‘Spice girl’ wows Odessa
WHEN BERTHA Pogrebinsky left Odessa 100 years ago, a silver havdalah box was among treasured possessions she took with her.
Now the spice box has been returned to the Odessa community by her granddaughter Sue Finer during a fact-finding trip to the city by 11 Edgware Reform Synagogue members.
The party visited Edgware’s newly-twinned communityof TempleEmanu-el, which in 11 years, has grown from 20 members to more than 300. Leaders want to open a kind e r g a r - t e n a n d r e c l a i m t h e s t u n - ning Brody Synag o g u e building, which is now a government archive.
Edgware Reform’s Rabbi Danny Smith joined the Progressive Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, Alexander Dukhovny, in officiating at a Shabbat morning service.
“It was very moving to see Judaism coming back to life in a city that once enjoyed such a vibrant and varied Jewish existence,” Rabbi Smith observed.
The spice box was presented to Rabbi Dukhovny, along with a shofar and a leather-bound siddur. Ms Finer said it would have given her grandmother “great pleasure to have a little piece of her l i f e back i n beautiful Odessa”.
The spice box that was returned to Odessa