The Jewish Odessa tour explores the phenomenon of the Jewish Odessa. “Star in Exile” for an Eastern European Jew in the 19th century. The center of the Haskalah and Zionism. In hundred years Odessa became the third largest Jewish city in the world.

On this Jewish Odessa tour we explore the fascinating history of Odessa’s Jewry since the city’s founding till modern days. By car and on foot we visit sights, connected with Shalom Aleichem, Isaac Babel and Hayim Nahman Bialik. Ze’ev Jabotinsky created the best description of the turn-of-the twentieth century Odessa in his novel «The Five». This tour takes you to see some of the places described in the book.

We visit the Jewish temples – the Great Choral and Shomrei Shabbos Synagogues. We talk about Odessa’s Zionists, including the first mayor of Tel Aviv Meir Dizengoff. Interested in seeing the location of Odessa’s Palestine Committee? We visit it.  We explore some of the darkest sides of Odessa’s Jewish history – pogroms and Holocaust.

But more importantly, we not just visit the sights. Our guides skillfully tell the story of the Jewish Odessa, covering spiritual, religious and business aspects. We talk of the evolvement of the local Jewish community from old to modern days.

The two contrasting phrases – “To live like God in Odessa” and “The fires of hell burn for 7 miles around Odessa” originated among the Ashkenazi Jews about the nineteenth century Odessa. Odessa welcomed Jews. Yet the first riot against the Jews in the Russian Empire happened here. Paradise in the eyes of some, the city was a hotbed of depravity in the eyes of others. Odessa enthusiastically embraced the Haskalah, yet later became home to Zionism.

Jewish Odessa is a phenomenon that attracts historians, researchers and ordinary travelers. Despite WW2 and decades of anti-Semitism under the Soviet regime, the city preserved a lot of its Jewish sights, which we explore by foot and car.

Aah, and if you’ve read the famous Edmund de Waal’s bestseller “The Hare with Amber Eyes” and keen on walking in the footsteps of the Ephrussis, then you should definitely take our Jewish Odessa tour!


“Olga’s English was fluent, and although she is not herself Jewish, her pronunciation of Jewish and Hebrew terms was flawless. She was a knowledgeable and charming guide. It was altogether a fine tour, wide ranging and very attractively priced.”


5 hrs


On foot and by car


*Main City Synagogue

*Shomrei Shabbos synagogue

*Brodsky synagogue

*Isaac Babel statue

*Memorial to the 1905 pogrom victims

*Jewish cemetery

*Holocaust memorial

*Odessa’s Palestine Committee building

*Ze’ev Jabotinsky plaque

*Building of Talmud-Tora

*Buildings of Jewish charity organizations

These are just some of the sights included into the tour. Email us for the complete tour itinerary and price.