The Odessa Jewish Museum

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The Odessa  Jewish Museum was opened in November of 2002. Previously, the history of Odessa’s Jewry was not exhibited or displayed in any other museum around the city. This exact absence served as the primary reason for the unveiling of this historical treasure.

During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Odessa had the third largest Jewish population in the world (after New York and Warsaw). During this time period the city served as a home to numerous Jewish writers, historians and founders of the Zionism movement including Mendel Moiher-Sforim, Sholom-Aleikhem, H. Bialik, S.Chernihovsky, S. Dubnov, I. Klauzner, L. Pinsker, Ahad-ha-Am, A. Usyshkin, M. Dizenhoff and world known Zionist leaders V. Jabotinsky.

In 1910s Jews play a key role in the arts and cinematography developing in Odessa. At the beginning of the 1920’s Jews comprised the largest ethnic group in the city (over 40%) and some ten years later they are still ranked among the top three ethnic groups in the city (over 30%).

Thousands of Jews were killed in the Odessa region during the Nazi occupation. Despite the fact that Odessa’s Jewish population continued to reduce in the period of 1950-80’s down to 20%, it is fair to say that the overall influence of Odessa’s Jewish community on development in science, arts and the overall culture of the city is immeasurable.

Despite the small parameters of the museum (total area of exhibition space is 160 sq meters) Museum collected a rich collection of documents, photographs, books, newspapers, postcards, religious garment, household goods, music instruments and some pieces of art. The majority of our expositions have been generously donated to our collection by local public figures, leaders of Jewish organizations, ordinary citizens of Odessa as well as members of the city’s large Diaspora community who continue to cherish their native city.

Every year the museum receives thousands of guests, organized exhibitions, leads a great number of excursions and tours, welcomes numerous researchers and students from the USA, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Easter Europe and other countries around the world. An annual conference “Odessa and Jewish civilization” serves to bring researchers working on Jewish topics in Odessa. Following the conference museum publishes collections of the presented papers, brochures and other materials dealing with Jewish history of Odessa.

The museum also joined efforts with other Jewish organizations, Ukrainian state museums, archives, and various universities in the city and the grater Ukraine not to mention a great number of foreign specialists and researchers works to popularize Jewish history of Odessa.

The activities and events of our museum are regularly covered by the local, national and international media.

Our museum locate in the center of Odessa on Nejinskaya Street, 66 and open for visiting every day from 13:00-19:00 (except for Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays) and on Sundays from 10:00 – 16:00.

You can contact us on +38048-728-9743, or via email .

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