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

 

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

Lita Shtetl Visits – 2018

Siauliai with Sania Kerbilis & Antonina Gainulina

 Panevezys with Gennady Kofman

Master Yuter Family Tree

Panevezys Telephone Directory

Visitors Book

With Gennady Kofman &  a scout group

Panevezys Lithuania

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

Josvainiai with Laima Ardaviciene and Harry Gorfine (Australia)

Ukmerge with Vida Pulkaunkiene & Arturas Taicos

Ukmerge, Lithuania

Shtetl Love Song

Shtetl Love Song

A new book by Grigory Kanovich

Source: www.amazon.com/Shtetl-Love-Song-Grigory-Kanovich/dp/0995560021/ref=sr_1_1?s=books

Grigory Kanovich was born in Jonava, Lithuania

In 2016 I travelled with my friend, Laima Ardaviciene, the English teacher at Kedainiai High School, to Jonava

Jonava

Quick facts
Jonava is the ninth largest city in Lithuania with a population of ca 30,000. It is located in Kaunas County in central Lithuania, 30 km north east of Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania. It is served by Kaunas International Airport.Wikipedia
  • Municipality:
    • Jonava District Municipality
  • Area:
    • 13.67 km²

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Jewish buildings, including the former synagogue.

Information posters on the buildings.

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Former synagogue Former synagogue

The Jewish Cemetery

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The amphitheatre and holiday entertainment

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More about Grigory Kanovich’s book – Shtetl Love Song

From Amazon:

Winner the Liudo Dovydeno Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union In Shtetl Love Song Grigory Kanovich writes about his mother and in doing so peels back the surface of the rich community that lived in pre-war Lithuania. It is a requiem for the pre-war Jewish shtetl, for a people and a way of life that was destroyed. Shtetl Love Song won the Liudas Dovydenas Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union. About the author Grigory Kanovich is one of the most prominent Lithuanian writers and winner of the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts for 2014. Kanovich was born into a traditional Jewish family in the Lithuanian town of Jonava in 1929. Since 1993 the writer has lived in Israel. He is a member of the PEN club in both Israel and Russia. He is also a renowned playwright. About the translator Yisrael Elliot Cohen, B.A. Harvard College, Ph.D. Yale University, taught Russian literature and humanities at the University of Illinois. He settled in Israel in 1979, working as a professional translator from Russian into English and as an English-language editor. At Hebrew University he was co-editor of Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe' and worked on a bibliography project for the Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism. Currently at Yad Vashem, he is working onTh e Untold Stories: Holocaust Murder Sites in the Soviet Union’. Dr. Cohen has translated several books. His non-academic interests are his grandchildren and attempting to apply the teachings of the Biblical prophets to the contemporary social and political situation. Praise for the novel Set in the rural Lithuanian landscape on the eve of World War II,Shtetl Love Song’ is full of tender affection, soft irony, and sharp observations. Guided by the memory of his beloved mother, the masterful narrator takes us into the very midst of his enchanted family world, recreating the past that is irrevocably destroyed and yet fully alive in his memory. Kanovich, himself a child of a Lithuanian shtetl who survived the Holocaust almost by a miracle, made it his mission to serve, against all odds, as a custodian of the collective memory of generations of Litvaks, Lithuanian Jews.’ – Mikhail Krutikov, Professor of Slavic and Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

 

 

Pakruojis 17

The restored synagogue at Pakruojis

I visited this time last year when it was under construction

June 2016

Pakruojis & Siaulenai

I visited Pakruojis to see the wooden synagogue in the city. As you can see from the images, it is currently being restored. We previously saw that the wooden synagogue in Ziezmariai is also under …

Source: elirab.me/pakruojis-siaulenai/

June 2017

On the road to Pakruojis

Outside

With Laima

Inside

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Some of the information panels

Oldest surviving synagogue in Lithuania

Rav Kook in nearby Zeimelis

Surrounding buildings

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Pakruojis – Wikipedia

Pakruojis ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a city in Lithuania. It is situated on the Kruoja River, which has a dam above the city. Forty three buildings of the manor, mentioned in 1531 still survive.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakruojis

Atzalynas Gimnazija Kedainiai Visit 2017

The Keidaner Family tree on Laima’s classroom wall – an unique work of art!

The complex of two synagogues and the tree featuring the names of Keidaners, including  my 3rd great grandfather Zalman Tzoref in the centre.

created by student Karolina Silvestraviciute

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Keidaner Family Tree

Activities at the school including my presentation, a visit to the science lab and participation in classroom activities.

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English teacher Laima Ardaviciene inspires us all, seen here talking to a journalist

Another amazing contribution by Laima and her students for the TEC – Tolerance Education Centre program.

See link below

2016-2017

Kėdainių Atžalyno gimnazija – Tolerancijos ugdymo centras
​Kedainiai Atzalynas Gymnasium – Tolerance Educational Center

Source: tolerance2016.weebly.com/2016-2017.html

Our tour of the local regional museum.

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Images from the Jewish cemetery

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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

Seta – Jonava – Vandziogala – Kedainiai

I travelled with my friend, Laima Ardaviciene, the English teacher at Kedainiai High School, to Seta, Jonava, Vandizogala and back to Kedainiai

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Šėta

Lithuania

Quick facts

Šėta is a small town in Kaunas County in central Lithuania. In 2001 it had a population of 1025.Wikipedia
  • Population:
    • 1,025 (2001)
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Jonava

Quick facts

Jonava is the ninth largest city in Lithuania with a population of ca 30,000. It is located in Kaunas County in central Lithuania, 30 km north east of Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania. It is served by Kaunas International Airport.Wikipedia
  • Municipality:
    • Jonava District Municipality
  • Area:
    • 13.67 km²

IMG_7211

Jewish buildings, including the former synagogue. Information posters on the buildings.

IMG_7213

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Former synagogue Former synagogue

The Jewish Cemetery

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The amphitheatre and holiday entertainment

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Vandžiogala

Quick facts

Vandžiogala is a small town in Kaunas County, Kaunas district municipality in central Lithuania. It is located 29 km north of Kaunas next to Urka brook. A Holy Trinity church was built in Vandžiogala in 1830.Wikipedia
  • Population:
    • 946 (2001)

The Holocaust site on the outskirts of the town.

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Kėdainiai

Quick facts

Kėdainiai is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. It is located 51 km north of Kaunas on the banks of the Nevėžis River. First mentioned in the 1372 Livonian Chronicle of Hermann de Wartberge, its population as of 2008 was 30,214.Wikipedia
  • Municipality:
    • Kėdainiai District Municipality
  • Population:
    • 26,080 (2013)
  • Area:
    • 4.4 km²

A cultural festival and concert hosted by Rimantas Zirgulis

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With Rimantas & Laima

A walk around Kedainiai

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