This past week saw the official opening of Beit Graham, a magnificent new Jewish Community Center in the central Ukraine town of Krivoy Rog.
According to World Jewish Relief, in 2005, WJR adopted Krivoy Rog – a major steel town in Ukraine with a population of 12,000 Jews – as an ‘Our Town’ project, committing to fully support the Jewish community there. The JCC building, until recently a dilapidated site that was unfit for use, was purchased by WJR. Richard Graham, one of WJR’s major donors, generously committed to provide one third of the costs needed to complete the project.
Four years later, following dedicated fundraising efforts by WJR and its supporters to raise the remaining funds needed – including events run by the Gemini and Birmingham committees – the JCC can now act as a focal point for the Krivoy Rog community. The center offers exceptional facilities for welfare support, Jewish education and community life, including a computer center, concert hall and space for communal festival celebrations.
Speaking at the dedication Richard Graham had this to say, “This building is a gift to you from the Jews of England through World Jewish Relief. However this Centre has only come to fruition because of the remarkable achievements of the Krivoy Rog Jewish community itself in creating a vibrant Jewish life out of the ashes of the holocaust and the oppression of communism.”
The Americam Jewish Joint Distribution Committee were the WJR’s ‘partners on the ground’ for the project.