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Oksana Bayul visits Odessa Jews

26 October 2007

Oksana Bayul is the Olympic champion in figure skating. In 1994 in Lillehammer (Norway) she became the first and remains by now the first Ukrainian figure-skater, the golden medal winner of Olympic Games.
It’s the second visit of famous sportsman to Odessa. Her first trip on the visit to Odessa Jews was in 2005 by invitation of Judaic religious community. Since that time she takes an active part in charitable programs to support Odessa community. Oksana Bayul came to Odessa as a member of delegation of American businessmen, which represents international charitable organization “Tikva Children’s Home” in USA. Today guests visited the schools and Jewish University, acting in frames of Odessa Jewish education complex “Tikva”-“Ohr Sameah”. And the day before they visited Odessa boarding schools, where more than 200 children live and are being brought up and educated. Many of these children come from unprivileged, poor and incomplete families.

- Stories of these children are very close to me, I understand what they feel, - says Oksana Bayul. – My own story is not very happy. My mother died when she was very young and I never knew my father (he left our family when I was small). I got acquainted with him when I was already 25, it was my first visit to Dnepropetrovsk after a long break. And after couple of years he died. It happened that I got to know from my father that I have Jewish roots: my mother’s mother was a Jew, it means me too. But it’s not the only reason for me to be connected with Odessa Jewish community “Tikva”: I see with my own eyes that here so much is done for the children to provide them with home, warmth, care – with everything they lack as well as I did. That’s why it’s so important for me to help children and to those who take care of them. And I also hope that when my life schedule is not as loaded as now and I’m able to pay more attention to myself, I will have my own kids, because it’s the biggest happiness for a woman. Children worth living for.

Oksana Bayul lives in USA. She continues going in for figure skating, performs in different ice shows and show-programs. At present she participates in preparation of Broadway show “At cold ice”. The plot of it is the story of a figure-skater, which has much in common with biography of the sportsman herself. “It’s not just biography, - stresses Oksana Bayul. – It’s what I want to say not only about myself, but also about figure skating, about everything connected to it, because it’s not just a sport”. This project became the first not only for the Olympic champion herself, but for everybody – there were no shows of this kind performed before. The first night is planned next year. Besides that, Oksana Bayul plans to conduct ice shows in Ukraine.

And in frames of her stay in Odessa famous sportsman will take part together with children in cultural program and sport competitions, in particular, on Sunday, 28 October, she will be on the ice of sport complex “L’dinka”. It was in Odessa that the future Olympic champion was training under guidance of Galina Zmiyevskaya and Valentin Nikolayev.




25 October 2007

Oksana Bayul came to Odessa as a member of delegation of American businessmen, which represent international charitable organization “Tikva Children’s Home” in USA. On the program: visiting of pre-school and school institutions of Odessa Jewish education complex “Tikva”-“Ohr Sameah”, in particular of boarding schools for girls and for boys which are part of the complex. This evening the guests visited several unprivileged and poor families, children from which are being brought up in Odessa Jewish boarding schools.

It’s planned that Oksana Bayul together with pupils of Odessa Jewish education complex “Tikva”-“Ohr Sameah” will take part in cultural program and sport competitions in particular, on Sunday, 28 October, she will be on the ice of sport complex “L’dinka”. It was in Odessa that the future Olympic champion was training under guidance of Galina Zmiyevskaya and Valentin Nikolayev.
In 1994 in Lillehammer (Norway) she became the first and by now she remains the first Ukrainian figure-skater, the golden medal winner of Olympic games.
It’s the second visit of famous sportsman to Odessa. Her first visit to Odessa Jews was in 2005 by invitation of Judaic religious community. Since that time she takes an active part in charitable programs to support Odessa community.


REFERENCE. Odessa Judaic religious community is one of the biggest and dynamically developing Jewish communities of CIS and Eastern Europe. Its active built-up started in 1992-1993, when the community was headed by Shlomo Baksht (chief rabbi of Odessa and Odessa region), who was invited from Israel by Odessa believers.

When creating the community infrastructure, besides restitution of religious institutions, return of Central Odessa synagogue (1996) and massive reconstruction of this historical and architectural monument, special attention was paid to organization of branched education system, which combines Jewish religious tradition and achievements of modern pedagogy.

In frames of education complex “Tikva”-“Ohr Sameah” at present there are: kindergarten, elementary school, schools for boys and for girls (including two branches in different districts of Odessa), Jewish University, boarding schools, where children (today there are more than 200) are at full board. Totally about 1000 children study at pre-school and school institutions, and more than 220 students study at Jewish University.

In frames of the community complete system of kashrut, including the shop of kosher products, kosher restaurant and café were created. Also many educational, charitable, culturological, media projects are being realized. Traditional for Odessa, Jewish community is integrated to life of the city and develops international connections: representations of charitable organization “Tikva Children’s Home” were created and work actively in Israel, USA, Great Britain and Hungary.

"Tikva"

Tikva Children's Home