The BBC dubbed Dnepropetrovsk a city of contrasts, illustrated nicely in a video featuring the clipped tones of an announcer over traditional prayer sounds indicative of any synagogue from Brooklyn to Brisbane.

Dnipro, as the Ukrainian city is known to locals, attracted a BBC film crew last month for its “One Square Mile” program, resulting in a 10-minute video showcasing Dnepropetrovsk’s brand-new Jewish community center constructed by Chabad-Lubavitch leaders and the community’s president, philanthropist Gennady Bogolubov. Resembling a giant Chanukah menorah, the center is reportedly the largest such complex in the world.

Jewish history buffs better know the riverside city by its original name, Yekaterinoslav. Once a hub of Chasidic life, the city was the boyhood home of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

The BBC discussed the new community center with its director, Zelig Brez, who in the words of “One Square Mile” producer Allie Wharf, “described the centre as the fulfillment of a long-held dream.”

“Today, he says, his children have total freedom to practice their religion and don’t believe his stories of persecution and oppression,” explains Wharf. “He shared with us his memories of growing up under the Soviet system where Jews were constantly discriminated against.”