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Belarus: Activist Aliaksei Shchadrou Facing Jail for Helping the Homeless

Aliaksei Shchadrou is facing a two-year prison term in Belarus for acting on behalf of an unregistered religious organization. If jailed he will be a prisoner of conscience. Aliaksei Shchadrou, a 28-year-old devout Catholic, had been running a shelter for homeless people, with a prayer room, in his detached house in a village in the […]

Report: Estimated Jewish Population in the former Soviet Union (FSU)

Researcher Allan Miller has compiled numbers from reports and news articles over the past several years to determine the estimated current Jewish population throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU).  The breakdown within each country may not equal the total for the country because populations for some cities are missing.   Estimated Present […]

Limmud FSU Conference Held in Vitebsk, Belarus

From JPost: VITEBSK, Belarus – The latest incarnation of Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) took place for the first time in Belarus over the weekend, one of the most storied countries in Jewish history. Once home to a thriving Jewish community decimated by World War II, Belarus produced nine Israeli presidents, two Nobel Prize laureates […]

Government of Belarus Plans to Renovate Old Synagogue, Turn It Into Jewish Museum

 JTA — The government of Belarus announced plans to renovate one of the country’s oldest synagogues and turn it into a Jewish museum. The museum will be housed this year inside the restored ruins of the main synagogue in Bykhaw, a town located some 150 miles east of Minsk, Belarus’ minister of culture, Boris Svetlov, […]

Belarusian Jewish Community Leader Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

JTA – Yuri Dorn, a leader of the Jewish community of Belarus, pleaded guilty to tax evasion but is continuing to deny charges that he abused his position. Dorn was president of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations in Belarus at the time of his arrest last year. He is charged with tax evasion, to which […]

UCSJ Update: Our Discussion with Luidmilla Alexeeva

MARCH 11, 2013 On March 2, 2013, UCSJ President Larry Lerner and International Director Leonid Stonov had an hour long Skype discussion with the Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), Luidmilla Alexeeva. Alexeeva is a long-term partner of UCSJ. She arrived in the US on March 1, 2013, after being invited by Senator Benjamin […]

Belarusian Opposition Activist Attacked in Minsk

According to RFE/ RL, Belarusian opposition activist Yulia Stsyapanava was attacked by two people on January 14th. The assault occurred just after midnight. Stsyapanava stated that they knocked her down, forced her face into the snow, causing lacerations, and chopped off her hair. According to her Facebook account, the attackers shouted vulgarities and yelled at her for […]

Main Belarusian Human Rights NGO Forcibly Evicted from Minsk

Viasna, one of the main human rights NGOs in Belarus, has been forcibly evicted from their premises in Minsk. On Monday, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the police closed Viasna’s office space and sealed off the premises. This is another result of the case against prisoner of conscience Ales Bialiatski, whose trial was universally declared […]

Visitors React to New Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow

The recently opened Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow has left many Russian Jewish visitors in awe at its touching detail, depth and honesty regarding the experience of Russian Jews throughout the centuries. Israeli President Shimon Peres, born in Belarus, said at the opening ceremony, “My mother sang to me in Russian, and at […]