Shtetl Love Song

Shtetl Love Song

A new book by Grigory Kanovich


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


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


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