The Jews Of Krakes School Project

One day last May,  I visited two schools in Lithuania, one in Kedainiai, the other in nearby Krakes.

I was able to see the outstanding work two teachers have been doing in educating young Lithuanian students on the Jewish history of their towns.

I have previously written about my special morning in Kedainiai with the students of Atzalyno Gimnazija.

Click below for my report:

My bond with Atzalyno Gimnazija, a school in Kedainiai

Later that day, Atzalyno’s English teacher, Laima Ardaviciene and I visited the small town of Krakes.

We met the history teacher, Robertas Dubinka at the Krakes Community Centre where he spoke about the Jews of Krakes and the school project he had led.

In 2002 Robertas and his students at the Mikalojaus Katkaus Gimnazija undertook a project in which they interviewed some Jewish residents of Krakes, who have since passed away. This project was translated into English and submitted to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Centre in Jerusalem. Robertas went to Jerusalem to make the presentation.


Laima and Robertas outside the Krakes Community Centre

A short video of Robertas talking about the Jews of Krakes

Buildings of Krakes

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Mikalojaus Katkaus Gimnazija

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Some pages from the 2002 project

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Robertas with some pages from the report

The Jewish houses on the map of Krakes

More about the Jewish aspects of Krakes

My post on my Virtual Heritage Tour on

Mikalojaus Katkaus Gimnazija’s website:


Ruoščiai, the Centre of Lithuania & Krakes


The Centre of Lithuania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stones marking the geographical center of Lithuania

Ruoščiai is a small village in Kėdainiai district municipalityLithuania. Located about 3 km from Dotnuva, it had 35 residents according to the 2001 census.[1]The settlement is known as the geographical center of Lithuania, which was calculated in 1995.[2]


Krakes Jewish Cemetery


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Center of the town
Center of the town
Coat of arms of Krakės
Coat of arms

Holocaust Memorial

Krakes, Kedainiai & Kaunas – 17 May 2012

My guide William Zhitkauskas meets me at the Hotel Conti at 8am and we drive to the town of Ziezmariai where one of the few wooden synagogues in Lithuania still stands. 

Jewish buildings are usually located near the church and the marketplace.

This was because Jews were traders and shopkeepers.




We then travel through interesting countryside and a dirt road to reach Krakes, a possible ancestral town of the Herisons. My great grandfather Michel Avraham Herison was from Krok or Kruk.  Krakes (Krok) is about 21 km from Kedainiai.



After driving out of town, William suddenly stops as he spots the old Jewish cemetery.



We head straight for the museum in Kedainiai which is housed in a building that was the Great Synagogue.



My 3rd Great grandfather, Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tsoref, a follower of the Vilna Gaon was born in Kedainiai in 1785. Tsoref settled in Jerusalem in 1811 and established the first Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem, resulting in the building of the Churva Synagogue. 





We drive around the ghetto area and come to the interesting town square. 



Storks in action.


 The Jewish Cemetery 


Kaunas, was for a time, the temporary capital of Lithuania.

 The Old Town and the few wealthier Jews who lived there.

Mapu and Zamenhof 



The Choral Synagogue and Moshe Beirak

Lovely gallery upstairs. Paintings of photos of rabbis of Kovno



We visit the ghetto area. The yeshiva.

The step with no door.



Ninth Fort is a comprehensive museum just outside of Kaunas.

It includes an extensive exhibition of the Holocaust.



After getting back to Vilnius, I bump into Regina Kopilevich at the Hotel Conti.




Mincha and Maariv at the Choral. I find Sharon’s cousin, Sasha. 


The customary evening walk around the Old Town. 



What busy day! Over 800 photos today.

FYI, there are many other photos on each subject, so I can email you more if you let me know which aspect you are interested in.