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About Us
Who We Are

The ajs is an organization of committed Swiss Jews and additional affiliated people worldwide. For over forty years, we have provided humanitarian aid in Belarus, supporting small communities to rebuild their Jewish life.


The ajs, originally known as the «Action Group for the Jews in the Soviet Union,» was started in 1979. For the first ten years, the focus of ajs was focused on drawing political attention to the difficult situation of the Jews behind the Iron Curtain, refusniks in particular, who were forbidden from leaving the country.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ajs turned its focus to Belarus. Similarly, the organization changed its name to «Action Group for the Jews in Belarus.» What was initially primarily a political organization became a humanitarian-focused association. During this phase, the ajs organized aid transports with clothing, medicine, and food, because the Jewish population was suffering from the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in the former Soviet Republic.


After 2007, the ajs again shifted its focus due to the needs of the time. As is the case in many Eastern European countries, the support offered by the Belarusian state for adults with disabilities was and is still in its infancy and not well developed. Unfortunately, this lack of specialized human and physical infrastructure also applies to the training of caregivers. For this reason, the ajs chose to support projects and promote the training of specialists and volunteers from our partner organization Chesed-Rachamim in Minsk. In addition, the ajs's second focus became supporting small Jewish communities in partnership with the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities (UBJOC).


Based in Basel, the ajs is a non-profit organization with approximately 350 members.

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