For large size version of this map see:

Oberman Families From Belarus.

Gomel, Belarus.

Lawrence/Alison Deborah Oberman(Ari Avram Ben Boruch) Son: Jonathon Father: Boris Boruch Michael from Gomel,Belorus GM Catherine Fluxman Uncle: Jochanan Aunties: Sonia and Bessie/Basha

Gomel, Belarus.

Diana Gabriel/Oberman, sister Jean R. Barilla. Father; Charles Israel, Mother; nee Ceckuth. GF Kalman, GM Mary Schatzow. GF's brother; Herman.

Vetka near Gomel, Belarus.

David/Reveka Oberman San Francisco, Daughter Ann m Alex Rozenberg daughter Maria.Brother Nicolas lives in LA.

Smolensk, Russia.

Israel and his brother Nayach b Smolensk. Israel m. Leba Schneyer b. Levenpolya. Israel's grandson Michael Goloff. Great-grandchildren Lia and Alexa.

The Jewish History of Belarus. The territory located between the rivers Neman (west) and Dnieper (east) and the rivers Pripet (south) and Dvina (north). Between the 14th and 18th centuries part of Poland-Lithuania, from the partitions of Poland (1772–95) until the 1917 revolution it was part of the "northwestern region" of Russia, and much of it was included in the three "guberniyas" (provinces) of Minsk, Mogilev, and Vitebsk. Under Soviet rule Belarus became a political entity as the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the area was called Belarus and was a CIS republic. In Jewish history Belarus is part of "Lita" (Lithuania), its Jews being considered "Litvaks." Jewish merchants apparently first visited Belarus in transit between Poland and Russia as early as the 15th century. Jews were acting as toll collectors in Nowogrodek (1445), Minsk (1489), and Smolensk (1489). In 1495 the Jews in Belarus were included in the expulsion of Lithuanian Jewry, returning with it in 1503. An important role in developing Belarus was played by Jews from Brest-Litovsk as large-scale farmers of the customs dues and wealthy merchants. Their agents were often the pioneers of the communities of Belarus. A community was established in Pinsk in 1506. By 1539 there were Jews settled in Kletsk and Nowogrodek, and subsequently in Minsk, Polotsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev, and Orsha. The Christian citizenry consistently opposed the permanent settlement of Jews within the areas of the cities and towns under municipal jurisdiction. In Vitebsk, for instance, they were not granted permission to build a synagogue until 1630. Within the framework of the Council of Lithuania, Pinsk was one of the three original principal communities; most of the communities in Belarus came under the jurisdiction of the Brest-Litovsk community, while several were subject to that of the Pinsk community. In 1692 the Slutsk community also achieved the status of a principal community. Smaller communities also grew up under the protection of the landowners who rented their towns, villages, taverns, or inns to Jewish contractors. These made constant attempts to break away from the jurisdiction of the older communities and manage their communal affairs independently. Down to the period of the partitions of Poland the communities in Belarus were constantly exposed to the danger of Russian incursions, which were accompanied by wholesale massacres and forced conversions. Such occurred in 1563 in Polotsk, and in many other communities between 1648 and 1655. After Belarus passed to Russia in the late 18th century Shklov became an important commercial center on the route between Russia and Western Europe. Although a small group of Jews acquired wealth as building contractors, army suppliers, and large-scale merchants, the vast majority of Jews in the region of Belarus were relatively destitute. The Jews in the cities and townships of Belarus had associations with the village and rural economy in a variety of ways. Both the wealthy and poorer Jews engaged in the development and trade of forest industries, and established small or medium-sized timber enterprises. They also developed leather and allied industries on a similar scale. Another Belarus Jewish occupation was peddling combined with the buying up of village produce, such as flax, hemp, and bristles, which the Jewish peddler sold to Jewish merchants who exported these commodities to the West. Because of the prevailing conditions of poverty large numbers of Jews emigrated from Belarus to the Ukraine or southern Russia, and, from the 1880s, to the United States. In the cultural sphere, the Jews of Belarus were influenced by the centers in Vilna, Volhynia, and Podolia. In general the Mitnaggedim trend predominated in the north and west of the region. Most of the celebrated Lithuanian yeshivot were in Belarus, those of Volozhin and Mir, among others. Hasidism penetrated Belarus from the south. Two of the fathers of Hasidism, Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk and Shneur Zalman of Lyady, were active there. Belorussia was the cradle of Habad Hasidism. In southern Belorussia the influence of the hasidic rabbis of the Karlin and Stolin dynasties was strong. By the mid-19th century Haskalah penetrated the larger towns from Vilna. The pogroms in Russia of 1881 to 1883 did not spread to Belarus. The Hovevei Zion found adherents mainly in the larger and average-size communities. Toward the end of the 19th century Zionism and the Bund movement began to spread among Belorussian Jewry. Zionism found its main adherents among the middle-class professionals and white-collar workers or working men from the ranks of traditional Judaism. It was in Belarus that Labor Zionism originated, its centers being Minsk, Bobruisk, Gomel, and Vitebsk. The second convention of Russian Zionists was held in Minsk in 1902. The Bund won converts mainly among Jewish artisans and workers, but also among radicals of the intelligentsia. During the revolution of 1905 the Bund headed the revolutionary movement in Belarus. Self-defense organizations to protect the Jews during the wave of pogroms in this period were established by the Bund and the Labor Zionists at this time in every town in the region. The first move toward organized Jewish self-defense there was made to combat a gang of rioters in Gomel in the fall of 1903. As a result only a few communities in Belarus were harmed. The revolution precipitated far-reaching changes in the internal life of the Jews of Belarus which contributed to the breakup of the traditional Jewish social and spiritual patterns and loyalties. Zionism resulted in the development of modernized hadarim and Hebrew schools. After the outbreak of World War I a stream of refugees and MmigrMs from Poland and Lithuania passed through Belorussia, and were warmly received by the Jews there. The 1917 February Revolution aroused great expectations among the Jewish public, and the Jewish political parties emerged from underground. A number of Jewish journals were issued in Minsk, including the Zionist Der Yid and the Bundist Der Veker. In the Minsk district the Zionists received 65,400 votes in the elections to the All-Russian Constituent Assembly as against 16,270 votes for the Bund and the Mensheviks. After the October Revolution and the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, Belorussia became a battlefield between the Red Army and the Polish army. The Jewish communities suffered severely both from the general wartime conditions and from attacks by the Polish Army when Jews were killed indiscriminately on the charge of spying and helping the Red forces. The victims of these atrocities included 35 Jews in Pinsk in April 1919. Russian volunteers under the command of General Bulak-Balakhovich terrorized the Jews in the small towns and villages. After the Treaty of Riga in March 1921, Belorussia was divided between the Soviet Union and Poland.