Keidan Commemoration 28 August 2020

Greetings to all our Keidaner community and friends!   

from Aryeh (Leonard) Shcherbakov
secretary of the Association of Keidaners in Israel

Israel July 2019

For those of you who are not members of the “Roots in Keidan” group on Facebook, and couldn’t attend the commemoration meeting, we send the following note. 

As you know, yesterday, Friday, August 28, 2020, we commemorated the 79th anniversary of extermination of our families, who were brutally slaughtered together with all Jewish community of Kėdainiai (Keidan) in one single day – on August 28, 1941. 

Two simultaneous commemoration ceremonies were held at 11:00, one – in Israel, by the memorial dedicated to the lost communities of Kėdainiai, Ariogala, Dotnuva, Krakės, and Šėta, at the old cemetery in Holon, another – in Lithuania, by the mass grave in Kėdainiai. 

The first one was conducted by a number of descendants of the Keidan Jewish community living in Israel, the second – by our Lithuanian friends in Kėdainiai, who are faithfully devoted to the preservation of memory of our community.  

Israel 28 August 2020

Kedainiai, Lithuania 28 August 2020

We thank all those who attended – both in Lithuania and Israel – as well as those who were with us at this sad hour. 

Our special thanks to Mrs.Laima Ardavičienė, who prepared a touching presentation commemorating the tragic fate of our community – “Every single man has a name”: 

https://view.genial.ly/5f467a84ab36c80d5988f1ef/presentation-every-single-man-has-a-name 

 

 

With best regards,
Aryeh (Leonard) Shcherbakov
secretary of the Association of Keidaners in Israel
ashcherbakov@hotmail.com  

Kedainiai June 2019

In memory of Simon Davidovich z”l

Israel Jul 2019

With Ben-Tsion and Batya
With Len
With Aryeh

They Are Returning – A Year On!

Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai Lithuania

Reflecting back to  June 2019

Rabbi Dan Fink

Bobbie Lamont

Eli Rabinowitz 

13 June 2019

VIDEO OF OUR EVENT IN LITHUANIA

They Are Returning

‘’TILTAI-BRIDGES-בריקן’’

For video, click here:

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZXBEuPfeFc

Rabbi Dan Fink handing out gifts to students
With Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania, Amir Maimon
Photos of our group – descendants of Keidaners

At the school

At the cemetery

At the Holocaust site

Vale Simonas Dovidavicius. 

Standing between Laima Ardaviciene and me in Kėdainiai, Lithuania on 15 June this year. Simon passed away last week and was laid to rest on the 18th December 2019. 

With Rimantas Zirgulis

 

Birzh Commemoration – A Reflection In The Stone!

THE BIRZAI/BIRZH MEMORIAL PROJECT, LITHUANIA – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

THE BIRZAI/BIRZH MEMORIAL PROJECT, LITHUANIA – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

On 16 June 2019, a new memorial for the victims of the massacre that took place near Birzai, Lithuania, was unveiled. Located in the Astravas Grove in the Pakamponys forest four kilometres outside the town, it is the third memorial in Lithuania to bear the names of the victims at the massacre site.

Source: www.sajbd.org/media/the-birzai-birzh-memorial-project-lithuania

Ben Rabinowitz

Look at the reflection on the memorial stone in his photo taken (by someone else) of Ben Rabinowitz in the above article! Eerie!

Reflection
Birzai Commemoration

My 16 June 2019 post

Birzai Commemoration

Sunday 16 June 2019 Birzai, Lithuania Photos of the event The Castle Tree planting Walk to the Holocaust Site The Ceremony Back to the Castle

Source: elirab.me/birzai-commemoration/

Ben Rabinowitz
Eli Rabinowitz & Ben Rabinowitz
With Veronica Belling
With other Litvak activists!

Birzai, Lithuania – Website  Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/birzai/Home.html

The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX

The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX

This is “The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX” by MDK Associates on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Source: vimeo.com/392266976

Other Commemorations in the European Summer:
Shabbat in Keidan
They Are Returning

They Are Returning

Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai Lithuania 13 June 2019 VIDEO OF OUR EVENT IN LITHUANIA They Are Returning ‘’TILTAI-BRIDGES-בריקן’’ For video, click here: Source: www.youtube.co…

Source: elirab.me/they-are-returning/

Kedainiai, Lithuania Website:

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kedainiai/Home.html

Bielski Reunion in Belarus

Bielski Reunion in Forest Jerusalem 2019

Bielski Reunion in Forest Jerusalem 2019

    9 July 2019, Naliboki Forest A Day with the Bielskis 9:00 – All the guests are brought to the village of Naliboki by minivans.  11.00  – meeting Alexander Pilinkievich…

Source: elirab.me/bielski-reunion-in-forest-jerusalem-2/

Novogrudok, Belarus – Website

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/navahrudak/Home.html

Naliboki Belarus – Website

 

 

They Are Returning

Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai Lithuania

13 June 2019

VIDEO OF OUR EVENT IN LITHUANIA

They Are Returning

‘’TILTAI-BRIDGES-בריקן’’

For video, click here:

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZXBEuPfeFc

Rabbi Dan Fink handing out gifts to students
With Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania, Amir Maimon
Photos of our group – descendants of Keidaners

At the school

At the cemetery

At the Holocaust site

REMEMBERING THE DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH KEIDAN

In August of this year, an article appeared on the website of the Lithuanian municipality of Kėdainiai, under the headline: “With a minute of silence, Kėdainiai met Tel Aviv.” The text described an annual event, begun only a few years ago, commemorating the extermination of Kedainiai’s Jewish community on August 28, 1941, during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania.

At precisely 18:30, local leaders and others observed a minute of silence – while at that same moment, in Israel, descendants of that vanished Jewish community, who called their home Keidan, were doing the same thing.

Two simultaneous ceremonies – one at the hall of the association of the Vilna Jews in Tel Aviv, the other by the mass grave where more than 2,000 Keidan Jews were murdered 77 years earlier.

Such commemorations are a longstanding tradition in Israel, home to thousands of Jews who trace their families to Lithuania. But in Lithuania itself this is relatively new, and still uncommon, tradition. Kėdainiai’s annual observance began several years ago, and has grown each year. This year it was led by Saulius Grinkevičius, mayor of the municipality, and Rimantas Žirgulis, director of the regional museum. The participants included two mayor’s deputies, the heads of local cultural and educational institutions, members of the administration and museum workers, school teachers and other Kėdainiai citizens. A local television station broadcast the ceremony.

The event reflects an important recent change in public consciousness and attitude. To a significant degree, Lithuanians are confronting their country’s painful past. This is reflected in the  media, in increased research into local Jewish history and culture, and in the restoration of sites related to Lithuania’s former Jewish communities. In Kėdainiai, the regional museum and its director have played an important role, as have teachers such as Laima Ardavičieneof the Kėdainiai Atžalynas gymnasium, or secondary school. As it was often in the past, Kėdainiai is providing leadership and serving as a role model for other communities in Lithuania.

Supporting those efforts going forward is a recently published English translation of the Keidan yizkor book – a volume of memoirs, historical accounts and other material gathered from survivors and descendants of the Jewish community after World War II. Originally published mostly in Hebrew and Yiddish in 1977, the book offers a multi-faceted view of Jewish life in Keidan – its history, its religious, educational, social and cultural institutions, youth organizations, portraits of its prominent people, recollections of witnesses and survivors before, during and after the Holocaust.

Cover of the Keidan Memorial (Yizkor) Book, recently translated into English. Edited by Aryeh Leonard Shcherbakov aryeh.shcherbakov@gmail.comand Andrew Cassel awcassel@gmail.com of the Keidan Associations of Israel and the U.S.; published by David Solly Sandler sedsand@iinet.net.auin Perth, Australia.  The book is obtainable from any of the three above mentioned

Photos of Commemoration in Kedainiai – 28 August 2018

A section of the memorial erected in 2011 at the site of the Jews’ massacre near Kedainiai. Names of the victims were recorded as cutouts in the metal sheet.

At the site of the 28 August 1941 massacre of Kedainiai’s Jews. Mayor Saulius Grinkevičius lays flowers, while Rimantas Žirgulis (in white shirt) observes.

Local students and media participated in the commemoration.

Laima Ardavičiene, a teacher at the Kėdainiai Atžalynas gymnasium, records the event.

Article and photos by :Aryeh Leonard Shcherbakov aryeh.shcherbakov@gmail.com and Andrew Cassel awcassel@gmail.com of the Keidan Associations of Israel and the U.S and David Solly Sandler sedsand@iinet.net.au of Perth, Australia.

Other Compilations of David Solly Sandler 

Solly

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Johannesburg/Solly.html

Kedainiai Kehilalink

Kedainiai, Lithuania

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kedainiai/

Kedainiai 2018

Rooted in Keidan

Rooted in Keidan

This post covers this year’s visit to my ancestral town of Kedainiai – Keidan in Lithuania and the activities of Laima Ardaviciene, English teacher at the Atzalynas High School. Each time I visit, there are so many new surprises in store for me! Thank you Laima!

70 Years After Destruction, Memory of Lithuanian Community Lives in Diaspora Descendents of Jews From Keidan Proudly Recall Roots People from my grandfather’s hometown in Lithuania were known to be…

Source: allequalalldifferent.weebly.com/rooted-in-keidan.html

Preserving Jewish memory – Bringing history to …- Mind Map

Preserving Jewish memory – Bringing history to …- Mind Map

Educational projects, Academic process, Meeting Keidaners 

Source: www.mindomo.com/mindmap/preserving-jewish-memory-bringing-history-to-life-349664be0856419193573b426f451039

Dan Fink – Rooted in Kedainiai

Video

Dan Fink

Source: youtu.be/UWwTFIiMGg8

Kedainiø „Atþalyno“ gimnazija

K�dainiø „Atþalyno“ gimnazija

Source: atzalynas.kedainiai.lm.lt

Springtime – arriving at school
Keidaner Family Tree on Laima’s class room wall
New artwork
Virtual Meeting – Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai and Jerusalem Efrata College

Dr Ben-tsion Klibansky

Short Video

One of the MA students

Short-Video

The Video taken from the Israeli side

Virtual Meeting – Kėdainių „Atžalyno“ Gimnazija and Jerusalem Efrata College

A virtual meeting between students of the English teacher Laima Ardaviciene.at Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai and students of the lecturer Dr. Ben-Tsiyon Klib…

Source: youtu.be/menN7r4qsmM

An interview with Simonas

 

Morning Tea
Tea with the Director of the school, Gintaras Petrulis, teachers and students
Urte sings a Lithuanian folk song

about a soldier and a girl

Video

Atzalynas Gimnazija song

Source: youtu.be/5GQHA4ZYYpY

 

Tour of the school

With Mantas and Arnas

The Atzalynas students with Laima at the Museum groundbreaking ceremony in Seduva

With Laima and Edwin Glasenberg  – framed sketch featuring a joint project between Atzalynas School and the Seduva High School
With Laima and student Giedrius
Tour of Old Kedainiai with Algirdas Juknevicius and two students, Mantas and Arnas, to help translate.

The complex of the two former synagogues

With Laima and Algirdas

 

Video

 

Video

Rebuilding the old bridge

Thank you, Algirdas

With Arnas, Mantas and Laima

       

Restoration of synagogue under way

Kedainiai. Past & Present

Video by Laima Ardaviciene

Kedainiai. Past & Present

Kedainiai. Past & Present

Source: youtu.be/R-CKRm7uxy0

Recital in the former synagogue

Featuring Rachel Elezi – New York

   

The Holocaust Mass Grave and Memorial 

The Jewish Cemetery
An aerial photo of the Kedainiai Jewish cemetery. Laima’s students have been cleaning and documenting the matsevot.
Oak Trees Planted for Keidaners

 Memorial in Josvainiai near Kedainiai    

  

Josvainiai

Josvainiai – Wikipedia

Josvainiai is a small town in Kėdainiai district, central Lithuania. It is located on the Šušvė River 10 km southwest from Kėdainiai. In the town there is a Catholic church, secondary school, post office and public library.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josvainiai

From Keidan to Ra’anana to Orlando

 Kedainiai June 2017

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Original article in Lithuanian

http://www.rinkosaikste.lt/naujienos/aktualijos/gimnazistams-kdainietik-akn-turinio-ydo-paskaita

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. 

Report

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!

 

Israel-Litvak Roots

IGRA Meeting on 12 June in Raanana, Israel

Israel-Litvak Roots
From: Elena Bazes

Monday, June 12th in Ra’anana, Israel

Join us for the next meeting of the Israel Genealogy Research
Association (IGRA).

Eli Rabinowitz will be speaking on “In the Footsteps of Zalman Tzoref:
Tracing 200 Years of Litvak Family History and Legacy”.
This presentation follows Zalman Tzoref’s footsteps and goes beyond!
In 1811, Tzoref left Keidan, Lithuania for Jerusalem where his mission
was to rebuild the Ashkenazi community in the Old City. Eli will
discuss Tzoref’s life and achievements through his 20,000 descendants.

In 2011, Eli returned to the town, now called Kedainiai, and
re-established his family connections with Tzoref’s birthplace. He
will also speak on how he has become active in building bridges in
this town.

Eli Rabinowitz, born in Cape Town, has lived in Perth Australia since
1986. An economist by profession, Eli 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. Eli writes and manages 75 Kehilalinks
websites for JewishGen, and blogs on Jewish life, his extensive
heritage travel and photography. He also arranges customized Litvak
heritage tours and has published stories in various genealogical
publications.

Location: Bet Fisher, 5 Klausner Street, Ra’anana

Doors open at 19:00   Meeting begins at 19:30.

Cost: IGRA members-Free Admission     Non-members-NIS 20

To join IGRA, go to http://genealogy.org.il/membership/

Elena Biegel Bazes
IGRA Publicity Chairperson

Home – Israel Genealogy Research Association

The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) is bringing new technology, new energy and new excitement to genealogy in Israel, and across the world. In order to receive increased access to the Israel Genealogy Research Association’s web site, and to stay informed on the society’s activities, be sure to register for this site. Registration is free. Press the big “Register Now” button to the right to register now!

Source: genealogy.org.il/

LitvakSIG | About LitvakSIG

LitvakSIG is the primary internet resource for Lithuanian-Jewish (Litvak) genealogy research worldwide. SIG stands for Special Interest Group.

Source: www.litvaksig.org/about-litvaksig

 

Maoz Tzur Sung in Perth Heard in Keidan

Just think of this – when was the last time Maoz Tzur was heard in Keidan, Lithuania, sung by a Jewish kid? Maybe 75 years ago!

When Laima Ardaviciene, the English teacher at Atzalyno Gymnazija in Kedainiai Lithunia, asked whether I could give a talk on Chanukah via Skype to her students,  I would normally have sourced one of the many brilliant articles by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and shared this with them, speaking from my home.

As I only live a minute’s drive from our CHABAD Shul in Noranda, I came up with the idea of enlisting the assistance of Rabbi Shalom White and doing it at the Shul. I also asked a young and talented friend,  Dylan Kotkis, to join us. Dylan has a friendly and outgoing personality together with a beautiful singing voice. He is a 15 year old student at Carmel School, Perth’s Jewish Day School.

Due to the 7 hour time difference between Perth and Kedainiai, 1pm (7pm here) was the best time for Laima and her students, so we held the meeting in the Shul’s library.  A minyan was taking place in the sanctuary at the same time.

Here are some photos and video clips taken  both from the Kedainiai and from the Perth ends.  I synchronised and edited the videos and combined the footage taken by Laima and myself.

Rabbi White, Dylan and I  spoke about the festival and Dylan took the Lithuanian students on a tour of the shul. Dylan sang Maoz Tzur for them.

Photos taken at Atzalyno Gimnazija

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Photos taken on the Perth side

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Screenshots and photos of  the signs the Lithuanian students presented.

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My bond with Atzalyno Gimnazija, a school in Kedainiai

The Internet by Dylan Kotkis