JUDAISM

Great Dukes of Lithuania began inviting Jews to their lands in the 14th century. The Pale of Settlement introduced by Catherine the Great in 1794 limited Jewish settlements to the newly acquired lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. The Edicts of 1823 and 1882 prohibited Jews from settling outside cities and towns as well as from buying or renting land plots. In the first half of the 20th century, Jews accounted for between 30% and 50% of Minsk’s total population. During the World War II, at least 983,000 Jews were murdered on the territory of Belarus. This figure includes 85,000 Jews that were brought here from the Western Europe in order to face death in Belarusian ghettos, including the Minsk ghetto.

After the World War II, Judaism was not tolerated in USSR. Beginning from the late 1940s, Judaist communities were banned. In 1959, the Central Synagogue was closed in Minsk. Ulpans, or schools where Jews could learn Hebrew and their traditions, had to operate underground. No wonder Belarus became one of the main sources of Jewish emigration in 1989-91. Out of 39,000 Jews living in Minsk in 1989, only 5,000 stayed in 2009. Out of 112,000 Jews in Belarus in 1989, only 13,000 stayed in 2009. Currently, there are six Jewish communities in Minsk, three of them belonging to Progressive Judaism.

Main Minsk Synagogue

Main Minsk Synagogue
This community follows the so-called orthodox service, Litvak, the followers of the Vilna Gaon. On Sundays, the Jewish Sunday school of Lech Lecha program has classes here.
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  • Address: 13b Daŭmana St. Getting there: Bus 39, 154, 18, 26, tram 4, 5, 3 to Piarespa stop.
  • Contact data: 375 17 234-56-12, +375 17 234-33-60, +375 29 676 07 47
  • Website: evrei.by

Central Minsk Synagogue

Central Minsk Synagogue
Built in 2002 on the site of the 1910 synagogue, this synagogue works under the auspices of Lubavitch Hasidism.
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  • Address: 22 Krapotkina St. Getting there: take bus 39, 18, 26, 44, 136, 29, tram 3, 4, 5 to Teatralnaja stop or trolleybus 37, 46, 53, bus 38, 91 to Vulica Kamunistyčnaja stop.
  • Contact data: +375 17 334-22-73
  • Website: Central Minsk Synagogue

Congregation Brit Chadasha I

This community believes that Yeshua is a Messiah and accepts both the Old and New Testaments.
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Congregation Brit Chadasha II

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