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Jewish cultural center dedicated in Odessa

JTA

June 7, 2010 | 12:59 pm

A new Jewish cultural center was dedicated in Odessa.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Odessa Jewish community on Monday formally dedicated the Beit Grand Jewish Cultural Center.

The center was renovated and expanded with funds from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and philanthropists Nancy and Stephen Grand.

Beit Grand is home to the city’s Hesed Shaarey Tzion Welfare organization and its Jewish Family Services program, as well as Hillel and the Odessa Regional Association of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Survivors.

The JCC also includes an extensive library and community gym, as well as an arts studio, a Jewish writers club and a course for Jewish Odessa tour guides. The campus
also includes a new Montessori-style Anavim Jewish kindergarten. It is also home to Jewish renewal programs and a youth club.

In addition to local Jewish community leaders, government representatives from Ukraine and Israel, a delegation from JDC’s board of directors joined JDC staff, a Claims Conference delegation and other international guests for the dedication.

“The dedication of Beit Grand is a remarkable moment in the great history of Jewish life in Odessa and speaks volumes about the role JDC has played in the miraculous renewal of Jewish life in this city and across the former Soviet Union,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

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