A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more

Shtetl Life

With the help of material from the magnificent article by Josef Rosin I am attempting in the following pages to give some small picture of Jewish communal life in Vilkaviskis before it was all tragically destroyed in the summer of 1941.
Instead of the traditional educational system of "Chadarim" and "Talmud Torah" a modern Hebrew educational chain was established. It included a kindergarten, an elementary school of the "Tarbuth" network, a religious school of the "Yavneh" organisation and a high school with a vocational school on the ground floor.

Jewish Primary School in Vilkaviskis
Remembering the Jewish High School
As part of Yossi Ankorion's Plaque Project Yossi produced a plaque commemerating the Jewish High School that is today the Vilkaviskis Municipality building
The high school was established in 1919 at the initiative of a founders committee whose members were intelligent Jewish merchants, advocates of the Hebrew language who cared for the education of their children. They were Ya'akov Chmilevsky, A.Zeiberg, A.Volberg, Ya'akov Solomin, Peretz Silver, Yosef Sperling, Shimshon Volovitzky, Neta Teitelbaum and Neta Matz.

In August 1919 hundreds of children started their studies in this high school, where all subjects were taught in Hebrew with Sephardi pronunciation. The first director was Dr. M.Cohen and after him came Dr.Tsemach Feldstein, Dr.Yehoshua Fridman, Dr.Moshe Yardeni, Shlomo Trachtenberg, the last director being Shraga Halperin.

Among the teachers were M.J.Mendelson-Mishkutz, Dr.A.Rozenberg, B.Meshorer, Dr.Yehudah Holtzman-Haetzyoni, J.Strelitzky, D.Zilberstein, A.M.Tshertok and others.
The first graduation class completed its studies in 1921 and the Lithuanian government representative at the matriculation examinations was Dr.Yosef Berger (Harari), the director of the Education Department of the Jewish ministry.

Jewish Kindergarten in Vilkaviskis
The family of the school principal, Moshe Kleinstein lived on the first floor - see the windows on the right
1934 with the school principal Moshe Kleinstein
Farewell photo of the pupils of the Hebrew School with their friend Adina Lyn
The "Stepping Stones" for Moshe Kleinstein and his family in front of what used to be the Jewish Primary School
The Jewish High School/ Gymnasium in Vilkaviskis
Hinde Haskel Matriculation Certificate of the Hebrew Gymnasium of Vilkaviskis 1925.
High School was situated in this building   till 1929
Foundation of the Hebrew Gymnasium, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 1926
Building in process
Inaugurating the New Hebrew Gymnasium, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 1930
The Hebrew Gymnasium and ORT School Building, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 1930
18th Graduate Class of the Hebrew Gymnasium, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 1938-1939
High School graduates 1919 - 1929
The ORT Vocational School in Vilkaviskis
[This was situated on the ground floor of the Gymnasium building
Three Year Course at ORT Vilkaviskis
Graduation class of a vocational school, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania 1934
This site was built by Ralph Salinger of Kfar Ruppin, Israel
It is built to the glory of the Jewish Community of Vilkaviskis
You can contact me with any comments at,il