand but very inspirational from the other. Needless to say that being an orphan is terrible and parents are the most precious and valuable gift for all of us. We are lucky to have them. Thus, seeing kids without parents is very sad and makes you wonder what they were punished for like that. However, when I saw how these children are treated in that orphanage, how they’re taught everything and most importantly how successful some of them grow up to be, it warmed my heart in a way that is hard to explain. These kids are sort of heroes for me, and the orphanage does a big Mitzvah by turning them into successful adults instead of feeling sorry for them or simply neglect them. Yishar koah and may we have more people that care about the needy. One last thing to remember here: we weren’t all born equal, hence before you complain about mundane matters, think twice what’s really important and what really makes a difference.

Thanks to Yuliya, we got to go to a guided tour at the opera house here in Odessa. It was very interesting and informative to hear about the history of that great cultural place. It’s a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see a show, but whatever happens, happens for the best.

Day 4 - JCC Migdal

 At the JCC Migdal, all of the art was created by attendees!

We ended our busy day at JCC Migdal, where the wonderful Kira Verkhovskaya was sharing her agenda and insights about the Jewish community. Kira’s sense of humor, which is common for people from Odessa, was marvelous and engaged people into the conversation. Even more than the content, Kira inspired us all with her welcoming approach and candid experiences.

That’s all for now, we are all safe and sound and hope you are too, wherever you are at the moment.

Yours truly,

Levi

 


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