Q&A: JC Gomel, Belarus
Pulse

Q&A: JC Gomel, Belarus

01 Mar 2017

Q&A offers an update on the pulse of various Jewish Communities across Europe.

YISROEL PRAKAPENKA, CEO of the “Beit Yakov” Gomel Jewish Community, offers answers to some defining questions.


When was your community established and how many members does it currently have?

It existed until 1927 and was re-established on July, 20th of 1990.

.

How does your community identify?

Orthodox.

.

Name 3 things that define your community:

Torah study, being the only Jewish Community in the region, [and our] Yeshiva.

.

Gomel wedding and Purim celebration, image courtesy Beit Yakov Community.

.

What is the greatest struggle your community is currently facing?

Assimilation.

.

What do you hope never changes about your community?

Our desire to stay Jewish and inspire Jewish Greatness.

.

What do you hope would change?

Our material conditions - [hopefully] we will have a Mikveh, a Synagogue building and a Kindergarten.

.

.

What is your relationship to the wider community and other religious communities in your area?

We are one of the rapidly growing community in Belarus and try to help to others develop. It serves to about 6,000 Jews of a region, from all ages and any background.

.

What pieces of literature, music, movies or other art would you suggest that best introduce and describe your community and setting?

The Phoenix.

Friedrich Justin Bertuch, Bilderbuch für Kinder, 1790-1830 (Image in Public Domain)

.

Anything else we should ask?

Leave your comment below!

And check out some other Q&As »


JEU aims at providing a platform for a pan-European exchange on Jewish life, thought and culture that extends beyond national and linguistic barriers.

More about us.

Become a contributor!

Have something to say? Read on for information on how to submit your writing »