Solomo Aleichemo ORT School Vilnius

Students sing Zog Nit Keynmol for me:

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Pre-Internet Viral: Songs of the Vilna Ghetto – Lithuanian Jewish Community

by Geoff Vasil


The Bar & Batmitzvah Ceremonies:

The Choral Synagogue:

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The Community Centre:

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Report by Geoff Vasil with my images

Annual ORT Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony – Lithuanian Jewish Community


Vilniaus Šolomo Aleichemo ORT gimnazija

„Paskutinė mano valia skirta įpėdiniams: tarpusavyje gyventi draugiškai, nekaupti savyje priešiškumo, palaikyti vieniems kitus sunkiu laiku, prisiminti šeimą, užjausti vargšą… Vaikai, didžuokitės mano taip sunkiai užsitarnautu žydišku vardu.“


World Ort Videos:

ORT Videos

We feature videos made especially for this project by schools belonging to the World ORT network.  See below. To find out more about World ORT, the world’s largest Jewish education and vocati…

Source: Http://



Return to Vilnius June 2016


Map of Kaišiadorys Lithuania
City in Lithuania
Kaišiadorys is a city in central Lithuania. It is situated between Vilnius and Kaunas. Kaišiadorys is one of six Lithuanian diocese centres. It is home to the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ built in 1932.


The city expanded when a railroad connecting Vilnius with Liepāja was built in 1871. During the First World War, the city was occupied by the Germans in 1915, and it became the capital of an administrative unit for the first time. In 1919 the first train departed from Kaišiadorys to Radviliškis. When Trakai and the rest of the Vilnius Region became part of Poland, Kaišiadorys became the temporary capital of the Trakai Apskritis.

On August, 1941, the Jewish population of the town and surroundings was murdered in mass executions perpetrated by an Einsatzgruppen of Germans and Lithuanian nationalists.[1][2]Wikipedia

The Kaisiadorys KehilaLink. Click here

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.20.52 PM



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With Karina Simonson


Karina Simonson is doing her PhD on Eli Weinberg and Leon Levson, two Litvak photographers who moved to South Africa. More info on these two photographers:

If anyone has more info on these two photographers, please comment.

Back at the Choral Synagogue

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Along the Neris River at dusk


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neris (About this sound pronunciation BelarusianВі́лія ViliyaPolishWilia) is a river rising in Belarus. It flows through Vilnius (Lithuania) and becomes a tributary of the Neman River (Nemunas) at Kaunas (Lithuania). Its length is 510 km (320 mi).

For 276 km (171 mi)[1] the river runs through Belarus, where it is called Viliya, and 235 km (146 mi) runs through Lithuania, where it is called Neris.

The Neris connects two old Lithuanian capitals – Kernavė and Vilnius. Along its banks are burial places of the pagan Lithuanians. At 25 km (16 mi) from Vilnius are the old burial mounds of Karmazinai, with many mythological stones and a sacred oak.

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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.