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Yad Yisroel: The School with No Acceptance Requirements


Many Jewish schools set a minimum criteria for their students to be accepted. They have to eat kosher and keep shabbos. They might not even be allowed internet access or TV. And they absolutely know that they are Jewish. 

When a child comes to Yad Yisroel, however, they have never kept Shabbos or eaten kosher. They do not know Aleph-Beis. They do not even have a Jewish name. But from the moment that child enters Yad Yisroel’s doors they become family and begin their growth in Yiddishkeit, growing more and more every day. At Yad Yisroel, each child is valued and respected equally for who they are – a pure Yiddishe Neshama.


The Torah teaches that a person’s soul is like a candle, shares Moshe Fhima, local director of Yad Yisroel. “If you try to shape wax when it’s hard, it will snap. But if you expose it to warmth and light it will bend and develop in its own unique way. That’s what we do at Yad Yisroel. We give them the care and warmth so that they may develop to be the Yid they truly are.”


Today, there are about 60,000 Jews in Belarus. 95% of them without any Jewish affiliation. The Jewish community of Belarus has suffered considerably in the last century, withstanding over 80% physical annihilation as well as spiritual decline under Communist rule.

Despite its fall three decades ago, the communist ideology pertaining to religious practice is still very much embedded in the social psychology of Belarusian Jewry. To put it plainly, these children do not even know what they are missing.

The children of Yad Yisroel have endured so much personally in their short lives. However, a comprehensive program is in place designed to strengthen the whole child – physically, scholastically and spiritually. Yad Yisroel encourages mastery in each subject, both in general and Jewish studies curricula. Besides academics, the children enjoy outings, musical concerts and events, sports, and receive therapy to develop their fine motor skills and well-being.


Many remain at Yad Yisroel throughout high school before pursuing higher education at notable institutions, universities, yeshivas, and religious seminaries around the world. 

In addition to building strong Jewish identity, the goal is to give them the tools to break the cycle of poverty through gaining knowledge to become self sustaining, and building dignified productive lives. 


Since its inception, more than 400 Jewish families have emerged amongst graduates ― with hundreds of Jewish grandchildren!


To help Yad Yisroel continue to strengthen the future Jewish generations of Belarus, please CLICK HERE  

and have your donation matched – giving greater impact to your donation. 

Together BeH we can do it! 


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