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Jews had their own synagogue until 1959. Later, it was taken away and converted into a cinema. Currently, the former synagogue building houses the Progress club and The End Company. A court case between these two entities and the community lasted for a year and a half (1991-1992). On 5 October 1992, the commercial court of the Brześć district ordered to return the former synagogue building to the Jewish religious community, but soon after the ruling was rejected by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. Religious Brześć Jews still do not have a synagogue.

Some 2,000 Jews lived in Brześć in 1970, according to estimations. An all-union census of January 1989 states the number of Brześć inhabitants at 255,990, including 1,080 Jews. Some 1,000 Jews lived in Brześć in 1994 and some 800 at the end of 1996, according to estimations.

The Jewish religious community of Brześć was reborn in 1991. The town has eight Jewish organisations. These include Jewish Culture and Education Association Tarbut, the Council of Women, the Jewish Religious Community, the Jewish Sunday School, the municipal branch of the Belorussian Union of Jews-Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, Invalids, Guerillas and Activists of Underground Resistance, the municipal branch of the Association of Jews-Former Prisoners of Ghettos and Concentration Camps, a branch of international education centre Holocaust and the Centre of Research on the History and Culture of the Polesie Region Jews.

Numerous Brześć Jews are known all over Belarus. In 1995, Arkadij Bljacher, branch manager of the science and education centre Holocaust, was included among the ten “Brześć Citizens of the Year” in the Brzeski Kurier daily. Michaił Joffe, the CEO of the Gazoapparat company is also a popular figure. Inventor and scientist Jewgienij Ureckij is the leader of the Brześć branch of the Belarus Green Party. Professor Grigorij Szulman, chairman of the board of Jewish Culture and Education Association Tarbut, is a renowned social activist. Writer, playwright and scriptwriter Josif Prut lived in Brześć for a couple of years in 1990s.

The Jews who were born in Brześć include: Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Israeli PM Menachem Begin; mathematician and Albert Einstein’s associate Jakow Grommer; medical doctor Mejer Abrahamowic; poet Roman Luria; poet Menachem Borejsza; columnist and editor-in-chief of the Frajhajt newspaper (US) Lejb Goldberg; writer Beniamin-Chaim Raiz; literary scholar Szlojme Wiłow; composer and pianist Luis Grunberg; union activist and deputy president of the American Federation of Labor Dawid Dubiński; General-Major of Armoured Forces Michał Rabinowicz; rabbi and author of a collection of comments on Talmud Jerucham-Juda-Lejb Perlman; famous Bund activist Bejnisz Michaliewicz (Josif Izbickij); Soviet official, chairman of the small people’s committee of the Soviet Union Grigorij Leplewskij.

Emmanuił Joffe, PhD in Historical Sciences – professor of the Minsk Pedagogical Institute and vice-rector of the Minsk Jewish People’s University, an academic of the International Academy of National Minorities.

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