From Hrodna to Pruzhany

Starting in the morning of April 23 in Hrodna, my friends and I turned south to continue our road trip through the west of Belarus. Join us to visit imposing synagogues, hidden Jewish cemeteries and a haunted house – a former beit midrash – in the towns of Indura, Lunno, Wolpa, Mstibovo, Svislach, Porazava, Lyskava and Ruzhany!

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From Lida to Hrodna

My friends and I continued our Belarus road trip on April 22. From Lida we headed further west until we reached Hrodna (Grodno) in the evening. En route were Jewish heritage sites in Radun, Noviy Dvor, Astryna, Razhanka, Zhaludok and Skidzyel.

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From Ashmyany to Lida

The weather was changing when my friends and I continued our road trip through the west of Belarus on 21 April. It was raining when we started our day with a visit to the magnificent synagogue of Ashmyany. Later, we headed further west to the towns of Halshany, Iwye, Vselyub, Delyatichi, Liubcha, Navahraduk and Dziatlava.

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Between Minsk and Ashmyany

April 20 was the first day of our 9 days road trip through the west of Belarus. My friends Achim, Petra, our guide Juliana and I expolred the towns of Rakaw, Ivyanets, Butkovichi, Valozhyn, Vishneva, Kreva and finally Ashmyany with its synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and other heritage sites.

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Vyshnivets and Kremenets

March 6, was the last day of our one week journey through Galicia, Podolia and Bessarabia – Ukraine and Moldova. Actually, it was only a half day as I had to be at Lviv airport at 2 pm to fly home. We got up early to visit Vyshnivets and Kremenets with its Jewish heritage sites – places that were already on our itinerary since the last trip in December 2018.

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All the Way back

March 5, was nearly the last day of our one week trip through Ukraine and Moldova. Coming from Sharhorod, we bridged 400 kilometers at that day until we reached Ternopil in the evening – with Jewish heritage sites in Sharhorod, Luchynets and Khotyn on our way.

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A Day of Miracles

We returned from Moldova to Ukraine on March 4. It was truly a day of miracles. We saw the stunning Jewish cemeteries of Edineț, Otaci, Chernivtsi (Podolia, not Bukovina) and Mohyliv-Podilsky. We found the synagogue in Chernivtsi, left behind by Jews leaving the former Soviet Union after 1991. In Sharhorod we talked to Hryhoriy Saulko, who wants to restaurate the magnificent synagogue of his hometown and already started to do.

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In the north of Moldova

After our Transnistria trip the day before, our group moved further north. We stayed over night in Bălţi and visited the local Jewish cemetery in the morning of 3 March. It is the biggest in the north of Moldova. After a detour to Alexandreni – east of Bălţi – we headed further to Lipcani and Briceni to visit the Jewish cemeteries there.

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From Chişinău to Bălţi via Transnistria

On 2 March our little group continued the road trip through the Republic of Moldova. We headed east, crossed the Russian checkpoint near Dubăsari, and entered the internationally not recognized break away “republic” of Transnistria – rarely visited by western travelers. On our itinerary were Dubăsari and Raşcov before we crossed the “border” again to see the Jewish cemetery of Vadul Raşcov.

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News from Chişinău Jewish cemetery

Since Thursday, 28 February, my friends Marla, Jay, Iryna, Anna, Vasyl and I are on the road again. Our 7 days trip through Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova has begun. We spent a day in Chişinău and from there are encouraging news – the last remaining Jewish cemetery of the city is undergoing restauration works.

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