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JEWISH BORISOV

The stately-home of the famous philanthropist of the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century, Ivan Kolodeev, in the Belarusian city of Borisov has hosted the opening of the Jewish culture hall with the permanent exhibition “Jewish Borisov”.

The restoration of the stately-home, an important historical site of Borisov, started several years ago, when the house was bought by businessman Vladimir Slesarev. Much time passed, much effort and funds were spent, and, finally, Kolodeev’s home presented the opening of the Jewish Culture Hall, attended by a great number of guests. For many months the owner of the house, Vladimir Slesarev, with his team and the chairperson of the Borisov Jewish Public Association “Light of Menorah”, Mikhail Perets, with the community activists worked hard to create the exposition, gleaning the articles of Jewish culture.

Moreover, it is here that a fragment of the ancient Jewish Torah has been donated by Rabbi Grigory Abramovich from Minsk, while the head of Lida City Jewish Community (Grodno Oblast), Andrei Fishbain, presented fifteen articles of Jewish culture.

“Studying the history of the city, we understood that the museum exposition should also reflect the history of Jewish life in Borisov”, said Vladimir Slesarev.

“The matter is that the history of the Jewry is undeservedly forgotten. If we wish to be objective, we should speak up, hold discussions. Only in such a way can the objective history be created, which is to be studied and all its facts to be called by their proper names.”

“The current exposition in Kolodeev’s house-museum is only the first step in representing Jewish history of the Borisov region to wide public” claim the organizers.

“Jewish Borisov” is a live and open to further growth and development exposition since Jewish history covers a huge period in the history of the city where Jews made more than a half of the total population, according to 1937 census.”

On the opening day the guests were invited to see the first exposition including books, materials, thematic stands devoted to the Jews exterminated in Borisov ghetto and the Belarusians who saved Jews, as well as the history of “Light of Menorah”.

The visitors could enjoy the reproductions of paintings from Kolodeev’s collection, the thematic exhibition, devoted to the war of 1812, and the exhibition by the students of the Borisov children school of art. At the end of the meeting the guests watched the performance of the Jewish music ensemble “Shalom” from Lida.

The opening of the first in Borisov museum in Kolodeev’s stately-home has become an important event not only for Borisov Jewish Community but also for the communities of Minsk, Lida, Grodno whose representative took an active part in the organization of the exposition.

According to Mikhail Perets, the work will go on. It is planned to train lecturers and guides to hold interesting and informative excursions and lectures on the Jewish history of the Borisov region.

In reply to the reporters’ question if Kolodeev’s home is a museum, Vladimir Slesarev said:

“Museum is something static and limited. Kolodeev’s home is not only a preservation site of antiquity, but also a house where the expositions grow and change. New projects appear and are implemented. It’s a lively place for inspired people. This house is a place where everyone can find the history of their city, family, people, street, factory.”

Olga Zagadskaya

Еврейское местечко под Минском


Jewish settlements in Minsk region

MinskBerezinoBobrBorisov DolginovoDukoraDzerzhinsk Ivenets Myadel NesvizhObchuga Pogost Rakov Seliba Slutsk Svir Uhvaly Vileika

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