The tiny former synagogue in the village of Gleusdorf, out of use for more than a century, opens as an information center about local rural Jewish life and history.
The inauguration ceremony will be a closed event for invited guests because of COVID restrictions.
The synagogue has been owned since 2016 by the Untermerzbach municipality, which sponsored and oversaw the €174,000 project. Funding included a €87,500 grant from the EU’s LEADER funding program for the development of the rural economy.
The synagogue will be operated in cooperation with the Friends of the Synagogue association in nearby Memmelsdorf, and the preservation concept accords with that of the Memmelsdorf synagogue –“conservation instead of reconstruction” — that is, not to reconstruct or restore the building, but to conserve it in a way that shows the history of what it has gone through.
The Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center and The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton are organizing the first international conference on ‘The history, culture and heritage of Jews in Belarus across the ages.’
The aim of the conference is to discuss the latest findings on all aspects of the history, culture and heritage of Jews in Belarus, including the emergence of a distinctive Belarusian-Jewish identity.
NOTE: The conference will be ‘hybrid’, allowing participants and audience to attend either on site if they can go to Minsk, or remotely, through the conference platform.
The conference will bring together specialists from Eastern Europe and other parts of the world to discuss the latest findings on all aspects of the history, culture and heritage of Jews in Belarus.
There will be panels on art, pre-revolutionary history, ethnography, heritage, Holocaust, interwar period, language and literature. The keynote speakers are Professor Mikhail Krutikov and Dr Inna Gerasimova. There will also be round-tables about heritage and national identities in contemporary Belarus.