Žydų (Jews) street in Vilnius
History

The Jewish Quarter in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – isolation or privilege?

Quarters comprising of several streets that were designed along religious, ethnic or professional lines were a regular way of life in European cities during the Middle Ages. Thus the settling of Jews, who employed the use of a section of the city that was delegated to them by law did not go counter to the pattern that had developed for settling in cities. Orthodox believers, Germans, Jews, butchers, glass makers and others who established themselves in Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) cities divided up living space in a similar manner. Thus Jews brought traditions to the GDL that were typical for them in the quarters they lived, traditions that coincided with other trends that managed to express themselves in GDL cities. […]

Lithuanian passport
Global LT

Benefits of Lithuanian citizenship from the South African Litvak perspective

South Africa is more Litvak than Lithuania itself,” Markas Zingeris, the Lithuanian playwright and novelist once remarked. And, as one of very few members of Lithuania’s Jewish community to remain in the country, he would know. The vast majority of Lithuanian Jews have found good reason to leave at one time or another in history, whether it was unrest in Europe between 1868 and 1914, or the economic hardship that characterised the period from Lithuania’s independence in 1918 until June 1940 when the Soviet army took control. It was during this time that thousands of Lithuanians came to South Africa in droves, in search of a more peaceful life. And it is here where many have remained. […]

Israeli flag
Foreign affairs

Lithuanian, Israeli presidents underline Holocaust memory, business ties

The presidents of Lithuania and Israel on Sunday underlined the importance of preserving the heritage of Lithuanian Jews and of expanding business ties as they marked 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. […]