The Jewish community in Mogilov


Mogilov is a city in eastern White Russia, near the border with Russia. It is the most important city in the Province of Mogilov and is the third largest city in White Russia. It is located on the banks of the Danube River and numbers close to half a million inhabitants. The city was founded close to 700 years ago. In 1772 the city was incorporated into Imperial Russia. Until the Russian revolution it was a resort town for the tsar of Russia. Today it is a municipality and its industry serves the whole region. In Mogilov there are factories, shopping centers and hotels.

Jews settled in Mogilov from days of old, and they comprised a big percentage of the city's population, (according to some census studies, they comprised more than half of the city's population). Until the Bolshevik revolution, many synagogues and Torah study centers were activated, but the communist revolution curbed much of the above mentioned activities and in some instances put a complete end to it. During World War II, a great deal of Jews succeeded in escaping deep inside of Russia, and in merit of their escape, they managed to survive the war. A big part of the Jewish population remained and was centered in the city's ghetto for which afterwards, only a few managed to survive. During the war, most of the city's synagogues were destroyed. The few that remained were turned into sports centers. After the war several secret quorums were set-up.

With the fall of communism, a large number of Jews emigrated to Israel, U.S.A. and Germany.

In 1989 (the modern era) the first Jewish congregation was set-up by Michael Shulman.

In 1998 the first religious autonomist community was founded in Mogilov and Eli Genelis was chosen as head of the community. Immediately following its opening a Sunday school for Jewish children was opened and Shabat and Holiday services were offered.

In 2004 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Alperovitch arrived in Mogilov and was made permanent emissary of the Lubavitch Rebbe, and by consent of the entire community, he was chosen as chief Rabbi of the city.

In 2005 the "Ohr Avner" school was opened

In 2006 the synagogue moved to its next (temporary) location. The "stars" program for youth was opened, and to every ones great amazement, was a landslide success

On April 2009 the president of White Russia, Mr. Alex. Lukshanko, signed a decree transferring the old synagogue and nearby area near the Danube, back to its rightful owners.(the (Jewish community