Fifth World Litvak Congress Participants Visit Panevėžys, Pakruojis, Šeduva

Fifth World Litvak Congress Participants Visit Panevėžys, Pakruojis, Šeduva

A delegation of participants from the Fifth World Litvak Congress travelled to Panevėžys May 25 and were met there by members of the Panevėžys Jewish Community and the local municipality.

Panevėžys city municipality deputy director of administration Žibutė Gaivenienė said: “It is nice to welcome today guests arriving in Panevėžys from the Fifth World Litvak Congress and members of the city’s Jewish community. Panevėžys has long been a multi-ethnic and multicultural city, and the Jewish community has played an important role in the life of the city and the whole district. At certain periods of history Jews constituted a very significant part of the population of the city and were active participants in the city’s economic and service sectors. A larger Jewish community formed in the city in the second half of the 18th century. In the mid-19th century Jews constituted about 60 percent of the city population, and in the early 1920s Jews accounted for about 35 percent of the population. So the Jewish community’s contribution to the development of Panevėžys, and especially its transformation into a modern city, is a great one, and the Jewish legacy in different forms still operates in our daily life.”

Panevėžys Regional History Museum deputy director Jūratė Gaidelienė gave a brief presentation on the pre-war history of the Jews of Panevėžys and cooperation with the current Panevėžys Jewish Community.

Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman thanked city employees for the warm reception and meeting, and distributed small gifts with the Jewish community’s logo. Panevėžys municipal staff presented small gifts with the city’s logo to visitors.

City guests and locals ended the meeting by paying respects to the memory of the Jews of Panevėžys at the cemetery and placed stones and flowers at the base of the “Sad Jewish Mother” monument.

The delegation then travelled to nearby Pakruojis where they visited the restored wooden synagogue and learned its history.

Fifth World Litvak Congress participants then travelled to Šeduva where they learned about the history of the Jews of that town, visited the site of the former synagogues there, paid their respects for the dead and learned about the new Lost Shtetl Museum set to open its doors in this central Lithuanian shtetl in early 2024.

Group photo inside wooden synagogue in Pakruojis, Lithuania.

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