Virtual Insider Trips Odesa

for RSJ young professionals

10 hours over 5 days

October 18-22, 2020

The JDC (“Joint”) helped so many of our families leave the Soviet Union, but did you know they also stuck around and partnered with local communities across the Former Soviet Union to reclaim their ancestral Jewish roots? Join JDC Entwine and a cohort of fellow Russian Speaking Jewish young professionals to experience Odesa through the lens of these communities and JDC’s humanitarian and Jewish renewal work in the region. In the span of a few hours on a Sunday and then lunch and happy hours during the week, you’ll explore Ukraine’s sights, sounds, and tastes by way of interactive experiences—and you might just get to know yourself a little bit better too. 


This project has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group. 



This is a subsidized price made possible by the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group, as the actual costs are $85 per person. The price of this virtual trip goes towards local speakers and guides as well as cultural activities.

virtual trip

  • Take a virtual look at Odesa, a vibrant city full of rich history and world known cultural landmarks. 
  • Follow the writings of Isaac Babel to the port of Odesa that existed a century ago and discover a fascinating world filled with Jewish gangsters, thieves and hustlers.  
  • Taste the flavors of Odesa through a cooking class with a local chef and learn how to prepare classic Odessan dishes born out of Jewish culinary traditions. Bon Appetit! Priatnova Appetita! 
  • Learn from JDC staff working with the Odesa community about how the organization is helping the Jewish community rebuild from the traumas of the past.   
  • Meet local Jewish young adults who are leading the renewal of Jewish life and hear the challenges and opportunities facing young people in Ukraine today.  

JDC is investing in the growth of thriving Jewish communities that are able to support themselves and their most vulnerable members.

What is a Virtual Insider Trip FAQ

Am I able to participate if I cannot attend all the sessions? 

Our expectations for joining an Entwine Virtual Insider Trip are that participants will be available for the entire program. Typically, this consists of about 10 hours over the course of five days. We have worked closely with our staff in the regions to craft a full experience and each component contributes to the overall goals of our program. If the timing does not work out for you, no problem! We will find another trip you can join that works with your schedule. 


What is the anticipated time commitment of this program and do I need to take days off work to participate? 

Entwine Virtual Insider Trips typically run from Sunday to Thursday and require a time commitment of about 10 hours. The bulk of the sessions will take place on Sunday and there will be about 1.5 hours of programming on each of the weekdays. Weekday programs will typically take place between the hours of 12-1:30 PM ET and  5-8:00 PM ET. Your need to take off work will depend on your schedule and timezone. For those based outside of North America, no fear- we plan to run trips to accommodate different time zones later this year!”


What materials/ technology do I need to join the trip ? 

Our primary platform will be Zoom. You will need to join from a computer with a web camera in order to access many of the interactive features being utilized. We will also use WhatsApp to communicate with the group.  


Can I participate if I have already traveled with JDC Entwine to Odesa?  

Yes! We welcome new applicants as well as alumni on our Virtual Insider Trips. 


Does participating in this program preclude me from being able to participate in a future in-person trip? 

Entwine’s goal is to ensure that all participants in our programs take the learning from the experience and apply it to their local communities. One of the things we look for in returning applicants/alumni is how they were able to bring their global experience home. You are more than welcome to apply to any future trips and we are excited to see how you have taken this experience with you so that we can properly assess if another Entwine program is a good fit. 


Who can join a Virtual Insider Trip?

Insider Trips for Young Professionals are open to post-college age individuals. Participants generally range in age from early 20s through late 30s.

About JDC in Ukraine

Ukraine is home to the 3rd largest Jewish community in Europe and the 5th largest in the world. Like much of former Soviet Jewry, Ukraine’s Jews have survived pogroms and the Holocaust, and outlasted Communist Jewish oppression. Today, as the country struggles with economic turmoil and an aging infrastructure, its Jewish community is growing, working tirelessly to assist its needy and to foster leadership among its most dedicated. JDC re-entered Ukraine to rebuild the shattered remnants of Jewish life following the fall of the Soviet Union. Faced with the acute suffering of Jews made vulnerable by the difficult political and economic transition, including the hyperinflation of the early 1990s, JDC provided critical food, medicine, and other support that continues as a hallmark in the region.

JDC’s COVID-19 Response

The coronavirus pandemic has created a public health crisis unprecedented in most of our lifetimes, leading to vast emergency humanitarian needs worldwide. As the global Jewish 9-1-1, JDC’s 106 years of expertise and experience responding to crises is needed more than ever. Right now, we are addressing emerging needs and helping communities adjust to this new reality, and ensuring that JDC workers around the world can continue to serve the tens of thousands of people who depend on us every day. Every day, disadvantaged Jews around the world depend on JDC for lifesaving services including homecare and basic necessities like food and medicine. In this new reality, they face even greater struggles and JDC is working to ensure our vital services continue and additional needs are addressed. In North Africa, JDC is providing ongoing assessment of risk and community needs, as well as crisis management planning for the many needy and vulnerable community members.

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