Finchley synagogue support for Belarus community

A collaboration between Finchley Reform Synagogue and Jewish Child's Day has given a new lease of life to a Jewish community in a small Belarus village.

The 2,200-strong Polotsk community has been presented with a minibus which will be used to ferry members to activities and to collect humanitarian aid.

It will also aid a Jewish heritage project in which teenagers from the village will research life in a Jewish area of Belarus or Lithuania before acting as tour guides for their peers.

Polotsk Jews have few resources and only a small room to meet in. It is hoped that a five-year twinning arrangement with Finchley Reform will help the community to become a flourishing Jewish hub.

Finchley Reform twinning co-ordinator Debra Brunner said: "I am so excited that we have made this happen. It is an amazing way for them to start their journey to self-sufficiency. They will feel supported and thought of."

JCD executive director Daniel Burger added that the charity's role "is to plough funds into projects which help to better the lives of children in need. Offering these children the chance to be a part of a community when they are otherwise surrounded by such hardship is very important.

"We hope the minibus serves the community for years to come and look forward to hearing of its progress."

Mr Burger will be hosting a teleconference with Polotsk leaders to offer advice on applying for grants.


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