Odessa Jewish Heritage Virtual Tour

Odessa Jewish Heritage Virtual Tour Part 1. The City of Dreams

Join us for Odessa Jewish Heritage virtual tour to explore the phenomenon of Jewish Odessa. Odessa was founded in 1794 on the Black Sea coastline, which at that time belonged to the Russian Empire. The city became the third-largest Jewish city in the world in the early 1900s. Learn why Jews moved to Odessa from different parts of Eastern and Central Europe. Who were the early Jewish settlers? Why was Odessa called the “star in exile” for Russian Jews?

During this Zoom tour, you’ll take a virtual stroll around Odessa’s old town. Uncover the history of the Jewish community from the city’s founding until the late 19th century. Marvel at the Brodsky and Main Choral Synagogues, follow in the footsteps of the Ephrussi family, as described in the novel “The Hare with Amber Eyes,” and see the address where modern Israel was born.

This live tour offers a captivating look at the rich Jewish history of Odessa, providing valuable insights into the city’s vibrant and diverse Jewish community and its impact on the region’s cultural and economic development.

Part 2. Jewish Intellectuals in Odessa

Join Part 2 of the Jewish Odessa series to discover how Odessa became a significant political, cultural, and educational center for the Jews of the Russian Empire.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish youth flocked to the city to study in numerous public and private schools established by the community and the government. Jewish intellectuals were drawn to Odessa by the city’s numerous opportunities.

Learn about the Jewish Enlightenment movement, known as the Haskalah, in Odessa. Follow in the footsteps of early Zionists, such as Ahad Ha’am and Leo Pinsker, and marvel at the synagogue once known as the “Synagogue of Zionists,” which is now a Chabad Lubavitch center. Find out what led Jewish intellectuals to leave the city and move to Palestine at the dawn of the 20th century.

Finally, explore Odessa as depicted by the prominent Jewish revolutionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky in his novel The Five, which offers a captivating portrayal of the city’s vibrant Jewish community during this transformative period.

Odessa Jewish Heritage Virtual Tour Part 3. Odessa Jews In WW2

Join Part 3 of the Jewish Odessa series to uncover the most devastating period for the Odessa Jewry, the Nazi and Romanian occupation during World War II. Visit the Holocaust Memorial, created through the private initiative of an honorable Odessa citizen. Hear the story of Odessans who saved Jews during the war, including a doctor known as the “Odessa Schindler.”

This Zoom tour will take you to the area of the first Jewish ghetto, established in 1942. See the place where the Natzis burnt 24,000 Jews and Red Army soldiers in four wooden barracks.

Learn about the impact of this tragic period on Odessa’s Jewry and how it is commemorated today. Discover the stories of Odessa’s Holocaust survivors and their resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Part 4. Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Jewish Odessa

The turn of the twentieth century marked a fascinating yet controversial period in Odessa’s history. A popular phrase in the Russian Empire, “revolution belongs to Trotsky, tea – to Vysotsky, sugar – to Brodsky,” accurately captured the state of affairs in Odessa at the time. Jewish youth were joining various revolutionary groups. Jewish merchants like the Vysotskys and Brodskys controlled most of the city’s business and trade. With the Jewish population reaching thirty-three percent of the locals, Odessa had become the third-largest Jewish city in the world.

However, the tragic events of the 1905 Jewish pogrom changed the lives of many local Jews.  The pogrom led to mass emigration to different parts of the world.

Join Olga on this virtual tour to explore the captivating turn-of-the-twentieth-century Jewish Odessa. She’ll discuss the Jewish merchant elite, including the Brodskys and the Vysotskys, two of the wealthiest families in Odessa and the Russian Empire.

You’ll learn what brought the legendary revolutionary Trotsky to Odessa. Delve into the events of the notorious 1905 pogrom that forced thousands of Jews to leave. Many of these emigrants made New York their new home, comparing it to Odessa but “without the Tsar and the Cossacks.”

Finally, you’ll experience Odessa through the eyes of the legendary Jewish revolutionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Odessa born, he  provided the best dipiction of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Odessa in his novel “The Five.”


Each part lasts 1 hr 30 min, including live Q&A


Pre-recorded Zoom-based video tour with the guide's live narration and a live Q&A


Email us for the complete tour itinerary and price.