GRODNO, Belarus – On Thursday, the Great Synagogue in the Belorus city of Grodno hosted four Brit Mila ceremonies for local Jews. This event constitutes the first ever circumcision to be performed in Grodno's ancient Synagogue since the beginning of World War Two. The ceremony was doubly significant in terms of the Jewish renaissance occurring across the Former Soviet Union since it was on this day exactly 64 years ago that soldiers of Nazi Germany's Army occupied this city in 1941.
During the ceremony, the four Jewish males adopted their respective Jewish names. Grigory became Tzvi; Yuri became Yehuda; Mikhail became Moshe; and Pyotr became Pinchas.
The Chief Mohel of Russia, Ishaya Shafit, visited Grodno from Moscow, undertaking a long journey consisting of a flight followed by a four-hour car ride to reach his anxious host community on this occasion.
The Jewish community of Grodno is a member of the Association of Jewish Communities of Belarus, a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS.