The Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, is building a towering community center with the backing of two local billionaires.
The center, which will cost between $60 million and $70 million, will be built around the city’s 19th century synagogue on Shalom Aleichem Street, local community leaders told JTA. The center includes seven towers that together give the impression of a terraced menorah. The nearly 400,000-square-foot Menorah Community Center will house a Holocaust museum, offices for local charities, a hotel and apartments for visiting Jewish community workers. The ambitious center is slated to be the largest Jewish building in the former Soviet Union, and could rival some of the largest Jewish buildings in the world. Two local billionaires and partners in the Privat Group industrial holding are funding the center’s construction. Gennady Bogolubov is funding the community center while Igor Kolomoysky has provided funding for the Holocaust museum. The building will be the headquarters of Bogolubov’s philanthropic foundation and also the Chabad-run Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine. Construction officially began on the center this week and community leaders hope to complete the building within two years. Dnepropetrovsk, home to between 10,000 and 30,000 Jews, is a tightly organized community under the leadership of Chabad Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky. The community has enjoyed close ties with the Boston Jewish community, which has provided guidance and funding for development projects for more than a decade.