A year in Dnepropetrovsk

An American volunteer in Ukraine

Archive for Chabad

So much to be thankful for

This Thanksgiving, while I was at home in NY celebrating with all those people who are dearest to me, the lives of my counterparts in Mumbai were drastically changed. The Chabad Rabbi and his wife, central figures in the small Mumbai Jewish community, were among the 188 victims, and the Jewish center was one of the primary targets during the four days of terror.

The following JTA article shares a little about Gavriel and Rifkah Holtzberg and the welcoming community they created.

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The grand opening of the new synagogue in Dneprodzerzhinsk

First of all, where is Dneprodzerzhinsk? You may have guessed from the name of the city that, like Dnepropetrovsk, it is located along the Dnepr River. Now, click on the map below, and it’ll open a new window with a large map of Ukraine. First we need to find Dnepropetrovsk. This isn’t too hard. You see Crimea, that island/peninsula located at the southernmost part of Ukraine? Right, on the eastern half, surrounded by the Black and Azov Seas. Now move north, along the Dnepr River, past Zaporozhe (spelled the Ukrainian way here), and then you’ll see it: Dnepropetrovsk, the third largest city in Ukraine! Maladetz, well done! Now, Dneprodzerzhinsk is not nearly so large a city, so you’ll have to zoom in here. Look just west of Dnepropetrovsk, and you’ll see Dneprodzerzhinsk (but spelled the Ukrainian way) written next to a small circle. There it is. It took us about 30 minutes to get there from the kindergarten, and 40 minutes to get back to my apartment, which is closer to the center.

I know what you’re wondering now: who is “us?” (“It took us about 30 minutes to get there…”) I went with Sharon, my boss’s wife, and her eldest son, Ido. Sharon is great and has been a real friend to me here. Here’s a picture of her and Ido in the synagogue:

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