Monthly Archives: July 2012

Litvak Trip Day 9: Kaunas, Vilnius

Kaunas (Kovno) If Vilnius was known as the center of education (often referred to as “the Jerusalem of Lithuania”) then Kaunas was a trade and commercial center. Its location on the Nemunas (Neman) River, which flows to the Baltic Sea, … Continue reading

Posted in Kaunas, Vilnius | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Litvak Trip Day 8: Kaunas Archives, Ninth Fort

The Kaunas Hotel has an excellent breakfast buffet with many traditional foods: local cottage cheese served in slices, hot kasha, blintzes, smoked salmon, herrings, garlic, 3 types of black (rye) breads, and the local soft drink, kvass (made from yeast … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belarus, It’s Complicated [part III]

Dalhinev, continued There are two memorials to the Jews who perished here during the Holocaust. A matching memorial is placed outside the cemetery, with a plaque from the Belarus Ministry of Education. Some of Dalhinev’s original shtetl neighborhood is intact, … Continue reading

Posted in Belarus, Jewish genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Belarus, It’s Complicated [part II]

Typical of the many Jewish shtetl towns throughout the region, Jewish homes were located right along the market square, and the non-Jewish peasant homes were located further back, to accommodate their livestock. Jewish families typically owned small shops and their … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belarus, It’s Complicated [part I]

With all of the choices around the world for a vacation (magnificent beaches, World Heritage sites, Italy, India, Australia, etc.) why would I choose to visit an isolated mostly unknown country ruled by a communist dictator who is currently grooming … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Litvak Trip Day 5: Trakai Island Castle, Karaite Town of Trakai

Trakai Island Castle Trakai Island Castle is a Gothic-style red brick castle built in 1410, mostly destroyed 400 years ago, and recently reconstructed. Trakai was the historical capital of Lithuania and the castle was once the home of the Grand … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Litvak Trip Day 4: Choral Synagogue & Jewish Quarter, Vilnius

Choral Synagogue From our hotel, we walk to the Choral Synagogue for morning Shabbat services. This is the only synagogue remaining from a total of over 100 synagogues in Vilna before the Holocaust. It was founded by Jewish intellectuals who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment