We embark on our Belarus tour from Vilnius. We’ll be driving more than walking, as we’ll visit many shtetls, learning the history of Jewish life and Lithuanian Yeshivot.
Once we cross into Belarus, we’ll visit the famous yeshivas that existed here before the Holocaust. Stop in the small town of Radin, where Chafetz Chayim‘s Yeshiva attracted students from all over Europe. We’ll visit the Jewish cemetery, the tombstone (matzevah) of Chafetz Chayim and the memorial to the local Jews murdered during WWII.
A short visit to Lida, where Rabbi Reines established his first modern yeshiva.
In the afternoon, we’ll arrive in Grodno, home to the Old Grodno Castle that was built by Grand Duke Vytautas around 1390-1400.One of Vytautas’ decrees was an issue of a “Permit of Residence” for Jews in Lithuania. Walking tour in the old part of Grodno includes the medieval castle and the streets of the former Jewish quarter, the territory of the Ghetto, the old Jewish cemetery, and finally, the fascinating Great Synagogue of Grodno.
On Day 2 of Jewish Hallmarks of Belarus, we continue to drive around the country. In the morning, we depart for Novogrudok, once the center of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. Here, Rabbi Yosef Yoizel Horowitz served as Rosh Yeshiva of Novardok. We learn the story of the escape of 233 ghetto prisoners to the partisans. We drive to Mir, home to a world-renowned yeshiva, established in 1815 that drew around five hundred students from all around the world. You can still see the remains of the former yeshiva and three synagogues.
We’ll visit the old Jewish cemetery of Mir, and the memorial for the Jewish inhabitants murdered during WWII. Visit the medieval Dukes’ Radziwiłł Castle of Mir built in 1495. Late afternoon arrival into Minsk.
We start off the day with a visit to “Yama”, the memorial for Jews who were perished in Minsk during the Nazi occupation. The obelisk was built on the exact spot where five thousand Jews were slaughtered. We’ll also visit Minsk Synagogue, the only one that survived the war. We’ll walk through the Old Town and the area of Minsk Ghetto.
In Part Three of our Jewish Hallmarks of Belarus, we cross the border from Belarus to Lithuania.
On the way, we visit Volozhyn and the renowned yeshiva, established in 1803 by Rav Hayim Volozhiner, a disciple of the Vilna Gaon. In the middle of the 19th century, a devastating fire swept through Volozhyn, but miraculously the “mother of yeshivas” was untouched. We conclude our Jewish Hallmarks of Belarus Tour in Vilnius.
Destination Management Company JeruLita operates private tours and groups in cooperation with our partners. We will be glad to accommodate you in a private tour or will direct you to travel expert in your country who will register you to the groups we operate.