Late last week I gave two talks to the students at the Atzalynas Gymnasium in Kedainiai, Lithuania.
Laima Ardaviciene, their English teacher, set up the meetings using Skype, which has proven effective on previous occasions.
What makes our meetings so special is that Laima uses Jewish history and culture as her subject.
Keidan was an important multicultural town before the Holocaust, with around 50% of the town Jewish. No Jews live there now.
My connection to Keidan is via my third great grandfather, Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref. He was a follower of the Vilna Gaon, and left in 1811 for Jerusalem.
I chose 15 of my photos of Lithuania to discuss with the classes.
They were in four different themes:
Three dual synagogue complexes in Lithuania
Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews
Simon Davidovich, director of the Sugihara Museum in Kaunas
Yaakov Bunka, Last Jew of Plungyan in the Plunge, Salantai and Plateliai area.
The program is now run by his son, Eugenijus.
The Curonian Spit, a World Heritage Site