Chereyskaya Synagogue
One synagogue was located in the center of the town. Today there are walls left of it, old windows bricked up are visible, the building has been rebuilt many times, but it still exists. Two other synagogue buildings have disappeared. 

From the National Historical Archive of Belarus: 

All Jewish religious buildings, as well as almost all the buildings in Chere, were wooden, so fires were not uncommon in the town. During one of them (around the beginning of the 1880s), one of the prayer houses burned down. Two buildings were not enough for the community, and in August 1883, the Jewish population authorized the Chereysky philistine Chaim Sholomovich Brook to apply to the construction department of the Mogilev provincial government with a petition for permission to build a new prayer house instead of the burned one. A detailed construction plan was sent to the provincial center, which was approved at the end of September 1883. According to this plan, the building was made of wood, in addition to the main room there was a separate gallery for women. There was a prayer house not far from the square, on Mogilevskaya Street.3

It is possible that soon another Jewish prayer house was built. The archives have preserved the case on the permission to build a Hasidic prayer school in Chere, the plan of which was approved on June 21, 1898.4

There was a rabbi in Chere: there is information in the documents that in 1909-1912 this position was held by a philistine Hillel Davidovich Goldberg.5

The former number of synagogues remained in the town in the early 1920s. It is known from archival documents that in March 1923 the Stone, Middle and Misnagid prayer houses (synagogues) operated in Chere. Apparently, the richest and most spacious was the Middle Synagogue, which contained three Torah scrolls, there were also three aron kodesh, 12 benches, 5 lamps, clocks and books of religious content. The property of the Stone Synagogue consisted of two Torah scrolls, three aron kodesh, ten benches, six lamps, one wall clock and books. The interior of the Misnagid synagogue, in addition to two Torahs, consisted of aron-kodesh, eight benches, six lamps and a clock.6

The 1920s were not the best time for Jewish religious communities: as you know, the Soviet government and the CPSU (b) pursued an active atheistic policy.

In the autumn of 1928, the Chereysky district committee of the CPSU (b) timed a lot of anti-religious events to coincide with the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: two performances, a concert, a demonstration of films, an evening of amateur performances, reports and a clean-up day.7

The district council of the Union of Atheists of the BSSR operated in the town, which supported the party and the Komsomol in carrying out anti-religious events. By the way, this council was "Jewish" by one third: at the end of 1929, there were 113 people in it, 41 of whom were Jews.8

At the end of 1929, the Cherei Komsomol members organized a campaign for the closure of one of the synagogues. To do this, they began to conduct a survey of the population, but they managed to collect only a few signatures for the liquidation of the cult building. At the same time, Jewish believers have compiled a large list of those who want to keep the synagogue operating.9

The oppression of religion led to the fact that in 1930 the Chereysky rabbi Movsha Astrakhan refused religious activity.10 But the local melamed Shlema Landres continued to teach children literacy and the basics of the Jewish religion.11

To date, few witnesses of the "Jewish" past of the church have survived: the rebuilt synagogue building and a few monuments in the cemetery.

Chereyskaya Rural Library


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