Dive into the past and present of the Jewish community of Kiev. This tour explores the monuments, buildings, and stories of the city’s relationship with its Jewish residents as well as the individuals who have left their mark on Kievan Jewish history. This guided visit presents their turbulant history from the 18th and 19th centuries during which the community knew great prosperity and status to the tragic events of both Soviet Ukraine and the National Socialist regime spreading throughout Europe during the 20th century. Kiev, aswell as other major cities in Ukraine, have always been home to many Jews, with one of the most thriving Jewish populations in Europe residing in the Ukrainian capital in the 1800s, especially in the Podil business district. It was during this time that most of Kiev’s synagogues were established by private investors, with their real purpose often hidden from the Christian authorities, explaining the subtleness of their architecture and with both the Central and Podil synagogues appearing more like theatres than anything else. At the turn of the 20th century, discrimination towards the Jewish community intensified with both the Soviet era and the rise of National Socialism presenting their own challenges. During this time synagogues were closed, used for other purposes, such as horse stables or puppet theatres, or destroyed and their persecution reached its peak in the 1940s with the heartwrenching events at the Babiy Jar gorge, where one of the bloodiest series of murders took place at the hands of SS officers. The tour will end looking at the legacy left by Kievan Jews in the world, with a visit to the birthplace of Sholem Aleichem, famed for inspiring the hit musical ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’. This tour is inspiring, informative and heartbreaking in equal measure. Any questions? Our team of travel experts are ready to help you. This tour can be booked securely in advance online. Just add it to your travel list!

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