Polotsk is the oldest town in Belarus and home to The Together Plan’s first community.
After two years spent establishing links and building trust with local Jewish people, a centre was founded. Representatives including UK youth volunteers and lay leaders helped to establish an organisational structure and run training for the local residents. Community members were then helped to start their own projects which they now run and self-manage. At first there were just a few members, but slowly, people started to come forward. Numbers continue to grow.
Today, Polotsk holds weekly Shabbat services and dinners; celebrates all Jewish festivals; has a growing Sunday School teaching Hebrew, festivals and traditions; runs social welfare projects for vulnerable members who are homebound and has established a heritage project identifying isolated and lost Jewish cemeteries. The community also run projects for the wider non-Jewish community, running youth projects at the local children’s shelter and distributing humanitarian aid. The Together Plan continues to work with the community in Polotsk, developing their skills for self-sufficiency.