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“Atžalyno Gymnasium was visited by a Jewish guest from Australia, who has kėdainietiškų roots. Eli Rabinowitz met with the academic staff at the high school, attended project activities and visited the Kėdainiai Regional Museum.
The guest to Kėdainiai was invited by Atžalyno High School English teacher Laima Ardavičienė. Since 2012, Laima has been working on a project in which high school students learn in more detail about the history of the Jewish community in our country. Every year, the high school is visited by Eli Rabinowitz and they share their experiences and insights. The project is carried out in English, so that students not only broaden their minds, but also enhance their English language skills.
This year the theme was Jewish holidays. When we celebrate Christmas, Jews celebrate the Chanukah festival. Eli Rabinowitz arranged a virtual conference and introduced the festival. Guests who come to Lithuania continue the story of the other traditional Jewish holidays.
The Modern generation does not have time to read long stories. Eli Rabinowitz
Not for the first time
Eli Rabinowitz has visited Kėdainiai each year since 2012. The first time was to to search for his ancestors. In his opinion, Jews should actively search their roots. According to Eli, 95 percent of South African Jews came from Lithuania. Eli has travelled extensively throughout Central and Eastern Europe and has recorded traces of Jewish culture here, taking many pictures and videos. Since 2011, he has taken 18000 photos, using these images in slideshows, which is a good format to convey his experience to the younger generation.
“Young people do not have time to read or hear long stories. Students all over the world prefer stories in short video clips, and other multimedia material “, – said Eli Rabinowitz.
Partisan Song – Vilna ghetto
Earlier this year Eli Rabinowitz was invited to present his project to a large South African high school. There, the students sang the Partisan Song in Yiddish, but did not understand the meaning of this song and the inspiration behind it.
“The song was written in 1943 in the Vilna ghetto by a 20-year-old Jew, Hirsh Glik, who was later killed. It has since then become the anthem of the Holocaust Survivors and is sung regularly. I want this song to spread to young people, so that they recite, sing and understand the meaning”- says Eli Rabinowitz.
The song has also been translated into Lithuanian. A student at Atzalyno recites it as a poem, with a viola playing in the background and images of old Kedainiai.
“To know one’s history is important for us all, because if you do not know where you come from, you do not know where you are headed”, – says Eli Rabinowitz wisely.