The Lithuanian Jewish CommunitY JONATHAN UTIAN KING DAVID VICTORY PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL GRADE 4 F
The 2012 Lithuanian Olympic Team - Consists of 64 competitors in 14 sports - Lithuania has never won any medals in previous Olympic games - Their flag bearer is Virgilijus Alekna, a discus thrower - Their competitors will be taking part in the following events - athletics - badminton - basketball - boxing - canoeing - cycling - gymnastics - judo - modern pentathlon - rowing - sailing - shooting - swimming - wrestling
Lithuania is part of the USSR. It is the southernmost Baltic state and boarders with Latvia,Belarus, Poland, Russia and the Baltic Sea. The largest Jewish community is in Vilnius with smaller communities in Kaunas, Klaipeda and Siauliai.
According to historical records, the Jewish community can be traced back to Lithuania in the 14 th century. In 1569 there were around 120 000 Jews whose numbers grew to approximately 250 000 by 1792. A census in 1897 counted 757 038 Jews in the greater Lithuanian territories. During the second world war, some Jews were taken to concentration camps, others killed under Nazi rule in Lithuania, some fled to safer countries whilst others went into hiding in the forests. Most of these Jews lost their lives. By 1959, 24 672 Jews were identified in Lithuania. These numbers decreased by 1989 to 12 312. Today, the Lithuanian Jewish community numbers around 5 000 people of the total population of 3,5 million.
The Kaunas Synagogue The Red Synagogue of Joniskis The Choral Temple Synagogue - Vilnius Inside Torate Ha Kodesh Synagogue
There are active cultural and educational institutions in Vilnius today, including two Jewish schools, a Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University, Jewish kindergartens, a Jewish museum, a periodical newspaper called the Yerushelayim de-Lite, a Jewish Agency and a Lubavitch centre which deals with Jewish affairs. There are four functional synagogues in Lithuania today. Two can be found in Vilnius, one in Kaunas (Kovno) and the final one in Klaipeda (Memel). Not many Lithuanian Jews attend shul. Vilnius does not have a Rabbi, but one comes every few months from London for about one week at a time. Jewish needs eg. matzah, kosher meat and wine, yortzheit lamps and books have to be imported. According to current records, the oldest Jew in Lithuania is 100 years old, and the youngest has just been born. Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon, known as the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797), is considered to be the greatest Talmudic genius of his time. His style of learning Torah and Talmud is still practiced in Yeshivas around the world. The Lithuanian Yiddish dialect is the basis for modern standard Yiddish. My family tree can be traced back to Lithuania.