Jewish Heritage in Eastern Europe
Vilnius / Wilno / Wilna – Lithuanian Jerusalem. Jewish Heritage Tour to Lithuania
The East-European Jews called Vilnius “Lithuanian Jerusalem” – the city of one hundred synagogues, not conquered by the Chassidim bastion of orthodox Judaism. Many scholars and wise men lived in this city; Elias Gaon from Vilnius is one of the best-known. Near Vilnius, there is a famous Jeshiva in Woloszyn. A “Caraim” community belonged to the Jewish tradition of this city. Since the end of the 19th-century many lay organizations such as Bund or the Zionistic Movement have had their base here. Towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Century, Vilnius became a center for modern culture and Yiddish. The famous YIWO Institute that is now situated in New York was founded in Vilnius. Not far from the city is Kaunas, the birthplace of Emmanuel Levinas.
The journey will explore the history, tradition, and modernity of Lithuanian Jews in Vilnius and Kaunas, with a background of the history of Lithuania’s multiethnic society.
Journey: Wilno, Troki, Kaunas.
It is possible to link this journey with a visit to Warsaw (Poland).