Mogilev is a regional center in the eastern part of Belarus. It is known for its convenient infrastructure and rich history that goes back into centuries. The historical buildings in the city include that belonged to the Jewish community as well, that preserve the community's exciting history.
The Jewish community
Local chronicles say that Jewish community existed in Mogilev since 1522. But due to clashes with local Christians, the local authorities expelled the Jews or ordered them to settle inside the Jewish quarter solely. Only under the Polish rule (circa 1655), the Jews were allowed to work at trading, craftsmanship, develop the religious routine, build synagogues.
The community reached its top in the 1910s, when there were more than 35 synagogues, heders and other Jewish venues in the city. There were specialized Jewish schools. A branch of Jewish "Bund" social party was active in the city, so was a number of minor Zionist organisations. Philantropic organisations are to mention as well.
Jews comprised about 20% of local population in the wake of WWII – estimated 19,715 people.
Several years after the war, there were 8,000 Jews remaining in Mogilev, although the activity of the community was not re-established. The majority left the city, emigrating to other destinations.
• Yosef Vitkin – one of the spiritual leaders of Zionist movement, early Zionism-Socialism activist. A village in Israel is named after him
• Solomon Lurie – Soviet scientist, philologist
• Ruvim Fraerman – writer, author of "The Wild Dingo Dog" – famous children book
• Yaacov Mazeh – the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, a notable spiritual figure
• David Krol – Canadian politician, former Minister of Labour. First Jewish MP to have been elected in Canada
• Ishay Shur - scientist, professor in Berlin, Bonn and Jerusalem universities.
• Efim Zlatin – WWII fighter, Hero of the Soviet Union
• Wolf Merlin – psychologist
• Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin) – worldwide famous composer from the United States
• Leonid Mandelstahm – Soviet physician
• Lev Polugayevsky – successful chess player
Places of interest:
• The Zuckerman synagogue (1900), today used as a sports venue
• The building of traders' synagogue
• Jewish cemetery, established 1745
Jewish community nowadays :
According to official documents, there are 3,000 Jews in the Mogilev community nowadays. The Chabad synagogue is active, so do a charity organization, a teenage club and a Sunday school. There is a Reform Judaism community. An Union of the Jewish Culture is active since 1990.