Aug 9, 2018 - Lviv, Ukraine

We arrived in Ukraine this afternoon and was met by our Tour Guide and Interpreter Diane Borysenko  ( email ) for the duration of our trip to Volyn.

Lviv is the provincial capitol of Galicia that supported a large Jewish population, but not my relatives. However, we were amused by / and enjoyed our Jewish sites tour of Lviv. There are signs of past Jewish life through out the city, especially in the Jewish quarter.

We visited the only active Synagogue in the city where we were hosted by two of the Hasidic Rabbi’s young children at about 6 (girl) and 8 (boy) years old. They showed me their favorite collection of their father including a small sailing ship and a bird house that looked like a small village house of the 1800’s. I mistakenly shared a video of baby birds on my deck, upon which they grabbed my phone and began playing games I’d allowed Phyllis’ “niece”, Gracie to put on my phone including “nail salon”, “movie star”, and “superstar”. Nail Salon was by far the biggest hit.

We also visited the only other still standing Synagogue, but in desperate need of repair and funding.

Anyway, Lviv has shops where Yiddish signs still grace the shop entrances, holes where mezuzahs once existed, and of course plaques a monuments to Jews, Jewish life, and the Nazi established Lviv Ghetto and guard tower.

Rappaport Hospital:

We even found Sholem Aleichem (Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich) slept here signs and tributes. Oy!

We ate dinner at a Jewish themed resturant where they served “Jewish Fare” mostly Israeli with the ritual washing of hands, matzah instead of bread, and decor devoted to pictures and artifacts from Jewish life. They had no prices on the menu, so you could “bargain” for the cost of your meal ... and they sold souvenirs, some that had stereotyped figures. Double Oy!

Poland 1 - Ukraine 2
... but who’s keeping score.


Jewish Population:
1910: 57,000 (28% of 206,100 population)

Lviv is the 7th largest city in Ukraine. It is the administrative center in western Ukraine with more than a millennium of history as a settlement, and over seven centuries as a city.