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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Eastern Europe's Largest Holocaust™ Museum Opens In Ukraine (A Massive Twenty Story, 7 Tower Complex)

In advance of the grand opening of the Menorah Jewish Community Center and Holocaust Museum in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine on October 21, some 300 guests and dignitaries attended a preview of the center’s museum Monday, October 16. Joining Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki, Chief Rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk, were Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mr. Lev Leviev, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the CIS, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, of Lubavitch World Headquarters and Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein.
The seven-tower, twenty-story museum and center multiplex, built at an estimated $60 million, was spearheaded by Ukrainian businessmen and philanthropists Gennady Bogolubov, President of the Jewish Community of Dnepropetrovsk, and Igor Kolomoyskyi, President of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, European Jewish Union, and a member of the Supervisory Board of Dnepropetrovsk Jewish Community. The two men are partners in the international industrial firm Privat Group.
Kolomoyskyi, who funded the museum component of the multiplex, the largest in Eastern Europe, was personally involved in selecting many of the works on display.
The opening exhibition, “Wanderings of the Children of Israel,” and will illuminate the story of the Jewish Diaspora in Ukraine by artists from Ukraine, Germany and Israel.
According to museum organizer and curator Marina Shelest, the exhibition’s theme of Jewish wandering is essential to the story of its featured artists.
"Wanderings, voluntary or forced, are the biography of every Jew, and the artists that are represented in this show are no exception.”
While the center will help fill the spiritual and physical needs of Dnepropetrovsk’s 50,000 Jews and the broader Jewish community of the FSU, the Holocaust will serve as an important educational medium, teaching visitors about the region’s Jewish history.
In a 2008 interview with Lubavitch.com, Zelig Brez, executive director of the Jewish Community of Dnepropetrovsk, expressed his excitement for the role the museum will play for the entire population of Dnepropetrovsk. “The [museum] ... plays an important role in the development of the entire city. Today’s generation [of Ukrainians] has a very limited understanding of the Holocaust, and we must change that.”

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