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  • Behind the Headlines: Belarus Jews Remaining Calm Amid Rising Political Turmoil

    The Jews of Belarus are keeping a low profile in the wake of a crackdown on political dissent and free speech, according to community leaders and activists in this former Soviet republic. In this respect, they say, the Jewish community is not unlike the majority of the nation’s population. “Jews are not involved in politics… More ▸

  • Belarus Jewish Statement on Anti-semitism Published

    The Jewish community of Belarus has issued a statement calling on the government to condemn recent anti-Semitic acts in the country. The statement was adopted earlier this month by the Association of Jewish Communities of Belarus, but was only released last week. In the statement, the association said it had reacted with alarm to the… More ▸

  • Belarus Jews Now Unsure About Arson Attack Motive

    An incident that Jewish leaders in Belarus thought was an act of anti-Semitism has created something of a quandary. On Jan. 1, vandals set fire to the vacation cottage of Mikhail Nordshtein, editor of Aviv, the monthly Jewish newspaper published in the capital of Minsk. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, leaders of the… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines: Belarus Jews Express Concern over New Powers for President

    A controversial referendum giving Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko virtually unlimited powers has heightened the feeling of uncertainty among many of the country’s Jews. “The situation is very unclear,” said Boris Ozersky, director of the Belarus Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities. For now, many in the community are taking a wait-and-see approach. “Jewish history has… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Belarus Jews Fear Country Headed Toward Dictatorship

    The Jews of Belarus, like many others here, are fearful that they will have a dictatorship by the end of the year. A crisis broke out in the spring, when this former Soviet republic’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, unveiled a plan to hold a national referendum on expanding his powers and extending his term into the… More ▸

  • Belarus Assures Jewish Heads: Anti-semitism is Unacceptable

    The government of Belarus has assured visiting Jewish leaders that the country would not tolerate anti-Semitism. In a series of historic meetings, President Alyadsandr Lukashenka and Prime Minister Mikhail Chigir also said that previously Jewish-owned properties would be returned to the Jewish community. If a specific site cannot be returned, an alternative site will be… More ▸

  • Representatives of Belarus and Jews Mark Destruction of Minsk Ghetto

    Representatives of Jewish organizations and officials of the government of Belarus met last week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Nazi liquidation of the Jewish ghetto of Minsk. Pyotr Kravchanka, the foreign minister of Belarus, formerly known as Byelorussia, served as host for a series of government-sponsored ceremonies that included the unveiling of a… More ▸

  • Peres Pays a Nostalgic Visit to His Birthplace in Belarus

    Shimon Peres made a nostalgic trip back to his birthplace here this week, a town of 450 souls about 55 miles from Minsk. Obviously touched and excited, the Israeli foreign minister told the villagers that he could still remember the smell of the nearby woods and the sight of the river bank near the town… More ▸