Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the common questions frequently asked about Tikva & our services
How do you know all the children are Jewish?
Tikva employs 30 full time staff members who have the expertise to seek out, document and rescue destitute Jewish children from the southern regions of the former Soviet Union, specifically Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Russia. The team confirms each child's Jewish identity by researching family records kept by local authorities and USSR archives.
Why not save non-Jewish children as well?
Tikva was founded to save and house Odessa's abused and abandoned Jewish Children, and over the past 15 years, we have saved over 2,250.However, there are still a documented 2,500 desperate Jewish children waiting to be rescued. Limited funding precludes us from reaching out beyond our Jewish Community.
Are the children adoptable?
No. Under Ukrainian law, an organization can only hold a license either as an educational institution or an adoption agency. Tikva was initially established as an educational institution. Within a short time, the founder Rabbi Baksht, became aware of the plight of homeless Jewish children in Odessa, and initiated a mission to save them under the auspices of Tikva educational institution. As an educational institution, Tikva can provide a home and an education to children who are both social orphans - that is children who were abandoned by unfit, but living parents and therefore not adoptable - as well as children who are orphans. In addition, as an educational institution, Tikva is able to protect its children from the Ukrainian "child barter market", which potentially exposes children to a nationally corrupt adoption system.
Can I sponsor a specific child?
Through Tikva’s Virtual Adoption Program, you have the opportunity to sponsor a child from one of Tikva’s homes in Odessa from wherever you are in the world. This program is a tremendous blessing to you and to the nominated child. Through Tikva, you will have the opportunity to write, meet and, where possible, visit the child in Odessa. Tikva will update you every three months on the progress of your child where you will have the opportunity to contribute your own ideas for the benefit of your sponsored child’s future with professional guidance from Tikva’s medical and educational staff. The cost to adopt a Tikva child is $10,000 per year. Your support provides one destitute child with food, medical care, seasonal clothing, a place to live, and a Jewish education, in addition to warmth, love and essential guidance.
May I send used clothing or toys?
No. Tikva children have lived in abject poverty most of their lives. As such, giving them new clothing and new toys builds their sense of worth and self-esteem. Once a year , Tikva hosts an appeal to collect new goods for the children. In addition, older children receive a modest allowance so that they can shop for their own clothing to reflect their personality and individual style.
What happens to the children when they go to Israel?
Tikva’s young immigrants arrive with the usual challenges confronting new Olim. Among the most daunting is the inability to find suitable employment in their new surroundings. In response, Tikva established an employment, placement, and vocational development program in 2007 in order to assist Tikva participants in identifying and gaining viable employment. The project offers career counseling, employment related workshops, vocational course subsidies, and most importantly, meaningful job placement.
How many Jews are still living in Ukraine?
Today, there are still approximately 100,000 Jews remaining in and around Odessa, with many more born each year. An estimated 1% of the total population (45 million people) of Ukraine is Jewish. For more information on the history of Ukrainian Jewry, please visit the History page.
Why has the staff in Odessa opted to run the program under the guidelines of Orthodox Judaism?
Tikva was founded as an Orthodox Jewish educational institution and therefore the organization's values and philosophy respect religious teachings. Together with that, a great deal of thought and attention is given to the local culture, and all programs, schooling and home care are sensitive to the needs of unaffiliated Jews.
Can you explain the role of the Tikva School System? Is it secular or religious?
Tikva’s schools offer a standard Ukrainian program of study in addition to a Jewish educational component, which includes Hebrew, Jewish history, Israeli culture and tradition, Jewish holidays and Torah studies. With class sizes of 12 to 14 students, as opposed to the 40 found in the standard Ukrainian classroom, Tikva’s students receive the personal attention they need in order to succeed. Tikva’s schools emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based learning, rather than the lecture and rote memorization methods used in most Ukrainian public schools. As a result, Tikva’s students continually receive academic and artistic awards at annual scholastic competitions between student teams from Ukrainian private schools.
How does Tikva help the wider Jewish community in Odessa?
In a region where Jewish expression was once forbidden, Tikva's community-building activities have created a Jewish environment for the young families and older generations alike. Tikva's partnership with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) provides over 2,000 nutritious kosher meals served to seniors who come to our synagogue, and delivered to home-bound seniors in a JDC operated "meals on wheels" program. Tikva also created the Kosher Food Market and Chevron, a kosher meat restaurant, enabling Jews in Odessa to purchase kosher food and eat out. In addition, Tikva created an adult Jewish educational program offering lectures, Hebrew language classes, and cultural ac activities reaching nearly 400 previously unaffiliated adults.
Who funds Tikva programs?
Tikva is a non-profit organization with 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status. The Tikva programs are able to run because of charitable contributions from generous individual donors and foundations worldwide, as well as funding from the Israeli and Ukrainian governments.
How can I help?
Tikva offers a range of opportunities for partnership, from volunteering to financial and in-kind donations. Please contact us to find out more details.