MINSK, Belarus - Passover was celebrated with great fan-fare in the Belarus capital of Minsk. In the lead-up to the holiday, more than seven tons of matzah was sold. Passover celebrations, which were organized by Chief Rabbi of Minsk Shneur Deutsch, also involved Belarus' Minister of Religious Affairs Leonid Gulyako, Israeli Ambassador to Minsk Edward Shapiro, and Israeli Consul Asaf Braha.
More than 500 people participated in Seders that were conducted in a number of locations throughout the capital city of Minsk. About an hour before Seder began, guests gathered in the luxurious banquet hall. Rabbi Shneur Deutsch spoke to participants about the meaning and significance of the holiday. Visitors were also entertained with a performance by children from the Ohr Avner Chabad Kindergarten.
In outlying and less populous communities in Belarus, yeshiva student from Israel organized and conducted Seders. These Seders took place in Polotsk, Orsha, Krichev, Retchitsa, and Borisov.
This celebration of Passover by hundreds of Jews in the capital of Belarus and other cities of the republic was made possible thanks to the assistance of the Ohr Avner Foundation, headed by Lev Leviev.