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  • 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 ▸

  • Nazis or Communists? Belarus Probes World War Ii-era Murders

    Belarus has reopened an investigation into a series of mass executions of the country’s citizens during the World War II era. The move came after a member of the original investigative team was quoted as saying the results of that inquiry were falsified. One official has suggested that Nazi units — not Stalin’s secret police,… More ▸

  • Jewish School Opposed in Belarus

    A group of teen-agers have protested the presence of a Jewish Sunday school in a Belarussian town near the capital of Minsk. The demonstrators at the recent rally in Borisov — most of whom were high school students — attempted to prevent the Jewish students from attending classes. Some of the protesters held banners reading… More ▸

  • 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 ▸