Yad Yisroel Tours was formed in May 2012 in response to a rising demand from various Jewish groups around the world who sought help for planning tours to points of Jewish interest in the CIS. Such calls were answered by the Yad Yisroel organization’s Kiruv Center, which began planning and conducting Jewish roots tours throughout Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland. In the course of time the Kiruv Center has organized tours for Jews in search of their rich heritage and an outlet for their innermost longings and prayers.
From humble beginnings with a pen and notebook in hand, Yad Yisroel Tours has mapped out tours for those in need of a link with their Jewish origins.
Today we conduct our operations out of a large office with 3 secretaries, where we manage private and public tours.
Yad Yisroel Tours organizes:
Regular and VIP tours
We conduct confidential research on family history as well as community research.
We have also initiated programs aimed to restore various Jewish historical sites around Belarus and in other CIS locales.
We have been rewarded by the appreciation that is so often expressed by our spirited visitors. And we have tasted the fruits of our labor, as the flood of visitors to Belarus is growing steadily, year by year.
These Jewish heritage tours are vital as they strengthen small Jewish communities scattered across the region and bring back the light of yidishkeit that once shined over this part of the world.
Before the Holocaust, Belarus had a population of 1,000,000 Jews. The Jewish community in the region has suffered considerably in the last century, withstanding over 80% physical annihilation as well as spiritual decline under Communist rule.
Today, there are about 60,000 Jews in Belarus, with 95% of them without any Jewish affiliation.
Yad Yisroel, established in 1989, is a registered non-profit organization in the USA, Israel, England and Belarus.
Today, Yad Yisroel is the leading Jewish organization in Belarus, with Pinsk as the epicenter of Jewish life in the country. Pinsk has a boy’s and a girl’s boarding school recognized as state orphanages, community outreach programs, Chesed Fund, a Yeshiva, summer and winter camps, Holocaust memorial programs , a Graduate Program and a Wedding Fund, as well as other Jewish community infrastructures.
Yad Yisroel is dedicated to the revival of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union, inspiring Aliyah to Israel, as well as assisting former Soviet Jewry wherever they may be.