Limmud FSU will hold a world celebration of the 100th anniversary of birth of former PM Menachem Begin in Vitebsk, Belarus.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
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 city.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 worldwide.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.Jews 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.Today, about 20,000 Jews live in Belarus, which has a total population of some 10 million.
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