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Belarus

  • Burying Jewish Dead in Belarus a Problem After Cemetery Dispute

    The Jewish cemetery in the Belarusian city of Mogilev has been closed — but Jews are still being buried there. The issue involving the cemetery began last year, after local authorities decided to open the burial grounds to non-Jews. “Each day, new burial places are made over old Jewish bones,” said Naum Ioffe, chairman of… More ▸

  • Judaism Deemed a ‘traditional Faith’ in Belarus, but Law Still Worries Some

    The Jewish community in Belarus is split over a new religion bill that gives some religions — including Judaism — certain privileges denied to others. At least one major Jewish religious organization, the Jewish Religious Union of the Republic of Belarus, an Orthodox group, voiced its support of the bill passed Oct. 2. The bill… More ▸

  • Righteous Gentiles in Belarus Part of Local Jewish Community

    Vanda Skuratovich is rambling on about her favorite subject: her unyielding devotion to Catholicism. She refers to Mother Mary as her savior and she dwells on the importance of baptism. All of this seems normal enough until the 76-year-old Belarussian proudly unveils a poster-size family photograph of 64 Jews. “This is my family,” says Skuratovich,… More ▸

  • Belarus Isn’t Fighting Anti-semitism, Leader Says After Shul is Firebombed

    A Jewish leader in Belarus is expressing fear and frustration following the firebombing of a Minsk synagogue late last month. “Jews once more felt themselves completely unprotected,” said Yakov Basin, one of the leaders of Belarus’ 60,000-strong Jewish community. On the final night of Chanukah in late December, unidentified arsonists smashed windows and threw a… More ▸

  • Neo-nazi Activists Suspected After Belarus Shul is Vandalized

    Vandals have attacked a synagogue in Minsk, according to Jewish leaders in the capital of the former Soviet republic of Belarus. In the attack, which occurred on April 12 and coincided with the Orthodox Christian Easter, the arsonists set fire to the entrance of the Dauman Street Synagogue and the slogan “Bash the Yids, Save… More ▸

  • Belarus Radio Promotes Anti-semitic ‘protocols’

    The world’s most famous anti-Semitic fabrication is back. Sections of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” were quoted recently on a show broadcast over Belarussian state radio. The show, titled, “The Sacred and the Profane,” called on the listeners to judge the authenticity of the “The Protocols” from its predictions about the current political… More ▸

  • Belarus May Supply Arms to Nations Hostile to Israel

    Belarus might become an arms supplier to the Middle East. The president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, recently wrapped up a trip to Tehran and Damascus during which he said he welcomed increased cooperation between the former Soviet republic and the two countries. Some experts worry that Belarus, which has been increasingly ruled with an iron… More ▸

  • Rabbi Arrested in Belarus

    An American rabbi who once held a title of chief rabbi of Belarus spent a day behind the bars in Belarus last week for allegedly trying to smuggle valuable Hebrew books out of the former Soviet republic. Rabbi Velvl Tabak was arrested on Wednesday and released on bail the following day, according to Yuri Dorn,… More ▸

  • Reform Group in Belarus Gets a Torah from Oklahoma

    A Reform congregation in Belarus has received a Torah scroll as a gift from its sister congregation in Oklahoma. The scroll, which the Minsk congregation Simcha received in a ceremony in the Belarussian capital last week, is being kept at a private apartment. Simcha is the only Reform congregation in Belarus to have its own… More ▸