One of the shining stars in THE ASSOCIATED's overseas program has been our relationship with the Jewish community of Odessa, a port city in southwest Ukraine on the Black Sea, situated 275 miles south of Kiev.
When the Soviet regime collapsed and the independent republic of Ukraine was formed in 1991, 70 years of Soviet oppression had taken its toll—very few Jews in Odessa knew of their Jewish heritage and culture, much less how to practice their religion. Thirteen years later, Odessa can be proud of a vibrant Jewish community, with more 40,000 Jews and a variety of Jewish agencies to support their needs. There are day schools, synagogues, a kosher restaurant, a Jewish museum, a social services agency, Hillel, two Jewish Community Centers (and a third on the way), and a number of other Jewish agencies supported by THE ASSOCIATED and the JDC.
Here in Baltimore, THE ASSOCIATED's Odessa Committee works with the JDC and Odessa's Jewish community to enhance and strengthen our relationship even more. Our mission is to promote initiatives that focus on education, humanitarian concerns, arts and culture, leadership, volunteerism and community development.
If you are interested in getting involved, contact Mary Drey at 410-369-9311 or email@example.com.