Vilnius

Jewish Vilnius

12 Nov 2018
Litvaks—Lithuanian Jews—have been living in the Lithuanian capital for hundreds of years. Once the world centre of traditional Talmudic learning and known before the war as the Jerusalem of the North, Vilnius (or Vilna/Vílne as it’s more often referred to in the Jewish world) was the birthplace of such world renowned figures as the legendary Gaon of Vilna (Eyliohu son of Shloyme-Zalmen, 1720-1797), the author Romain Gary (1914-1980) and arguably the greatest violist to ever have lived, Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987). The Nazi occupation of the city between 1941 and 1944 ensured that Jewish life and culture in today’s Vilnius is little more than a shadow of its former self, although a small Jewish community remains very much active in the city. More and more Litvaks living outside Lithuania are rediscovering their roots, and there remain plenty of things to see for those interested in finding out more about the city’s rich and diverse Jewish history. Litvaks—Lithuanian Jews—have been living in the Lithuanian capital for hundreds of years. Once the world centre of traditional Talmudic learning and known before the war as the Jerusalem of the North, Vilnius (or Vilna/Vílne as it’s more often referred to in the Jewish world) was the birthplace of such world renowned figures as the legendary Gaon of Vilna (Eyliohu son of Shloyme-Zalmen, 1720-1797), the author Romain Gary (1914-1980) and arguably the greatest violist to ever have lived, Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987). The Nazi occupation of the city between 1941 and 1944 ensured that Jewish life and culture in today’s Vilnius is little more than a shadow of its former self, although a small Jewish community remains very much active in the city. More and more Litvaks living outside Lithuania are rediscovering their roots, and there remain plenty of things to see for those interested in finding out more about the city’s rich and diverse Jewish history.

Vilnius Yiddish Institute

Universiteto 3 (Vilnius University)
/vilnius/vilnius-yiddish-institute_13045v
Famed for it annual Summer Program in Yiddish.

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