Novogrodek is a small town situated 140 kilometres south of Vilnius (formerly Vilna), the capital of Lithuania, and 150 kilometres west of Minsk, capital of Belarus. It is as typical as any other shtetl
, the village or small town in the homelands of Eastern Europe where most Jews lived before their migration westwards.
Jews settled in Novogrodek in the 15th century, and in the 1897 census
it was recorded that of 13,656 inhabitants, over half, 8137, were Jews. Novogrodek was one of the many settlements in Eastern Europe from which Jews emigrated in their thousands at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.