Touring Kyiv


My guide

Margarita Lopatina was recommended  by the CHABAD Rabbi in Kiev

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Margo met me at my hotel, The Kozatskiy in Maidan Square at 10am.

We spent the next 3 hours on her walking tour.

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Ukrainian Revolution

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2014 Ukrainian revolution
Part of the Euromaidan
2014-02-21 11-04 Euromaidan in Kiev.jpg

A crowd in Kiev on 21 February, 2014 after a peace agreement was signed.
Date 18–23 February 2014 (5 days)[1][2][3]
Location Mariinsky Park and Instytutska Street, Maidan NezalezhnostiKiev, Ukraine
50°27′0″N 30°31′27″E
Result Euromaidan/Opposition victory

20,000–100,000+ protesters 7,000+ government forces[11]
Deaths: 100[12]
Injured: 1,100+[14][15]
Arrested: 77[16]
Deaths: 13[17]
Injured: 272[15]
Captured: 67[18]
Deaths: 106
Injuries: 1811
Ministry of Healthcare totals (16 April @6:00 LST)[19]Dead & missing during entire conflict: 780
Medical volunteer estimates[20]

A Previous Jewish mansion

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 Buildings & Memorials

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The Market

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Golda Meir

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Sholem Aleichem



Margo on Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sholem Aleichem
Born Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich
March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859
PereyaslavRussian Empire(now Ukraine)
Died May 13, 1916 (aged 57)
New York CityUnited States
Pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddishשלום־עליכם‎)
Occupation Writer
Genre Novels, short stories, plays
Literary movement Yiddish revival

Sholem Aleichem statue in Netanya, Israel, sculpted by Lev Segal

Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and Hebrewשלום־עליכם‎‎; Russianand UkrainianШоло́м-Але́йхем) (March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright. The musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe. The Hebrew phrase Shalom aleichem literally means “Peace be upon you”, and is a greeting in traditional Hebrew and Yiddish.


Solomon Naumovich (Sholom Nohumovich) Rabinovich (RussianСоломо́н Нау́мович (Шо́лом Но́хумович) Рабино́вич) was born in 1859 in Pereyaslav and grew up in the nearby shtetl (small town with a large Jewish population) of Voronko, in the Poltava Governorateof the Russian Empire (now in the Kiev Oblast of central Ukraine).[1] His father, Menachem-Nukhem Rabinovich, was a rich merchant at that time.[2] However, a failed business affair plunged the family into poverty and Solomon Rabinovich grew up in reduced circumstances.[2] When he was 13 years old, the family moved back to Pereyaslav, where his mother, Chaye-Esther, died in a choleraepidemic.[3]

Sholem Aleichem’s first venture into writing was an alphabetic glossary of the epithets used by his stepmother. At the age of fifteen, inspired by Robinson Crusoe, he composed a Jewish version of the novel. He adopted the pseudonym Sholem Aleichem, a Yiddishvariant of the Hebrew expression shalom aleichem, meaning “peace be with you” and typically used as a greeting. In 1876, after graduating from school in Pereyaslav, he spent three years tutoring a wealthy landowner’s daughter, Olga (Hodel) Loev (1865 – 1942).[4]From 1880 to 1883 he served as crown rabbi in Lubny.[5] On May 12, 1883, he and Olga married, against the wishes of her father. A few years later, they inherited the estate of Olga’s father. In 1890, Sholem Aleichem lost their entire fortune in a stock speculation and fled from his creditors. Solomon and Olga had their first child, a daughter named Ernestina (Tissa), in 1884.[6] Daughter Lyalya (Lili) was born in 1887. As Lyalya Kaufman, she became a Hebrew writer. (Lyalya’s daughter Bel Kaufman, also a writer, was the author of Up the Down Staircase, which was also made into a successful film.) A third daughter, Emma, was born in 1888. In 1889, Olga finally gave birth to a son. They named him Elimelech, after Olga’s father, but at home they called him Misha. Daughter Marusi (who would one day publish “My Father, Sholom Aleichem” under her married name Marie Waife-Goldberg) was born in 1892. A final child, a son named Nochum (Numa) after Solomon’s father was born in 1901 (under the name Norman Raeben he became a painter and an influential art teacher).

After witnessing the pogroms that swept through southern Russia in 1905, Sholem Aleichem left Kiev and resettled to New York City, where he arrived in 1906. His family[clarification needed] set up house in GenevaSwitzerland, but when he saw he could not afford to maintain two households, he joined them in Geneva in 1908. Despite his great popularity, he was forced to take up an exhausting schedule of lecturing to make ends meet. In July 1908, during a reading tour in Russia, Sholem Aleichem collapsed on a train going through Baranowicze. He was diagnosed with a relapse of acute hemorrhagic tuberculosis and spent two months convalescing in the town’s hospital. He later described the incident as “meeting his majesty, the Angel of Death, face to face”, and claimed it as the catalyst for writing his autobiography, Funem yarid [From the Fair].[1] He thus missed the first Conference for the Yiddish Language, held in 1908 in Czernovitz; his colleague and fellow Yiddish activist Nathan Birnbaum went in his place.[7] Sholem Aleichem spent the next four years living as a semi-invalid. During this period the family was largely supported by donations from friends and admirers.

Sholem Aleichem moved to New York City again with his family in 1914. The family lived in the Lower East Side, Manhattan. His son, Misha, ill with tuberculosis, was not permitted entry under United States immigration laws and remained in Switzerland with his sister Emma.

Sholem Aleichem died in New York in 1916.

The Brodsky Synagogue

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Brodsky Synagogue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brodsky Synagogue
Brodsky Synagogue.jpg
Basic information
Location UkraineKievUkraine
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Status Active
Architectural description
Architect(s) Georgiy Shleifer
Architectural style Romanesque Revival with elements of Moorish Revival
Completed 1898

The Brodsky Choral Synagogue is the largest synagogue in KievUkraine. It was built in the Romanesque Revival style resembling a classical basilica.[1] The original tripartite facade with a large central avant-corps flanked by lower wings also echoed the characteristic design of some Moorish Revival synagogues, such as the Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna.


The synagogue was built between 1897 and 1898. It was designed by Georgiy Shleifer. A sugar magnate and philanthropist Lazar Brodskyfinanced its construction.[2][3]

For many decades the local and imperial authorities forbade the construction of a monumental place of Jewish worship in Kiev, as they feared that this would facilitate the growth of the Jewish community in Kiev, which, being a big trading and industrial city, would then become an important Jewish religious center. This was considered “undesirable” due to the symbolic importance of Kiev, as the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy. It was only allowed to convert existing buildings into Jewish worship houses.

In 1895, permission was given to build a synagogue in the Podil district, a poor quarter of Kiev. The location was however too far from the city center where the wealthy Jews lived such that they could not walk there on Sabbath. They wished a big choral synagogue in the city center, similar to those in St. PetersburgMoscow and Odessa.[3]

To evade the ban, Brodsky and rabbi Evsey Tsukerman sent a complaint to the Governing Senate requesting a permission to build a worship house in the private estate of Brodsky. As an attachment they included only a side view drawing of the planned building which looked like a private mansion.[3][4][5][6] The permission was obtained, and the synagogue became an example of an Aesopian synagogue.

In 1926, the synagogue was closed down by the Soviet authorities. The building was converted into an artisan club.[5][7]

The building was devastated during the World War II by Nazis and was subsequently used as a puppet theatre.[5][3] An additional facade was built in the 1970s.

In 1997 the theatre moved into a new building. The old building was renovated and since 2000 it is again used as a synagogue.[2][5][6] The restoration was mainly financed by a media proprietor Vadim Rabinovich.[6] Currently it serves a Chabad-Lubavitch congregation.

End of the tour. Down to the Metro

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Only half the day gone, now on to Podil


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of the modern Podil neighborhood.

Podil (UkrainianПоділ) is a historic neighborhood in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Kiev, and the birthplace of the city’s trade, commerce and industry. It contains many architectural and historical landmarks, and new archaeological sites are still being revealed. It is a part of the city’s larger administrative Podilskyi District.

Continued in the next post

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