EDRS/Emanu-El Recipe Book

Food is central to Jewish Life all over the world and this prompted us to create a joint recipe book with our twinned Synagogue in Odessa, Ukraine incorporating recipes from members of both communities.

Please click to download a copy.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed recipes and hope that you enjoy trying them out.   We hope to periodically update the book with new recipes and photos.  If you have anything to add please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Mitzvah Day 2014 – a good news story from Ukraine

Our twinned community in Odessa took part in their third Mitzvah Day.  Also children from both communities carried out a Havdalah project, with EDRS kids making Kiddush cups and children in Odessa making candles and showing each-other their work and singing together via Skype. Like EDRS, Emanu-El held a community tea.  Members of our twinned community also  cleaned the homes of elderly people.   This video shows a dance event which Emanu-El members held with young people with Downs Syndrome.  It is lovely for there to be a good news story coming from Ukraine!!



International Music Fest

On Sunday 2 November 75 people attended the International Music Fest held at EDRS supporting our twinned community in Odessa.  

We were entertained by Moishe Tamir who sang an eclectic mix of music in different languages with the audience joining in with the singing and some dancing.  The highlight of the evening was the ‘Bottle Dance’ where several people attempted to balance a bottle on their heads.

Read more: International Music Fest


Odessa Twinning Group - Forthcoming Activities

Matzah Ramble

Tuesday Night Film Club - Fill the Void


Read more: Odessa Twinning Group - Forthcoming Activities


EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa - member's report 2


This was my third visit to Kiev, and I arrived a week before the rest of the Odessa Twinning Group (OTG), this time to explore the city the city and its inhabitants more thoroughly.  My guide was my good friend Leonid Dermain.  The road signs were in Cyrillic, although following the recent European Football Championships travelling by metro was made a little easier this time because the station names were now also in Latin characters and numbered.  Even though Leonid lost his job because of his asthmatic problems I tried not to interrupt his usual routine.  

Read more: EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa - member's report 2


EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa - member's report 1


This was my first visit to Ukraine and found the trip both enlightening and emotional.  I had not realised how much Jewish life there had been before the war in both Kyiv and Odessa.
Our visit started in Kiev.  On the Wednesday morning we made our way by Metro to Babi Yar.  Babi Yar means deep ravine and this was where the Jews of Kyiv were told to gather before being taken away.  They believed that they were going to work camps but instead, whilst they were standing at the edge of the ravine, they were shot and pushed into the deep ravine. Just before the liberation all of the corpses were burnt in an attempt to hide the atrocities.  One of the extremely interesting things that I learnt was that before all of those happenings the area was quite barren.  Since then it has become extremely fertile with trees, a park plus many sculptures and a large menorah in memory of everyone who perished.  At the end of our tour of Babi Yar Rabbi Alex Duchovny, Chief Progressive Rabbi of Ukraine, led us in saying Kaddish.

Read more: EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa - member's report 1


EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa

29th October – 3rd November 2013

We will be spending 2 nights in Kiev then travelling to Odessa where we will spend 3 nights with our twinned community Emanu-El, Odessa
Experience Shabbat in Odessa, visit the opera or ballet, and see Jewish monuments and plaques.
For further information about this exciting trip please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone the Synagogue Office on 020 8238 1000


Read more: EDRS visit to Kiev and Odessa


Ode to Odessa - Video

The Odessa Twinning Group of the Emanu-El Community in Odessa, Ukraine with EDRS at a concert in London, Summer 2012.

Read more: Ode to Odessa - Video


First visit of its twin community,

EDRS celebrate twinning with visit from Odessa community

July 2012, London: During June 2012, Edgware and District Reform Synagogue (EDRS) proudly celebrated the first visit of its twin community, the Emanu-El congregation in Odessa, Ukraine with an ‘Odessa Week’.

During a seven-day, reciprocal visit, organized following EDRS’s inaugural visit to the community in Odessa in June 2011, a delegation from Emanu-El participated in a wide variety of activities alongside the EDRS community.  The Emanu-El community was founded in 2000 and has grown from 20 to 250 members having moved to new premises in 2010.

Read more: First visit of its twin community,


EDRS Visit to Odessa June 2011

In June 2011, 11 people from EDRS and one from a previous twinning in Kiev visited Emanu-El.  The trip included shabbat services, touring Odessa to discover it’s Jewish heritage past and present and learning about Emanu-El’s plans for the future.

Read more: EDRS Visit to Odessa June 2011


The Brodsky Synagogue

At the beginning of 19th century, a large number of Reform Jews moved to Odessa from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, mostly from the town Brody. In 1863 the Brodsky Reform Jews built a new synagogue in Odessa, it was named Brodsky Synagogue and was the first Reform synagogue in the Russian Empire.

The Synagogue was well known in the city because of its chazans and the choristers were famous singers from the Odessa Opera Theatre.  Progressive Judaism was popular among Odessa Jews and the Brodsky Synagogue became a cultural as well as a religious centre.

Read more: The Brodsky Synagogue

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