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Litvakworld_Educating on the heritage of the Lithuanian Jews


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Litvakworld_Educating on the heritage of the Lithuanian Jews

  1. 1. Litvak World Learn. Remember. Share. Create
  2. 2. “Litvak is not just the name of the place, it is a unique character and a major culture.” Shimon Peres President of the State of Israel
  3. 3. Yiddishland  At the beginning of the 20th century the Jewish population here reached 7 million people, 95% of whom were speaking Yiddish  The names of the small towns (shtetls) in Yiddish sounded like: Vilna, Kovno, Shavli, Ponevezh, Yanishok, Tel z, Plungian, Kelm, Shedova
  4. 4. The Holocaust During the Holocaust (Shoah) over 90% of the local Jews were annihilated
  5. 5. Forgetting destroys the history, remembering creates the future  50 years after WWII, during the Soviet times, we did not know the word “Holocaust”  Jewish issues had to be avoided, It was forbidden to learn Hebrew  Even those who survived did not speak about Holocaust in their families  Modern generation has been educated that there were no battles in Lithuania during WWII, so the war had no significant impact on the everyday life in Lithuania
  6. 6. We can’t let Litvaks’ culture melt with the time  The revival of the Lithuanian Jewish culture and preservation of the heritage will pay a great respect and honor in the memory of those who perished  It will reveal an extremely rich Litvak culture for us, living today  It will play a significant educational role for the younger generations
  7. 7. Historians, journalists, public figures acknowledge:  that we still know very little about the tremendous cultural contribution that Jews had once made to Lithuanian culture  the value of the high level of tolerance and a unique co-existence of nations in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which we should learn and follow
  8. 8. Where one can find information about Litvaks’ heritage today?  The massive amount of materials related to the Litvaks’ heritage remains tucked away in public and personal archives  An abundance of websites, yet the majority of them is in Lithuanian, covering only some particular issues  Materials are mostly in Lithuania, remaining inaccessible for most people from other countries
  9. 9. What we find in the local archives
  10. 10. Looking for information in the old newspapers
  11. 11. Our main idea in creating www.litvakworld.com Bringing the hidden to the surface: taking history from drawers and personal archives to the virtual world of Litvaks
  12. 12. From personal archives to www.litvakworld.com
  13. 13. Our aims • revive the history of Litvaks and reinstate it into the history of Lithuania • revitalize the ties between Litvaks and Lithuania • serve educational purposes for people all over the world • promote the ideas of tolerant societies
  14. 14. Our objectives • • • • • • to spread knowledge about Litvaks’ history and cultural heritage to reveal and share real family stories to support scholars, volunteers, organizations who make efforts to shed light on unexplored areas of the heritage of Lithuanian Jews to install signs related to the Litvaks’ history in Lithuanian towns and countryside to film Holocaust witnesses’ interviews to translate the documents and other information that we have here in Lithuania into English
  15. 15. Jerusalem of the North Our organization is called “Jerusalem of the North”. It is a non-profit organization established in 2011 on the initiative of companies and private individuals Founders: Antanas Guoga Aleksandr Černov Anna Avidan Aleksandr Soloveičik Jonas Garbaravičius Asia Fuondation, “LAWIN” UAB “IDW Baldeta Project Development” UAB “JeruLita” UAB “Kenova Group” UAB “Publicum” AB “Šiaulių bankas” UAB “Vičiūnai Group”
  16. 16. Board members Antanas Zabulis Anna Avidan Chairman of the Board Managing director Rolandas Valiūnas Aleksandr Černov Ričardas Jarmalavičius Managing partner of LAWIN Law firm President of Lithuanian Chess Federation Chairman of the Board of Publicum Group
  17. 17. www.litvakworld.com  information becomes much more accessible  everything is stored in one place and one language  history remains in a virtual space for future generations to see and to learn
  18. 18. The collected information you can find on the map Press EXPLORE HISTORY option in menu panel Search by categories Search in virtual map
  19. 19. Find objects by place, period, category or type Find objects by place, period, category or type Press the icons on the map Select object from the list
  20. 20. Litvak shtetls
  21. 21. Litvak cemeteries
  22. 22. Litvak synagogues
  23. 23. Former Litvaks’ cultural heritage real estate objects
  24. 24. Partnership with the United States Holocaust Museum  The Litvak World website has been incorporated in WorldCat and in the USHMM Library’s catalog  The databases on Litvak history can be accessed through our web portal
  25. 25. Our video projects: interviews with Holocaust witnesses Josif Levinson Josif Bondar Emilija Brajinskienė Maria Bondar Judita Rozina Stanislovas Rubinovas Irena Veisaitė Rachel Kostanian Antanas Urba
  26. 26. Publishing virtual exhibitions of Litvak artists’ works
  27. 27. Arranging virtual exhibitions of modern Litvak artists from Lithuania: Solomon Teitelbaum
  28. 28. Arranging virtual exhibitions of modern Litvak artists from other countries: Saadia Bahat
  29. 29. Collecting and publishing Litvak recipes
  30. 30. The Virtual rebuilding of the Great Synagogue of Vilna Our idea is to virtually reconstruct and thus symbolically bring back to life what used to be sacred to Litvaks – the Great Synagogue of Vilnius. You can leave your trace in this unique project by placing your own brick in the walls of the virtual synagogue.
  31. 31. Virtual rebuilding of the Great Synagogue of Vilna
  32. 32. Partnership with the Vilna Gaon Jewish State museum
  33. 33. A diary of a boy from the Vilna ghetto  commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto, together with the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum we have set up an interactive audio-visual hideout exposition in the museum  the audiovisual installation for the first time gives visitors the opportunity to hear fragments of a 14 years old boy hiding in the Vilna ghetto during the WWII (Yitskhok Rudashevsky’s diary) which has been unknown for years
  34. 34. Inside the hiding place “Malina”
  35. 35. Published book “The Shtetl of Musnik” We have supported the publishing of the book “The Shtetl of Musnik. The Story of the Zilber Family” by Dov Barry Sidelsky, translated from English to Lithuanian. The story tells about a lawyer from Lithuania who was Nelson Mandela’s spiritual mentor during all his life.
  36. 36. Published book “Lithuania: the promised land” We have supported the publishing of the book “Lithuania: the promised land” by Vilius Kavaliauskas. We are planning on translating the book into English.
  37. 37. Current projects: “Smuggled in Potato Sacks” We have agreed upon the copyright with the authors of the book “Smuggled in Potato Sacks” for translating it into Lithuanian. The book tells the stories of 50 Jewish kids who were rescued from the Kovno ghetto by Lithuanian families. The book will be also gifted to the Lithuanian schools.
  38. 38. Current projects: QR codes in the old Vilna We are going to raise funds for developing an APP and placing QR codes on former Vilna ghetto buildings that used to be of greater importance in the life of the ghetto.
  39. 39. Current projects: an album of Litvak art We are planning to publish a collective art album of works by Litvak artists. The album will include works from personal collections in Lithuania. The album is a great way to collect all of those incredible works in one publication, which will give the general public the opportunity to see those works and become acquainted with Litvak art.
  40. 40. Our Facebook page: stay in touch with us www.facebook.com/litvakworld
  41. 41. Facebook page: news, discussions, sharing, interesting facts
  42. 42. We kindly invite Litvaks from all over the world  to visit our website, to investigate and share the history of the shtetls  to join us building a global Litvak community, sharing ideas, questions, contacts, information  to recommend candidates for the Advisory Board of the project  support our investigations and restoration projects  to come and see Lithuania, to visit the former shtetls, and we would be happy to assist you in this journey professionally, providing with all the necessary information before the trip and with all the facilities during it
  43. 43. We would appreciate help in  finding relevant information related to the history of Lithuanian Jews (articles, documents, pictures, family stories, etc.)  raising funds for translations and publishing articles and books on Litvaks’ heritage  funding the rewards of experts who explore the history of Lithuanian Jews and help to maintain high authenticity of the virtual museum’s content  raising funds for the restoration of Jewish cultural objects
  44. 44. Let’s contribute to the preservation of Litvaks’ heritage together  All donations, large and small, are vital to our work  For 10 $ you can help to acquire a copy of one document from the Lithuanian state archive  For 500$ you can pay a one month salary for our internet portal content manager  For 1000$ you can contribute to translations from Lithuanian into English  For 5000$ you can support publishing of a book  For 10000$ you can contribute to the development of an application or a mobile version of our portal