Museum of the history and culture of Jewish people
Judaism is one of the traditionally represented in Belarus religions. And if the locals are familiar with the history of the Jewish people, our foreign guests will need a brief digression about the Jews living on the territory of our country, their contribution to the history and culture of Belarus.
In Minsk the Jews came nearly in the fourteenth century, but a century later, they were expelled from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for six years. Before the great Patriotic war, more than half of Minsk dwellers were Jews, they lived in a closed Jewish quarters. How many Jews now live in Belarus, you cannot tell for sure, because many do not indicate their true origin. However, according to certain data, there are about thirteen thousand people. In their circle Jews mostly communicate in Russian, only a small part in Belarusian and Hebrew. To preserve the history and culture of Belarusian Jews, in 2002, founded the Museum of the history and culture of Jews of Belarus.
In a relatively short period of existence of the Museum, it was held more than 40 exhibitions, devoted to Jewish writers, artists, theater or even the most ordinary people: "I'm from the ghetto", "Man and destiny", "the Synagogues of Belarus yesterday and today". One of the permanent exhibitions is the exhibition dedicated to the Holocaust and Jewish life in the postwar period. Business card of the Museum of history and culture of the Jews is the Torah Scroll parchment with the text of the Pentateuch of Moses, preserved from the times of the Holocaust. The Museum Fund consists of more than 15 000 exhibits, but you will not find ancient and valuable relics – all items brought by local residents to the Museum: commemorative photos, archive important documents, household utensils, clothing and shoes, religious books and much more. There are separate stands for women-Jewish women, who managed to occupy the last place in Belarus. For example, the Minsk bourgeois deadhead Frumkina, during the reign of Alexander the Second, had secured the rights to manage the company, and is still the brewery OJSC "Olivaria" thriving in Minsk, and the factory building is considered a monument of industrial architecture of the XIX century.
Since most of the Jews were tailors, cobblers, barbers, watchmakers and jewelers, at the Museum you will find many booths with sewing machines, clothing, tools and ornaments.
The Museum of Jews in Minsk is involved in educational and outreach activities, offering visitors the fifteen programs on various subjects:
"Let's keep in memory of the person...» the program is dedicated to the collection of valuable photos and documents. "A family history – history of the people": here you can listen to the life stories of Jewish families, and the program "righteous among the Nations" aimed at finding people who once helped the Jews. The title of "righteous among the Nations" has already awarded more than 20 people.
The Museum was founded in 2002 with the support of Belarusian Jewry and the American Jewish Committee "joint". Almost from the first day of its Foundation, the Museum is actively cooperating with various foreign museums, adding to your Fund of new valuable information. After visiting the Museum, you will discover a completely different world and other people who've lost their homes but never lost their history and culture.