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Odessa Inaugurates New Orphanage and Synagogue

February 23, 2012, 12:30 3473 Author: Tamar Runyan www.chabad.org The Jewish community of Odessa had a lot to celebrate when, under the protection of a police guard and a parade route closed to traffic, it marked the concurrent dedications of a new synagogue, Torah scroll and orphanage

Alexander Persman, left, who spearheaded the project in memory of his father Shimon Persman, and Odessa regional administrator Nikolai Pondak unveiled the Chesed She’B’Chesed building, which houses a synagogue and orphanage. The building’s Hebrew name means “mercy within mercy.”

Jewish community director Yuri Rodin and Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Avraham Wolff, the city’s chief rabbi, cut the ribbon to officially open the new building.

Community leader Alexander Granovsky affixed a mezuzah to the main entrance, while Sammy Hilberg affixed a mezuzah to the synagogue entrance on the second floor. The synagogue was donated by Ari Schwartz in memory of his friend Yochanan Hilberg.

After parading the new Torah scroll through the streets of Odessa, celebrants brought it into the synagogue for the first time.

The 40 orphans who now live in the new building had been living in different apartments plagued by frequent water and electricity outages.

The crowd of local residents, supporters from abroad, Ohr Avner Chabad day school students and students from the Jewish University of Southern Ukraine toured the building’s third floor housing bedrooms donated in memory of Alik Bronfman.

Each day, 20 local children, some from broken homes, join the building’s residents for school on the premises.

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