Established by the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.
The Commission was established upon the Lithuanian independence, and has been under the chairmanship of Emmanuel Zingeris, the long-serving Jewish Member of the Seimas.
In 2004 the Tolerance Centre principle was approved. The Tolerance Centre in Plunge was the 8th such centre established. There are now in excess of 100. The co-ordinator of the T C in each school, or museum, has autonomy.
The emphasis on the Tolerance Centre in Plunge is on the Jewish tragedy rather than the Russian brutality. Naturally, we are more concerned with the crimes against the Jews. Programs also include a study of Jewish life before WWll.
There are a number of Jews who are against the “Commission” because they are there also to teach about the Soviet regime.
My interest in family history started in 1992, after my cousin wrote seven ancestors’ names down on a scrap piece of paper.
I have had many genealogical success stories since then. This is due to my often unorthodox, multi focused approach, described by my daughter in law as “tangential”!
In 2011 I visited Eastern Europe for the first time. My heritage travels have taken me back four additional times. I have visited Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
I started writing KehilaLinks in 2011, the first being for Orla, near Bialystok in Poland in 2011.
JewishGen KehilaLinks (formerly “ShtetLinks”) is a project facilitating web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. KehilaLinks provides the opportunity for anyone with an interest in a place to create web pages about that community. These web pages may contain information, pictures, databases, and links to other sources providing data about that place.
Kehilaקהילה [Hebrew] n. (pl. kehilot קהילות): Jewish Community. It is used to refer to a Jewish community, anywhere in the world.
Sites are hosted by JewishGen, the world’s largest Jewish genealogical organisation, an affiliate of the Jewish Heritage Museum in New York City. JewishGen provides amateur and professional genealogists with the tools to research their Jewish family history and heritage.
People are invited to send in their own stories, photos and memoirs. There is no cost in participating in a KehilaLink and it is a great way to share one’s family history
My list has grown to 63 websites with 3 more in the pipeline.
Ironically, the one place I have not been to is Shanghai! Yet, I have been drawn to it by its connection to the Jewish people and especially because of the story of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Kovno, the capital of Lithuania during WWII. Against his government’s wishes, Sugihara issued transit visas to Jews, enabling them to get to Shanghai, and therefore saved many lives. The story only surfaced in the 1970s. See Rabbi Levi Wolff of Sydney Central Synagogue:
We are pleased to welcome the following webpages to JewishGen KehilaLinks
We thank the owners and webmasters of these webpages for creating fitting
memorials to these Kehilot (Jewish Communities) and for providing a
valuable resource for future generations of their descendants: