Children's Art Work
Tikva has helped pioneer the revitalization of Jewish communal life in Odessa, offering a range of community initiatives to help sustain its continued growth. As part of its effort to inspire and enrich Jewish life, Tikva created the following programs that have impacted the lives of thousands of men, women and children in the Jewish community:
• Meals-on-Wheels providing hot meals and holiday packages to more than 175 Jewish elderly every day.
• 500 weekly meals at the synagogue for community members in need.
• Shabbat and festival meals at the synagogue for over 500 people of all ages.
• The Great Choral Synagogue, reclaimed and renovated by Tikva on behalf of the Jewish community in 1997.
• An adult Jewish educational program offering lectures, Hebrew language classes, and cultural activities reaching nearly 400 previously unaffiliated adults.
• The Kosher Food Market, established in 2001, that enables Jews in Odessa to purchase kosher products.
• Chevron, a kosher meat restaurant frequented by Tikva’s staff and visitors, as well as the broader Jewish and non-Jewish community.
With other activities such as Passover seder meals for 2,000 people, regular synagogue services, and drives for warm clothing and other essentials, Tikva responds to the critical needs of this developing Jewish community while finding ways to strengthen Jewish involvement and promote personal enrichment.
These community-building activities have created a Jewish environment for Tikva’s children in a region where Jewish expression was once forbidden. In addition, this supportive infrastructure serves as a surrogate family for Tikva’s orphans while promoting a Jewish revival for Tikva residents and staff and the broader Jewish community.
"I remember the Jewish holidays celebrated in my parents home when I was a little boy,” says Leible, a Tikva meals-on-wheels recipient. "But after the War, we were left with nothing Jewish to hold onto. Unfortunately, that’s how my children were raised – completely cut off from their Jewish past. But today, I eat kosher, and my grandchildren go to Jewish schools… all because of Tikva we can live like Jews”.
Facts At a Glance:
• 70% of all boys who age out of a state orphanage take to a life of crime
• 60% of all girls aging out of a state orphanage go into prostitution
• 15% of all children who age out of state orphanages commit suicide
THE SUNDAY TIMES
Sunday Times 06/02/11
"Ukrainian Orphanages are Starving Disabled Children”
Climb the stairs of the orphanage in Torez, Ukraine, pass through a honeycomb of rooms packed with children and there , by the window, you will find a cot from which a little boy called Anatoly stares up at you….Anatoly is 10 years old, yet he is the size of a toddler. Emaciated to the point where his bony legs could not possibly support him…
Like many of the children at Torez, Anatoly has cerebral palsy. His parents gave up on him long ago, so he is living out his last days with no family to visit him and no means of satisfying his craving for sustenance.
Opposite Anatoly lies Maxim, seven years old and equally shriveled. The veins stand out on his hand, which is clasped around his throat as if he is trying to extinguish his own suffering….
Everywhere you look are tiny boys and girls who wimper if their blankets are drawn back even momentarily. Their foreboding reflects the losing battles for survival going on all around them. For many of those in Torez, personal attention is something they are unlikely ever to experience Of the approximately 100 children in the orphanage, approximately 12 die each year.