chagall3.jpg (123596 bytes)   Jewish Belarus

   In XIII century the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was born in the Belarusian lands - a multi-lingual, multi-ethnical commonwealth that has produced a unique Renaissance Culture in the following centuries. Jews arrived to Belarus already in XIII c. when a system of towns was already well established here. Ever since Jews were a vital ingredient of a multicultural ethnos that has been thriving in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later Belarus. Jewish artists of Belarus have left a precious heritage of their paintings documenting for us a unique inner world of the Jewish Belarus.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The article about Litvaks (Belarusian and Lithuanian Jewish ethnos)   by Saul Issroff. The article has appeared originally in Shemot,  Vol. 3,  No 3.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) LitvagSIG - a site about litvaks and for litvaks. Unfortunately, folks over there have chosen to believe that modern Lithuania is the same state as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the state in which litvaks were formed as an ethnical entity). And yet in 1940, when Vil'na was given from Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic to Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic by Stalin, there were around 5% of Vilna citizen, who spoke Lithuanian. Even later, when USSR had fallen apart, Vilna (Vilnius) citizen were considering options of joining Belarus, joining Poland, standing as an independent state and different degrees of autonomy in the Lithuania.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Mayne Zikhroynes (Remembrances) by Yekheskl Kotik. Translated by Lucas Bruyn. Read here about life of Litvaks in Belarus from one of the first Yiddish writers. Yekheskl (Ezekiel) Kotik (1847-1921), was born in Kamenets-Litovsk, Belarus He is mainly known for his two-volume memoirs "Mayne Zikhroynes" (1913-1914). In the first volume of his memoirs the author describes his childhood in Kamenets; in the second volume his life in Belarus and several cities in Russia proper.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The History of Belarusian Jewry by Alex Friedman, School of History, Belarusian State University, Minsk.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Jews in Belarus by Chaim (Dmitriy) Levit

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The Paris School: Jewish artists from Belarus.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The Art School of Iehuda Pen in Vitebsk.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Mark Chagall - Belarusian artist from Vitebsk.
    The houses and churches and clothing of the personages
     in Chagall's pictures are not just any houses - they are Belarusian ones.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Some notes on Judazantism - a reformation religious movement started in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Federation of Jewish Communities of Belarus - dozens of contact addresses in different regions of Belarus.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Shtetlinks website from Jewishgen genealogical service contains nice descriptions of the history of some of the Belarusian Shtetls - small towns and villages around Belarus with predominantly Jewish population.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Jewish Partisans of Belarus during WWII. History of Bielski Brigade

A documentary celebrating the legacy of The Bielski Brothers - "The Bielski Brothers: Jerusalem In The Woods" - premieres in the U.S. on The History Channel on Sunday, November 12 at 4PM EST. Bielski brothers saved more than 1,200 of their fellow Jews from perishing in the Holocaust - as many as Oscar Schindler, - the largest rescue of Jews by Jews in all of World War II

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Hassids in Belarus of Early 20th Century. Read the story of Kurenetz shtetle.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Jewish Human Relations Club "The Friends’ House" in Vitebsk, Belarus.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Yom Hashoah. The Ivye Project: A Lost World Remembered. A dance/theater
performance remembering and honoring the pre-war life of the shtetl Ivye staged in the forest of Belarus, Eastern Europe.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) What do Simon Kuznets, Lev Vygotski, Robert Pinski, Marc Chagall, Simon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Menahem Begin, Oskar Milash and Kirk Douglas  have in common? They all come from Belarus. Take a look at this site listing Famous Belarusians.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Jews on the walls of Belarusian cities - an article in "Nasha Niva" (in Belarusian) about participation of Jews in military self-defense in Belarus by Henadz' Sahanovich.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Jewish guide and genealogy in Poland 
Poland, Krakow, Kazimierz, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Shtetl with a jewish, privat guide. Jewish genealogy and travel in Poland and Galicia.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The Khazaria Info Center - a site about a historical Judaic Khazaria state which existed in the South lands of current Russia and Ukraine. Of possible interest.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Barys Malkin - a page about Belarusian artist maintained by his son.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Szmuel Kapinsky - saving 120 Jews from the Vilna Ghetto during World
War Two.

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) The history of Jewish communities of Vishnevo, Dolhinov and Valozhyn in historical photographs by Eilat Gordin Levitan. 

David_sm.gif (981 bytes) Simcha - Belarusian-Jewish Youth Theatre


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