From Keidan to Ra’anana to Orlando

 Kedainiai June 2017

Class-2s Class-3s Class-5s Draw-1s Draw-2s Draw-3s Class-1s
Original article in Lithuanian

Google Translated

with a little help from me!

Gimnazistai – kėdainietiškų Jewish Roots Lecture

Akvilė KUPČINSKAITĖ – 19:00 June 13th. 2017

“Atžalyno Gymnasium was visited by a Jewish guest from Australia, who has  kėdainietiškų roots. Eli Rabinowitz met with the academic staff at the high school, attended project activities and visited the Kėdainiai Regional Museum. 


The guest to Kėdainiai was invited by Atžalyno High School English teacher Laima Ardavičienė. Since 2012, Laima has been working on a project in which high school students learn in more detail about the history of the Jewish community in our country. Every year, the high school is visited by Eli Rabinowitz and they share their experiences and insights. The project is carried out in English, so that students not only broaden their minds, but also enhance their English language skills.

This year the theme was Jewish holidays. When we celebrate Christmas, Jews celebrate the Chanukah festival. Eli Rabinowitz arranged a virtual conference and introduced the festival. Guests who come to Lithuania continue the story of the other traditional Jewish holidays.

The Modern generation does not have time to read long stories. Eli Rabinowitz

Not for the first time

Eli Rabinowitz has visited Kėdainiai each year since 2012. The first time was to to search for his ancestors. In his opinion, Jews should actively search their roots. According to Eli, 95 percent of South African Jews came from Lithuania. Eli has travelled extensively throughout Central and Eastern Europe and has recorded traces of Jewish culture here, taking many pictures and videos. Since 2011, he has taken 18000 photos, using these images in slideshows, which is a good format to convey his experience to the younger generation.

“Young people do not have time to read or hear long stories.  Students all over the world prefer stories in short video clips, and other multimedia material “, – said Eli Rabinowitz.

Partisan Song – Vilna ghetto

Earlier this year Eli Rabinowitz was invited to present his project to a large South African high school. There, the students sang the Partisan Song in Yiddish, but did not understand the meaning of this song and the inspiration behind it.

“The song was written in 1943 in the Vilna ghetto by a 20-year-old Jew, Hirsh Glik, who was later killed. It has since then become the anthem of the Holocaust Survivors and is sung regularly. I want this song to spread to young people, so that they recite, sing and understand the meaning”- says Eli Rabinowitz.

The song has also been translated into Lithuanian. A student at Atzalyno  recites it as a poem, with a viola playing in the background and images of old Kedainiai.

“To know one’s history is important for us all, because if you do not know where you come from, you do not know where you are headed”, – says Eli  Rabinowitz wisely.



12 June 2017

Litvak Roots Lecture in Ra’anana

On June 12th, Eli Rabinowitz spoke in Ra’anana on “In the Footsteps of Zalman Tzoref: Tracing 200 Years of Litvak Family History and Legacy”. The presentation followed Zalman Tzoref’s life. He left Keidan, Lithuania and traveled to Jerusalem where his mission was to rebuild the Ashkenazi community in the Old City. In 2012, Eli returned to the town and re-established his family connections with Tzoref’s birthplace.

Eli Rabinowitz is involved in a wide range of Jewish community activities, including filming events, research, education, arranging exhibitions and lecturing on Jewish cultural heritage and family history.

Orlando Florida 26 July 2017  5pm – 6:15pm

In the Footsteps of Zalman Tzoref: Tracing 200 Years of Litvak Family History and Legacy
Venue: Walt Disney World Swan Resort
Room: Swan 2
At the last two IAJGS conferences a movie about Tzoref was shown. This presentation follows in the movie’s and Tzoref’s footsteps and goes beyond! In 1811, Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref, inspired by the Vilna Gaon, left Keidan, Lithuania for Jerusalem where his mission was to rebuild the Ashkenazi community in the Old City. Tzoref was murdered in 1851, but the story certainly does not end there. We reflect on Tzoref’s life and achievements through his 20,000 strong Salomon descendants, who for 200 years have made their mark as part of his enduring legacy. In 2011, exactly 200 years after Tzoref left Keidan, I return to the town, now called Kedainiai, and re-establish my family connections with his birthplace. Within a few years, I have become active in building bridges in this town in a most unusual way!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *