The Scroll of Kurzeniac
(Kurenets, Belarus)


Translation of
Megilat Kurenits; ayara be-hayeha u-ve-mota

Published by the JewishGen Press

Editor of Original Yizkor Book: Aharon Meirovitch
Written by Aharon and other former residents of Kurzeniec in Israel and in the USA
Project Coordinator: Eilat Gordin-Levitan
Cover Design: Irv Osterer
Layout: Jonathan Wind
Name Indexing: Stefanie Holzman
8.5” x 11” hard cover 512 pages with original photographs

Available from for $40.00



The scroll of Kurenets is a compilation of essays and stories by Kurenets natives who, in most cases were not professional writers. It was mostly written after the Holocaust to commemorate the life and the tragic death of their beloved Jewish Kurenets. Most of the writers lived in Israel at the time the book was published in the mid 1950's. A few lived in the USA and wrote in Yiddish about Kurenets before the Holocaust. The editor (poet Aharon Meirovitz born in Kurenets in 1910) translated their essays from Yiddish to Hebrew. Included here are some stories that were written in later years by Kurenitzers who were in the Soviet Union and unable to add their stories of survival at the time that the original book was published. In the spirit of the original book, the English translations were done by descendants of Kurenetsers, who are not professional translators.

Kurenets and nearby Vileika are situated at a road junction and a railway that leads deep into Russia. Because of this significant location on a noteworthy geographic artery, the area has suffered from many foreign army invasions. According to local testimony, the Jewish community in Kurenets started in the late 17th century. The founders were Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition and escaped to western Europe, and later to the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom, at the invitation of the rulers.

While the Jewish residents of Kurenets spanned the income spectrum, most were middle class in 1900. Middle class Jews in Kurenets earned their living in the central market, which was the heart of the town. The homes all around the market were Jewish owned and had workshops and other small shops operating in the front of the buildings.

At the turn of the 20th century many young Jews became more secular. They sought general education and better opportunities in bigger cities. Some left for cities in western Europe and others went to the United States. Many of the young people of Kurenets at that time were influenced by the revolutionary socialist and anarchist Jewish youth of Smorgon, a bigger town in the area. Some took part in the socialist revolution in 1905. After the revolution failed, many who were active escaped to North and South America.

After the first World War, Jewish youth looked for new solutions and in 1918 and 1919, Zionist activities started in town.

May this book be a memorial to the Kurenets Jewish community that was so brutally destroyed.


Kurenets, Belarus is located at 54°33' N 26°57' E and 51 miles NNW of Minsk


Alternate names of the Town:

Kurenets [Rus], Kurzeniec [Pol], Kornitz [Yid], Kuraniec [Bel], Korenetz, Kuzhenets, Kuranec


Nearby Jewish Communities:

Vilyeyka 4 miles SSW
Nivki 10 miles NE
Vyazyn 13 miles SE
Maladzyechna 17 miles SSW
Ilya 17 miles ESE
Zaskevichi 17 miles SW
Kryvichy 18 miles NE
Liebiedzieva 19 miles SSW
Myadzyel 22 miles N
Kraysk 22 miles E
Daŭhinava 22 miles ENE
Krasnae 23 miles SSE
Smarhon 23 miles WSW
Budslav 26 miles NE
Haradok 28 miles S
Narach 29 miles NNW
Radashkovichy 30 miles SSE
Svir 30 miles NW


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Updated 25 Oct 2023 by LA