Map of Belarus Thousands of Jewish elderly like Simon, living on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, depend on JDC to be their lifeline for food, medicine, and homecare assistance.

Belarus became an independent state in 1991 but many Soviet-era-style policies, including state ownership of enterprise, have continued to present day. The result has been a lasting legacy of poverty amid a crumbling infrastructure.

In 2009 the country fell into recession and the economic situation deteriorated drastically again in the summer of 2011. Meanwhile, the rising costs of food, medicine, heating fuel, and utilities pushed struggling families, pensioners, and the disabled deeper into poverty.

For over 20 years, the Jews of Belarus—nearly eradicated by World War II and years of enforced atheism under Soviet rule—have been working with JDC to rebuild self-sustaining Jewish life for their community and supportive institutions for those with no other social safety net to rely on.

Today, in collaboration with the local Jewish community, JDC:

Learn more about how JDC in Belarus is supporting the community’s neediest members and ensuring their connection to Jewish life.

Take an in-depth look at JDC’s work and the vibrancy of Jewish life in our Minsk city profile.


For nearly a decade, the JDC-established Jewish Family Outreach Service in Minsk has provided essential support to families and children at risk, ensuring their basic welfare and bringing social, educational, and cultural programs to meet their needs.