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The Vilna Gaono Jewish State Museum

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Placed on: 2006-11-14 17:23   Updated on: 2009-08-20 14:32   Comments: 0   Views from 2009-08-25: 0

The Vilna Gaono Jewish State Museum
2006-11-14 17:20

Pylimo St. 4

The Jewish Museum, as an institution caring for Jewish culture and traditions, has a long adition in Lithuania . The first Jewish museum was established in Vilnius (then Vilna) in 1913, through the efforts of the Society of Lovers of Jewish Antiquity. The activities of this society and museum were interrupted with the outbreak of the First World War. In 1919, the noted Jewish writer, Sholom Zanvil Rapoport (better known under the pseudonym of Sh. An-sky) revived the society, renamed as Lithuanian-Belorussian Society for Jewish History and Ethnography. The Jewish Museum was also re-established in 1920, and named posthumously after Sh. An-sky.

When Vilniuswas occupied by Polish troops that same year, the Jewish History and Ethnography Society continued its work in Kaunas, the interim Lithuanian capital. In 1931, the Society finally established a Jewish museum, similar to its predecessor in Vilnius. On the eve of the Second World War, the Museum housed over 3000 objects and 6000 books, as well as other valuable items, such as letters, memoirs, and pinkasim (Jewish Community’s chronicles). In addition, there were more than a hundred thousand documents, photographs, newspaper issues, etc. Considered as the most valuable museum item w ere the original text s of the Privileges granted to the Jews by the Kings of Polandand Lithuaniain the late middle ages.

However,on September 6, 1989, the Government of Soviet Lithuania passed Resolution .This resolution permitted the re-opening of the Jewish Museum, after 50 years of non-existence.Governmental Resolution No. 56p,dated February 13, 1991, authorizedthe return of most of the stored artefacts from the post-war Jewish Museum to the re-established Jewish State Museum of Lithuania.

The museum has five branches. They demonstrate different aspects of the historical and cultural heritage and tragedy of Jews:

The Tolerance Center  ( Naugarduko 10/2, Vilnius) - permanent (Jewish history; sacred, traditional and modern art) and temporary exhibitions:

Signs of Ruined Litvaks World

The Lost World

"Return" of Samuel Bak

Jewish Life in Lithuania

The Green House - The Holocaust exhibit

The former Tarbut Gymnasium - exhibits demonstrating the history of Lithuanian Jews in the interwar and Nazi period, memorial rooms. (Exhibits are temporarily closed from June 1 until September 1)

Paneriai Memorial - The site of mass murders and the Memorial there

Jacques Lipchitz Memorial Museum in Druskininkai, Lithuania - Exhibition of lithographs by the sculptor Jacques (Chaim Jakob) Lipchitz, born in Druskininkai (currently in Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire) (The Museum is temporarily closed)


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Categories: Museums, Castles, Church, Parks, Attractions in, Museums and Castles open to visitors in
Tolerance center, Vilnius
Tolerance center, Vilnius
Gaonas monument in Old Town of Vilnius, Žydų str.
Gaonas monument in Old Town of Vilnius, Žydų str.

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