A three-day Limmud FSU conference will be held in Vitebsk, Belarus, in late May
to early June, followed by the launch in Brest, Belarus, of celebrations marking
100 years since the birth of former prime minister Menachem Begin in the latter
The launch will be attended by members of the Begin family, Israeli
government representatives, Ambassador to Belarus Yosef Shagal, Belarusan
officials, Limmud FSU Belarus participants and leaders of the local Jewish
community, Limmud FSU chairman Chaim Chesler and Menachem Begin Heritage Center
chairman Herzl Makov said.
Following the first-ever Limmud FSU Belarus
conference, a specially commissioned sculpture of Begin by a local artist will
be dedicated at a site in the city. Konstantin Sumar, the governor of Brest
Province, met with the Limmud FSU delegation and expressed his gratification
that the province will have the opportunity to commemorate one of the most
distinguished personages to have been born in the city.
Chesler said that
Belarus was a new and exciting project for Limmud FSU and that the Jewish
educational organization was proud to launch its eighth Limmud FSU project
Begin was born in Brest, then Brest-Litovsk and known to Jews
as Brisk, on August 16, 1913, in what was then the Russian Empire. The city,
situated on the Polish border on the Bug River, changed hands repeatedly over
the centuries being at times part of Lithuania, Poland and the Soviet Union.
Following the dissolution of the USSR, Brest became part of the sovereign state
of Belarus in 1991.
The family of former prime minister Ariel Sharon came
from Brest, and Sharon’s grandmother was midwife at Begin’s birth.
accounted for more than half of the city’s inhabitants until the Nazis murdered
the nearly 30,000 inhabitants of the Bresk Ghetto in 1942.
20,000 Jews live in Belarus, which has a total population of some 10 million.
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