Children's Art Work
In 1993, Rabbi Shlomo Baksht arrived in Odessa to revive Jewish life in this former communist region. Seeking out the remaining Jews, he established a small Jewish school and utilized educational and social programming to reach and mend this dwindling Jewish community. While working towards that goal, Rabbi Baksht discovered the plight of hundreds of local Jewish children suffering abuse and neglect, living on the streets or confined to bleak and often cruel institutional settings. In response, he secured an apartment, removed six Jewish children from a state orphanage and created the first ‘children’s home’, the nucleus of what has come to be Tikva.
What started as a small community outreach program has improved the lives of more than 3,000 men, women, and children through programs including:
- The Tikva Boys' and Girls' Homes caring for almost 160 children ages 1 to 4
- An Infants' Home for 40 infants and toddlers
- A Day Care Center serving 125 children
- Co-ed elementary and pre-schools, and boys' and girls' high schools serving over 780 Jewish children from Tikva's homes and the Odessa region
- A university-level satellite program for students aged 17-20 that is accredited with diplomas from five state Ukrainian Universities
- An international program that has sent over 300 boys and girls to Israel to continue their studies
- The renovation and return to the community of the Great Choral Synagogue which has inspired the historical and religious rebirth of Jewish culture in Odessa.
- A vibrant Jewish Community Center
- A non-profit kosher restaurant and market offering the only kosher food products available to the Jewish community in Odessa