History of Odesa Jews Museum

Museum in Odesa

Less than 2% of people call themselves Jewish in today's Odesa – against 44% in the early 1920s – but the resilient and humorous Jewish spirit still permeates every aspect of local life. Hidden inside a typical run-down courtyard with clothes drying on a rope and a rusty carcass of a prehistoric car, this modest but lovingly curated exhibition consists of items donated by Odessite families, many of whom have long emigrated to America or Israel.

Perhaps most touching is the photo of steamship Ruslan carrying the first Zionist settlers to Palestine in 1919, along with their immense hopes and terrible fears, both of which would soon materialise. English-language tours are available, but need to be arranged in advance.