Capital of Soviet Byelo-russia Has No Jewish Cultural Institutions

There are some 30,000 to 50,000 Jews living in Minsk, capital city of Byelo-Russia where the Nazis murdered 100,000 Jews during the last war, the New York Times reported today in a dispatch from that city. The Jews still make up almost 10 percent of the city’s population, the dispatch said.

Yiddish is still a living language among the Jews of Minsk and is frequently heard spoken on the streets among the adults. But there are no Yiddish books and Yiddish cultural institutions in the city, the Times said. Before the war there was a Yiddish school in Minsk, but there is none now.

The report asserted that 150 Jews attended Succoth services in Minsk’s only synagogue this week, and quoted Rabbi Yankele Gerber, its rabbi, as saying that for Yom Kippur the synagogue was packed and hundreds of worshippers stood around outside because they could not obtain entry. Rabbi Gerber said that most Jewish children in Minsk receive no religious education.

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