Belarus Synagogue Transferred Back to Community

MOGILEV, Belarus - The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has approved the transfer of a building located on Bolshaya Grazhdanskaya Street in a picturesque area of Mogilev back to the Jewish community of Mogilev.

Before the Soviet era, the building was used by the Jewish community as a synagogue and community center. With the Soviet takeover, the building became a water pumping station. (The property overlooks the bank of the Dniepr River.)

This local victory is the culmination of six years of meetings pursued by Jewish community Chairman Eli Genilis with support from Victor Shorikov, head of the Mogilev City Council, and others, who prepared the necessary documents. Upon ruling in favor of this initiative, the City Council approached the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The office's head, V. Makey prepared the necessary submission, which was received favorably.

The Jewish community of Mogilev received the news with great excitement and is looking forward to commencing plans to reconstruct this historic synagogue which will, upon completion, once again be used as a house of worship and Jewish Community Center. Of the many Jewish buildings that were in the Jewish neighborhood of the Shkolische District only three buildings that were previously owned by the Jewish community remain. The best preserved among these structures, the synagogue turned water pumping station, is the one that is now being returned to the Jewish community.

Jewish community leaders in of Mogilev have thanked the City Administration of Mogilev for their support and are currently launching an appeal to raise the necessary funds to finance this important and historic project.



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