Cheshire Lodge visit Belarus

Cheshire Lodge represent BBUK in Belarus and meet the Together Plan

Report by Alan Miller National President BBUK

Last week twenty one members Cheshire Unity Lodge went on a visit to Belarus, exploring it’s  history and culture, both Jewish and secular.

Our leader, knowing that visitors to Belarus is a rare event, contacted the British Embassy to inform them. UK visitors ,as a tourist group, are virtually unknown.

The responded by inviting us to a reception at the Embassy.

When we arrived they had amassed about fifty people, including a government minister, the Israeli and German Ambassadors, survivors of the Holocaust, survivors of the Partisans, representatives of cultural, religious and trade organisations,

When I walked in, the Deputy Head of the British Mission said ” I recognise you from the website!” It turns out they had done a lot of research on us from the website, the result was impressive and they decided we were worthy of meeting all their top contacts!

Cheshire B’nai B’rith head to Belarus

The Together Plan was delighted to join 21 members of the B’nai B’rith Lodge in Cheshire – who visited Belarus last week – at a special event at the British Embassy in Minsk, hosted by the British Ambassador, Fionna Gibb, and attended by survivors of the Minsk Ghetto.

Later, the group visited the Jewish community in Slutsk, where they witnessed work by The Together Plan, in collaboration with the Zeliger Foundation, to reclaim discarded and misplaced headstones from Slutsk’s demolished Jewish cemetery. The headstones are now safe in a single location. This work is the start on a project involving members of the Slutsk Jewish community, which aims to preserve this vital piece of the region’s Jewish history, reclaim this aspect of their heritage for the community, and – in the long term – use the headstones to create a fitting memorial to those buried in the cemetery.