‘Spice girl’ wows Odessa

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community -

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

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