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Polotsk - Belarus

During 2009 the Polotsk Jewish Community lost most of the support funding that it had been receiving from many Jewish charities and they were struggling to maintain themselves.

FRS started working with Polotsk in 2009 and became twinned with the community in January 2010.  

Since then we have visited many times, we have developed good relations with many people in the community. Our madrichimot have been there to run summer camp and we have had visits to London from the Polotsk madrichimot. We have helped the community to develop and feel supported. Culturally it is a fascinating link. Polotsk is in the Vitebsk region of Belarus, and Vitebsk was the home of artist Marc Chagall. Polotsk was also home to the parents of violinist Jascha Heifetz.

The FRS Belarus Project is an interdependent partnership which impacts beneficially on both the FRS Community and the Polotsk Jewish community in northern Belarus in equal measure.

Many of our members have close links to Polotsk and some have visited the community or helped to run fundraisers and volunteered their time.

Our support for Polotsk enables them to have a community centre where they hold weekly Kabbalat Shabbat services, community events and B’nei Mitzvah.

They have an active and growing Sunday school with regular attendance and they celebrate the festivals throughout the year.

Thanks to the efforts of the FRS Belarus project in providing them with tools to help their skills develop, the community’s Hebrew ability is improving rapidly. All of these developments are being made possible because of support from FRS members. It truly is a lifeline and is showing that, through our efforts, a Jewish community in Belarus is becoming a reality.

Wed, 12 June 2024 6 Sivan 5784