Nancy Sasson Travels to Panevėžys Seeking Family Roots

Nancy Sasson Travels to Panevėžys Seeking Family Roots

Last week Nancy Sasson from the United States arrived in Panevėžys seeking genealogical information about her family. She believes her grandfather and perhaps great-grandfather lived in Panevėžys. She was accompanied by her old friend from Lithuania Vaida Zlatkutė and a guide who travelled from Israel to help.

Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman received them warmly and he and the Israeli guide gave the two women a tour of the city, pointing out significant Jewish locations and telling the Litvak story, the many important cultural contributions Litvaks made and the horrific end they suffered.

Nancy Sasson was visibly moved during the tour down the streets and sidewalks once traversed by her forebears.

Vaida Zlatkutė said: “We were impressed by Gennady’s dedication to the Jewish community, the archive he has collected and his initiative in bringing people together, and by the monuments marking the important sites, the cemetery and Gennady’s love for Lithuania and passion for life. I was gladdened to hear Gennady’s description of Lithuanian-Jewish friendship. This community and their chairman have so many things left to do and so many plans for the future!”

The two women said they learned much about the Jewish community and this part of Lithuanian history. Chairman Gennady Kofman gave them gifts of matzo bread in the run-up to Passover. Nancy said she planned to come back to Lithuania and keep looking for her family’s roots.