The importance of time together with family and friends, thinking about community, identity and, at times, faith, has been brought into sharp focus of late. At The Together Plan charity we operate on a fundamental premise – that Jewish people, wherever they are, are not alone. Yet, in parts of the world today, this remains the case.
Our mission is the revival of communities in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, with a focus on Jewish Belarus. Through a range of projects spanning research, Holocaust education, publishing, archive services, youth work and humanitarian aid, we work alongside isolated communities and individuals to develop skills and knowledge while providing training to help build them a sustainable future.
Belarus, while complicated, is widely acknowledged as holding a richness of Jewish history. From the Pale of Settlement to pogroms; the bravery of partisans and the Holocaust to communism, this incredible country holds the key to profound Jewish history which defines all Diaspora.
After years of diplomatic work and alongside communities, we are in a unique position to memorialise sites of historical significance across Belarus while digitising archives and connecting people worldwide to detailed personal history.
As an approved member of the AEPJ the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Heritage and Culture, we are building a Jewish Cultural Heritage Route across Belarus as part of the European Route of Jewish Heritage certified by the Council of Europe. We are at the cusp of unearthing history untold through people in Belarus researching and discovering, and through those outside of Belarus whose families once called it home.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that we secure support, to ensure the continuation of our work – putting citizens and community at the heart of Jewish cultural heritage, and putting Jewish Belarus back on the world map.
This week The Jewish Chronicle Newspaper, the London-based Jewish weekly newspaper (which was founded in 1841 and is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world) is running an appeal to support our work in Belarus. You can read the article about the ‘Hidden History of Jewish Belarus and why it matters’ here or in the Jewish Chronicle here.