«Jewish Observer»
January 2002
5762 Tevet

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December 19 the Golden Hall of the Literature Museum in Odessa hosted an unusual celebration-the honoring of the American distribution committee "Joint". In the 40-50s in the USSR all Jews were considered its agents. The "Joint" was marking two jubilees at once: 80 years since the beginning of its activity in the Soviet Union (1921, Odessa), and 10 years since the renewal of its work in the USSR (again the first city became Odessa).

Naturally, there were many greetings. The official part included a welcoming speech by the executive director of the Odessa branch Meir Even. This was followed by the greetings from the "Joint" director for the CIS countries Amos Avgar, rabbis Abraham Volf, Shlomo Baksht, Joseph-Itshok Volf, Shalom Gotlib and Fishel Chechelnitsky... And from many, many others... The representatives of the Jewish organizations of the Southern region spoke in turn about their feelings towards the "Joint". As it turned out, over the past period the "Joint" managed to help if not everybody, then very and very many people. The audience could also learn (very briefly, of course) about the episodes of that first history of the "Joint". And, of course, there were many presents. From everybody who came. The presents were different, but one thing united them all - all of them were handed wholeheartedly.

Abraham Volf said in his speech that if the spouses have no children after 10 years of living together they should divorce. The "Joint" and the Odessa Jews after 10 joint years have so many nice children-projects that there can be no divorce at all.

After all congratulations the "Joint" guests enjoyed the festive concert by the "Migdal" center art groups. In general, the holiday was a success.


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