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Unfortunately, nearly two years ago, the Mikvah in Zhitomir became unusable due to unexpected circumstances, including the harsh weather of the region. As in all Jewish communities, the Mikvah was a fundamental sign of Jewish survival and life. We are now on a campaign to rebuild and revive the Mikvah and reinstate it as the core focus of the local Jewish community.
The Jewish Community of Zhitomir is still in charge of the widely oriented work. In addition to running of events, such as prayers and holidays, wedding and circumcision ceremonies, as well as other Hebrew religious rites, our Community exercises supervision over the various Jewish educational programs, in particular: the school and kindergarten for the Jewish children (180 kids), the Alumim Social Rehabilitation Center for the Jewish children (45 kids), Machon Chaya Mushka College (20 students) and Yaldei Menachem Heider (49 kids). During the past twenty years of activities, Zhitomir Jewish religious community together with a dedicated staff of Rabbis, teachers and other professionals, we have helped tens of thousands of Jews rediscover their connection to their heritage and people. We have helped hundreds extricate themselves from the shackles of abject poverty. We have established an extensive network of humanitarian and educational institutions, which cater to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of every individual. We strive to continue to expand our activities, and not to relax our efforts until we have provided every single Jew in Western Ukraine with the chance for a better future, strengthening his or her connection to the People of Israel, Torah of Israel and Land of Israel.
The Chief Rabbi of Zhitomir, Central and Western Ukraine Shlomo Wilhelm was born in Jerusalem, Israel, June, the 10th, 1969. He is the seventh child in the family of Hanna and Osher Wilhelm – the youngest from five brothers and two sisters. He studied untill the age of 13 at the heder in Jerusalem, then he had been studied at the yeshivah in the city of Lod from 13 to 16 years. In 1989 he came to the USA to study from Lubavichesky Rebbe and went on studying in the holy yeshivah “Tomchey Tmimim” where he gained a diploma of a rabbi in 1994. In 1993 he got married to Esther Liberman in New York.
In 1994 Lubavichesky Rebbe sent Rabbi Shlomo and Esther Wilhelm to Zhitomir as his messengers. He became the founder and spiritual leader of:
• Charitable foundation “Or Avner” (Zhitomir),
• Jewish high school “Or Avner”,
• Social-rehabilitation centre for Jewish children “Children’s Town”,
• College for girls “Machon Chaya Mushka”,
• Elementary school for children “Cheder “Yaldei Menachem””
• College for boys “Yeshiva “Menachem”
• Zhitomir Jewish Religious Community.
Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm and his wife raise 11 children.