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.

DSC_0926

Laima and Robertas outside the Krakes Community Centre

A short video of Robertas talking about the Jews of Krakes

Buildings of Krakes

[gss type=”slideshow” size=”full” options=”timeout=4000″ name=”boland1″ ids=”175291531,175291533,175291534,175291532,175291547,175291548,175291546,175291545″]

 

IMG_3976

Mikalojaus Katkaus Gimnazija

[gss type=”slideshow” size=”full” options=”timeout=4000″ name=”boland2″ ids=”175291535,175291537,175291536,175291539,175291540,175291544,175291543,175291541,175291542″]
Some pages from the 2002 project

[gss type=”slideshow” size=”full” options=”timeout=4000″ name=”boland3″ ids=”175291556,175291557,175291554,175291555,175291549,175291550,175291551,175291552,175291553,175291558″]

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 JewishGen.org:

Mikalojaus Katkaus Gimnazija’s website:

 

Ruoščiai, the Centre of Lithuania & Krakes

Ruoščiai

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

Krakės

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Krakės
Town
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.

 

Dsc_3670Dsc_3675_2Dsc_3676Dsc_3673Dsc_3680Dsc_3683Dsc_3685Dsc_3684Dsc_3686

 

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.

Dsc_3693Dsc_3700Dsc_3704Dsc_3705Dsc_3707Dsc_3715Dsc_3720Dsc_3723Dsc_3735Dsc_3739Dsc_3741Dsc_3746Dsc_3802Dsc_3751Dsc_3755Dsc_3760Dsc_3770Dsc_3776Dsc_3779Dsc_3781Dsc_3791Dsc_3771Dsc_3799Dsc_3793Dsc_3796Dsc_3806Dsc_3807

 

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

Dsc_3833Dsc_3829Dsc_3815Dsc_3820Dsc_3821Dsc_3818Dsc_3826Dsc_3823Dsc_3834

 

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

Dsc_3840Dsc_3839Dsc_3842Dsc_3848Dsc_3877Dsc_3894Dsc_3876Dsc_3896Dsc_3881Dsc_3851Dsc_3865Dsc_3866Dsc_3867Dsc_3868Dsc_3870Dsc_3871Dsc_3875Dsc_3874

 

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. 

 

Dsc_3900Dsc_3902Dsc_3911Dsc_3914Dsc_3915Dsc_3907

 

Abraham_shlomo_zalman_zoref

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

Dsc_3932Dsc_3936Dsc_3926Dsc_3952Dsc_3930Dsc_3958Dsc_3954Dsc_3953Dsc_3949Dsc_3920

 

Storks in action.

Dsc_3962Dsc_3966Dsc_3964Dsc_3968Dsc_3970Dsc_3972

 The Jewish Cemetery 

Dsc_3974Dsc_3975Dsc_3979Dsc_3980Dsc_3981Dsc_3982Dsc_3990

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

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

Mapu and Zamenhof 

Dsc_3997Dsc_4008Dsc_4009Dsc_4011Dsc_4013Dsc_4015Dsc_4024Dsc_4018Dsc_4028Dsc_4025Dsc_4030Dsc_4032Dsc_4031Dsc_4038Dsc_4040Dsc_4042Dsc_4053Dsc_4061

 

The Choral Synagogue and Moshe Beirak

Lovely gallery upstairs. Paintings of photos of rabbis of Kovno

Dsc_4068Dsc_4084Dsc_4069Dsc_4076Dsc_4087Dsc_4098Dsc_4100Dsc_4111Dsc_4106Dsc_4113Dsc_4114Dsc_4118Dsc_4120Dsc_4122Dsc_4126Dsc_4129Dsc_4144Dsc_4163Dsc_4141Dsc_4149Dsc_4148Dsc_4153Dsc_4168Dsc_4164Dsc_4170Dsc_4174Dsc_4172Dsc_4187Dsc_4196Dsc_4193Dsc_4185Dsc_4200Dsc_4199

 

We visit the ghetto area. The yeshiva.

The step with no door.

Dsc_4202Dsc_4210Dsc_4212Dsc_4213Dsc_4218Dsc_4219

 

Ninth Fort is a comprehensive museum just outside of Kaunas.

It includes an extensive exhibition of the Holocaust.

Dsc_4223Dsc_4224Dsc_4236Dsc_4241Dsc_4238Dsc_4242Dsc_4246Dsc_4264Dsc_4265Dsc_4262Dsc_4273Dsc_4274Dsc_4277Dsc_4283Dsc_4282Dsc_4289Dsc_4294Dsc_4305Dsc_4296Dsc_4301Dsc_4323Dsc_4312Dsc_4314Dsc_4268Dsc_4324Dsc_4326Dsc_4327Dsc_4333Dsc_4357

 

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

Dsc_4360Dsc_4362Dsc_4368

 

 

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

Dsc_4408Dsc_4418Dsc_4421Dsc_4412Dsc_4419Dsc_4375Dsc_4385Dsc_4386Dsc_4388Dsc_4392Dsc_4380Dsc_4397Dsc_4404

The customary evening walk around the Old Town. 

Dsc_4422Dsc_4423Dsc_4429Dsc_4432Dsc_4433Dsc_4447Dsc_4440Dsc_4451Dsc_4464Dsc_4455Dsc_4454Dsc_4473Dsc_4482Dsc_4485Dsc_4499Dsc_4496Dsc_4471Dsc_4503Dsc_4508Dsc_4509Dsc_4518Dsc_4521Dsc_4519Dsc_4529

 

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.