I would like to draw your attention to this project by Laima Ardaviciene, an English High School teacher in Kedainiai, Lithuania.
The website: https://www.smore.com/p9rmp
The Yiddish lullaby that appears on the site:
Kedainiai is the town in Central Lithuania of my 3rd great grandfather, Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref:
Laima has asked those with connections to Kedainiai to write something about our mothers:
My mother Raele (Rachel) Zeldin, who liked to be called Ray, was not born in Keidan, but “up the road” in Daugavpils in Latvia, then known as Dvinsk or at another time as Dinaburg.
Here is some info on Dvinsk:
Location of Daugavpils within Latvia
|Daugavpils (Latvian pronunciation: [ˈdaʊɡaʊpils] ( ); Latgalian: Daugpiļs [ˈdaʊkʲpʲɪlʲsʲ]; Russian: Даугавпилс [ˈdaʊɡəfpʲɪls]; see other names) is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means “Daugava Castle”. With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some 230 kilometres (143 miles) to its north-west. Daugavpils has a favorable geographical position as it borders Belarus and Lithuania (distances of 33 km (21 mi) and 25 km (16 mi) respectively). It is located some 120 km (75 mi) from the Latvian border with Russia. Daugavpils is a major railway junction and industrial centre.|
From 1784 onwards the city had a large and active Jewish population among them a number of prominent figures. According to the Russian census of 1897, out of a total population of 69,700, Jews numbered 32,400 (so around 44% percent).
As part of the Russian Empire the city was called Dvinsk from 1893 to 1920. The newly independent Latvian state renamed it Daugavpils in 1920. Latvians, Poles and Soviet troops fought the Battle of Daugavpils in the area from 1919 to 1920. Daugavpils and the whole of Latvia was under the Soviet Union rule between 1940–41 and 1944–1991, while Germany occupied it between 1941 and 1944. The Nazis established the Daugavpils Ghetto where the town’s Jews were forced to live.
Images and documents of Ray from her early life in Latvia, after research in the Latvian Archives in Riga by Rita Bogdanova.
Listen to this Yiddish song sung my my dad, Cantor Harry Rabinowitz:
A Brivele Der Mamen
Ray left Riga in 1937 to rejoin her family in Cape Town, South Africa
Ray described Riga as the “Paris of the East” and my first opportunity to visit was 3 years ago in 2011.
My 4 trips to Latvia: http://elirab.me/?s=riga&submit=Search
This is the lullaby my mum often sang to me:
Here are the last photos of Ray taken in 2001 in Perth, Australia. As always, Ray was fun, youthful and glamorous!