Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish in Belarus

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

One of the unique features among European Jews is the distinction between the Ashkenazic Jews and the Sephardic Jews. The word Ashkenaz is derived from a biblical word for the larger Germanic region of Europe. Therefore, Ashkenazim Jews are those whose ancestry is linked to that area. This group traditionally speaks the Yiddish language, which is a German dialect that has Hebrew and Slavic elements. There are two basic Yiddish languages, one is called "Western" and the other is called, "Eastern." The latter developed in Eastern Europe (including Belarus) and Russia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Like Jewish populations elsewhere, the Eastern Yiddish speaking Jews in Belarus faced pograms and persecution at various times during their history. For this and other reasons, a large percentage of them emigrated to Israel after the Soviet Union fell in 1991. Half of the Jewish people in Belarus live in the capital city of Minsk.

Because of the uniqueness of their history and culture, Yiddish-speaking Jews have a strong sense of identity. Persecution of and discrimination against the Jews have been the historical reasons for their migrations and settlements in other parts of the w
What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil and criminal matters. Conservative Judaism is less traditional than Orthodox and combines different ethical, philosophical, and spiritual schools of thought. Reform Judaism is the most liberal form and interprets Jewish beliefs and practices in light of contemporary life and thought. Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is divinely revealed. They are not restricted to kosher (traditional, approved) foods, nor do they wear the skull cap (yarmulke) when praying or use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jew looks for a personal Messiah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jews understand their connection with the Abrahamic covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who fulfilled that covenant. Jewish people need to understand Jesus as the fulfillment of what God promised humanity through Abraham centuries ago.
Unfortunately, "Jewishness" is often defined in secular terms such as the use of Yiddish words and family traditions, rather than in spiritual aspects, such as looking to the God of Abraham for all their needs. This attitude keeps Jewish people from finding spiritual truth that would lead them to their Messiah.

Prayer Points

Pray for believers to reach out to the Jewish community in love.
Pray for a spiritual hunger among Yiddish speaking Jews in Belarus that will lead them to their messiah.
Pray for Yiddish speaking rabbis to emerge who will disciple others in the ways of Yeshua, Jesus.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and thrust out workers to the Jewish communities in Belarus.

Scripture Prayers for the Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking in Belarus.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
People Name in Country Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
Natural Name Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish
Pronunciation YIH-dish joo
Alternate Names Jew, Yiddish-Speaking; Jewish; Yiddish Jewish
Population this Country 14,000
Population all Countries 785,000
Total Countries 12
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12350
ROP3 Code 104247
ROP25 Code 303368
ROP25 Name Jewish
Country Belarus
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Belarus
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread..   Source:  Ethnologue 2020

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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Religion Subdivision: Judaism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Yiddish, Eastern
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  paul prescott - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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