After a half-year of correspondence, Dovid Shapiro’s family helped fly grandson Ernest Milton (Shapiro) Hurwich with his daughters Anna Rut and Liba to Panevėžys from the USA. Ernest is the grandson of famous rabbi Dovid Shapiro and the family came to research their roots.
Rabbi Shapiro and his relatives lived the city of Panevėžys and in small towns in the region, according to documents discovered in the Panevėžys Jewish Community’s archives. More than 30 members of the Shapiro clan lived around the Jewish hospital on Ramygalos street in Panevėžys. The visitors were able to view original photographs and buildings and houses where Rabbi Dovid Shapiro and his brother Moshe were born and raised. The tumult of historical events and wars disrupted Jewish life and Panevėžys Jews entered a new phase of life after World War I when many migrated to South Africa, South America, the USA and Palestine. Dovid Shapiro’s family settled in the United States. His brother Moshe remained in Lithuania and was murdered in the Holocaust.
Anna Rut Hurwich is the genealogist in the family and is carefully investigating the family’s history.
The guests donated pictures of their family and original documents to the Panevėžys Jewish Community during their visit. They learned about the former Jewish life in Panevėžys, watched a documentary made in 1932 and learned about contemporary Jewish life in Lithuania.