Jewish Vilnius Tour
There was a period when Jews were almost half of Vilnius population. There was a whole Jewish world. That is why there is so much to show and tell you on a Jewish Vilnius tour. We will commence a tour by visiting Vilnius Choral Synagogue, built in 1903 in Moorish- Romanesque style. It is the only Jewish temple in Lithuania where are daily religious services. They welcome guests after the morning prayer and till the early afternoon.
We recommend visiting the Jewish State Museum or at least its brunch Tolerance Center. Museum visitors outline that, there is an interesting historical exhibition. I find that Art and Culture is the main attraction of this museum. Above all, there is a newly opened exhibition of Samuel Back paintings.
In the Ghetto
From the Museum or a Synagogue, we just cross the street and find ourselves walking in the Big Ghetto. Will concentrate on the story of suffering, resistance, and partisans. Continue to the Judenrat office courtyard to listen to the story of “choiceless choices”. Will go into the created hiding place in the cellar, where Jews were hiding after the liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto.
You will be able to see inscriptions on the walls form the interwar period. Next stop will be by the place where Aba Kovner was hiding, the place where his comrade Itzik Wittenberg established FPO. Ghetto theatre was the center of Spiritual resistance, will speak about the interesting phenomena of a desire for cultural activities even in the most critical situations. After finishing with the sad part of the tour will refer to the medieval Jewish History.
Once upon a time in Vilna – Jewish Vilnius
Will walk in the Jewish Quarter of Vilnius – Lithuanian Jerusalem. Music school where Jasha Heifetz did his first steps in a music career, the building of the famous ORT school, the building of the famous Tarbut Gimnazia and nowadays JCC.
Former Yiddish theatre, rabbis’ council and the place of Theodor Herzl’s visit to Vilnius. Benedictine convent and the story of saving 12 Jewish souls by Lithuanian Righteous Among the Nations. Vilnius Ghetto streets and Vilna Gaon’s house; the spot of the Great Synagogue.
The driven part of the Jewish Vilnius Tour will include the Cemeteries. And of course, the grave of the Vilna Gaon. The Cheap houses – the dwellings built for the poor Jews at the end of the nineteenth century. During WWII the place was used as a labor camp. Here your guide will tell you the heroic story of one Nazi officer, named Karl Plage.
Afterward, we will drive to Ponar forest. The sight of extermination of 100 thousand people among which 70 thousand were Jews. Today there is the Holocaust memorial in the forest. You will see a few “pits” in which Jews were exterminated.
This tour is for a full day and despite the fact that the above descriptions are of Jewish related sites, it will be a combination of general sites form a tour Vilnius from Dukes to the President.