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Many Jews lived in Odessa in first years of its founding. That’s why, in 1798, the first community and synagogue were built here. In 1855, after that the building at the corner of Yevreiska and Richelieuvska streets (architect F.Morandi) was rebuilt, the synagogue, which was situated, there became the Main city synagogue. Problems for the Jewish community of Odessa began under Soviet rule. In 1919, according to “The Decree about Religion” all property and documentation of the community officially became government propertys.
In 1923, at the request of the public, the synagogue was closed down. At first in its building the zoological museum was situated and then a children`s music theatre. After the Great Patriotic war it became a sports hall for Odessa’s Teachers College. 70 years passed before, in 1996, the Main Synagogue was returned to the Jewish community again. In recent years the Main Synagogue of Odessa has undergone much reconstruction: the bimah was reconstructed (the eminence where the Torah is read) and the mikuah was built. The kindergarten, the specialized school “Hor Sameah”, two boarding schools (for girls and boys) which work on the basis of charity and provide services without any payment were organized by the Jewish community.
Starting in 2003 a Jewish university started to work. Within the bounds of the community the full-valued system of Koshut was created, including shops of kosher food, kosher restaurants and cafes. As for the “Broudsky” synagogue, which was built in 1840 as the first Russian Reformed Choiris synagogue, it remains the property of government authorities. At present the national archives of Odessa Region are housed there.