The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania
Extract from the newsletter
Kėdainiai “Atžalynas” gymnasium Tolerance education Centre administrates an international project on Jewish festivals
Since 2012 Kėdainiai “Atžalynas” gymnasium Tolerance Education Centre has been administrating a project aimed at educating students about the Jewish community history in Kėdainiai region. A special guest from Australia Eli Rabinowitz visits the gymnasium every year to share his knowledge and insights. The project is conducted in English, thus the students not only broaden their outlook, but use the foreign language and develop their English skills.
This year the project focused on Jewish festivals. In winter Eli Rabinowitz held a virtual conference to introduce a festival for the students and in summer, during the visit to Lithuania, the guest continued with stories about other traditional Jewish celebrations.
Atzalynas Gimnazija Kedainiai Visit 2017
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 grandfat…
Traces and Memories of Jewish Life Connecting to our Litvak Shtetls
Eli Rabinowitz’s presentation has been compiled from six visits to Litvak lands.
His collection of photos and stories showcases:
– the shtetl, where most South Africans originated
– the people on the ground memorialising the shtetl
– the Tolerance Education Centres in schools
– the use of online resources to advance your own heritage research
“How will our children know who they are, if they don’t know where they came from?” —John Steinbeck
Eli Rabinowitz (ex- South Africa) is involved in Jewish community activities, filming events, photographing, researching, lecturing internationally and blogging on Jewish life and heritage. He presented at the IAJGS 2015 conference in Jerusalem. He manages 76 KehilaLinks websites for JewishGen. He led the first JewishGen Virtual Heritage Tour of Europe. Eli lives in Perth, Australia.
WHEN: Sunday 5 February at 7.30pm DONATION: R90.00 (including refreshments) VENUE: Clive M Beck Auditorium Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC) cnr Glenhove Rd & 4th Street Houghton, East of the M1 BOOKING: Hazel or René (011 728 8088/8378) After Hours (011 728 8378) email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com www.greatpark.co.za
The Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the Gardens Shul, Cape Town
Chaim Bargman has been a beloved guide and genealogist for international Jewish-interest tourists in the Kaunas (Kovno) area for decades, and was immortalized in the late Dan Jacobson’s Heshel’s Kingdom (1998).
With a previous speaker, Dr Samuel Kassow in Seattle WA
With Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Program Director of Polin, Warsaw
Here is my update on the TECs – Tolerance Education Centres in Lithuania and how we can help build bridges.
If you know the name of your shtetl, please contact me and I will help you to connect with those who are working with TECs and Lithuanian school students and their teachers. Travelling to the region and meeting with local students has been the most rewarding of my experiences in the past six years.
There are growing numbers of Lithuanians, Poles and those within other communities in the FSU who now learn about their history and about the rich Jewish life that once existed in these towns, which are now devoid of Jews. The internet now offers the best opportunity ever for them to engage with Jewish people from abroad.
There is a further benefit: we can educate our children and grandchildren here in the Litvak diaspora. So little seems to be availble within the school curriculum, even though private Jewish Day School fees are so high. “Too hard” or “we are covering it” is what I hear! And then there is also the no response…… and another year passes!
It is a real shame that our cultural heritage is in danger of fading away and dying!
Educating about our Jewish cultural history remains my passion and I hope and that there are enough of us out there to make a difference!
There are now 119 Tolerance Education Centres in Lithuania.
Established by the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.
The Commission was established upon the Lithuanian independence, and has been under the chairmanship of Emmanuel Zingeris, the long-serving Jewish Member of the Seimas.
In 2004 the Tolerance Centre principle was approved. The Tolerance Centre in Plunge was the 8th such centre established. There are now in excess of 100. The co-ordinator of the T C in each school, or museum, has autonomy.
The emphasis on the Tolerance Centre in Plunge is on the Jewish tragedy rather than the Russian brutality. Naturally, we are more concerned with the crimes against the Jews. Programs also include a study of Jewish life before WWll.
There are a number of Jews who are against the “Commission” because they are there also to teach about the Soviet regime.