This Newsletter contains an overview of activities of Litvak Cemetery Catalogue MACEVA in 2013.        
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Cemeteries digitized
Gargždai Jewish cemetery - there are about 70 tombstones remaining, most are hardly legible. A large portion of cemetery was destroyed during the Soviet Era. The remaining territory is fenced and clean. Some parts of the previous cemetery territory are now part of residential plots.
Vainutas Jewish cemetery – nearly 30 tombstones remain.
Å venčionÄ—liai Jewish cemetery – The Jewish cemetery in Å venčioneliai was restored in 2013 by a group of students from the USA, led by Michael Lozman. The cemetery was restored with a help of local municipality and Voluntas organization (Franklin James Swartz). The cemetery has a great metal fence now, all tombstones were cleaned and righted. MACEVA has visited the cemetery and a few volunteers took pictures of every gravestone, we hope to translate all inscriptions and post it to our virtual cemetery database. Thanks to volunteers Greta LukoÅ¡evičiÅ«tÄ—, Marius LukoÅ¡evičius and Karolis Å alčiÅ«nas.
PandÄ—lys Jewish cemetery -Jewish cemetery of Pandelys was digitized and cleaned by local schoolchildren. Photos EglÄ— ButÄ—naitÄ—.
Užpaliai Jewish cemetery â€“ This cemetery has now been partially digitized   ( thanks to Sandra PetrukonytÄ—, Raimondas Rozluckis, Mantautas Å ulskus, Marius LukoÅ¡evičius and Mantas Muckus  for assisting in cleaning and taking pictures of tombstones).  There are many tombstones remaining. A brief video of cemetery was taken in Autumn – view here.

Cemeteries visited
VilijampolÄ— (Slobodka) Jewish cemetery in Kaunas - the cemetery exists, but is in terrible condition. Some parts of a fence remain visible. The northern part of the cemetery still has many old tombstones, they are located on a hill; forestation has made it difficult to see this surviving area. The cemetery was destroyed during the Soviet era.The cemetery of Vilijampole dates back to XVII-XVIII century - it is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Kaunas.
VilijampolÄ— Jewish cemetery II in Kaunas - cemetery exists, but there are no tombstones remaining only a memorial stone. This is also the Holocaust burial site in the area.
Žaliakalnis (Greenhill) Jewish cemetery in Kaunas – the area of the cemetery is in poor condition. Half of the cemetery was bulldozed, the rest of territory contains numerous fallen tombstones. The cemetery is the largest remaining Jewish cemetery in Lithuania.
Dotnuva Jewish cemetery - the area is well preserved. The territory is unfenced, but the cemetery is reasonably well preserved; all vegetation overgrowth has been removed, the area is regularly cleaned. It would appear that a local municipality attends to this matter. There are about 50 tombstones remaining.
Nemakščiai Jewish cemetery –  the cemetery is fenced and preserved, some of the tombstones have fallen.
Jonava Jewish cemetery – the area of cemetery is well preserved by the local municipality.
Linkmenys Jewish cemetery – the cemetery is surrounded by an old stone fence. It is in a poor condition.
Pumpėnai Jewish cemetery – the cemetery in Pumpėnai is near the main road to Panevėžys.
Pasvalys Jewish cemetery - although the cemetery in Pasvalys was destroyed during the Soviet period, some fragments of the ohel and gravestones can be found.
Valkininkai Jewish cemetery - the cemetery is the resting place for Jews from Valkininkai, Čižiūnai and Degsnė (a well-known Jewish farmers' village).

Pictures sent by colleagues, friends and volunteers
Aleksotas Jewish cemetery in Kaunas (the 2nd active Jewish cemetery in Lithuania) - Photos by Goda Volbikaitė and Svaigedas Stoškus.
Kamajai Jewish cemetery - pictures sent by Dovilė Gasiliūnė.
Pakruojis Jewish cemetery - photos sent by Dora and Arnold Booms.
StakliÅ¡kÄ—s Jewish cemetery - photos sent by Dora and Arnold Booms.
Dusetos Jewish cemetery - Photos by Romas Juknelevičius. Thanks to Sara Weiss-Slep, Olga Zabludoff and Saul Adelman for sharing their pictures and a full documentation of the cemetery. The list of tombstones with translation (provided by Sara Weiss-Slep, Olga Zabludoff and Saul Adelman) will be uploaded soon. .
KupiÅ¡kis Jewish cemetery -  pictures added. Thanks to  Aaron Hoffman and Saul Adelman for sending pictures.
Salakas Jewish cemetery - thanks to AgnÄ— from Kaunas, who kindly sent us some pictures. Thanks to Saul Adelman for sharing his photos and a burial list. 
SkapiÅ¡kis  Jewish cemetery - photos, transcriptions and translations were shared by Saul Adelman. More pictures will be uploaded soon.

Palanga Jewish cemetery - Photos by Donatas Gailius.
PapilÄ— - few tombstones remained. The area of cemetery is quite well preserved by a local man, Steponas Adomavicius (Photos taken by Daiva RepčekaitÄ—)
DÅ«kÅ¡tas Jewish cemetery -  - many thanks to Asta ValinskaitÄ—-SmalÄ— for visiting cemetery, taking pictures and a video.
Joniškis Jewish cemetery – pictures sent by Clare Dimyon.
Vilkija Jewish cemetery – pictures sent by Svaigedas Stoškus.
PaÅ¡vitinys Jewish cemetery – picture sent by Ishai Klawansky.
Zarasai Jewish Cemetery – this cemetery has now been partially digitized  (thanks to Alexander Karnovsky for taking pictures and transcribing epitaphs).

Related projects
Biržai Jewish cemetery – the cemetery was partially documented this summer by SEFER Center (Moscow) in cooperation with the Center for Studies of the Culture and History of East European Jews (Vilnius) and the Municipality of Biržai (more about this project read here), some working tools were supplied by MACEVA. 

Contribute Now
Do you want to learn more about MACEVA? Invite us to your class, school, organization or local community. Conact us at
MACEVA is proud to announce that our organization has been accepted as an associate member of Jewish Community of Lithuania.
A New brochure of MACEVA can be viewed here.
If you want a hard copy, please, write us an e-mail at with your address! 
We sincerely thank all those, who contributed to the activity of MACEVA in 2013!
The full list of volunteers and private donors has been updated and is available on the website.
Žemaičių Naumiestis

Many thanks should be given to people who put a lot of efforts  and time translating inscriptions of gravestones.
We would like to thank Roza BieliauskienÄ—, teacher at Vilnius Sholom Aleichem ORT Gymnasium, who has kindly contributed to translations of some records of MolÄ—tai Jewish cemetery.
Alexander Karnovsky visited Jewish cemetery in Zarasai for the second year in a row, where he documented portions of the cemetery. He listed 102 tombstone inscriptions, together with photographs. We need to contimue the work begun by Mr. Karnovsky, we need Hebrew to English translators.
Special thanks to Dr. Lara Lempert and Ralph Salinger who are always ready to help in urgent translation requests. We are also grateful to Dr. Lara Lempert, who edits tombstone translations done by volunteers.
A great story related to the translation of Utena Jewish cemetery inscriptions: Mr. Jonny Berkley contacted us looking for a grave of his relative buried in Utena. He offered his help and time in order to translate some records until he found the grave of his great-great-great-grandfather. He spent countless hours translating more than 300 epitaphs, and finally, he found his ancestor‘s grave! This is a great example of true passion for family genealogy. Our warmest greetings and gratitude to Mr. Berkley!

MACEVA and the Jewish Community of Lithuania kindly invited everyone to an evening dedicated to Lithuanian Jewish Cemetery Preservation on the 25th of April . We are extremely thankful to the Jewish Community of Lithuania, which supported this event. We would like to express our appreciation to the Chair of the Jewish Community - Faina Kukliansky, who kindly opened this event. Ms. Kukliansky is a board member of Maceva. We were pleased that some schoolchildren from Utena and Vilnius attended this evening at Lithuanian Jewish center. We are very grateful to Prof.  MEP Leonidas Donskis who moderated the event, special thanks to opera singer Rafailas Karpis and vice-minister of the Ministry of Culture Darius Mazintas, who kindly agreed to perform Yiddish songs at the event.The director of Vilnius Sholom Aleichem ORT Gymnasium – MiÅ¡a Jakobas, gave a speech and was very proud of his students, who volunteered for the Maceva project and participated in the cleaning of MolÄ—tai Jewish cemetery. The school has also prepared a mini photo exhibition, partially financed by Maceva. It was an official opportunity to present the activity of our organization to the Lithuanian public. We would like to thank for everyone who came.  Please watch a video of this event. 

We are very thankful to Ruth Ellen Gruber, coordinator of Jewish Heritage Europe for inviting the MACEVA project to be a part of this wonderful conference. The brochure report on the Managing Jewish Immovable Heritage conference held in Krakow in April 2013 has been posted online. You can find Lithuania Jewish Cemetery Project on page 6, where RÅ«ta AnulytÄ— explains the basic concept of  MACEVA by the founders of the organization - Aleksandr Avramenko and Sergey Kanovich. The full brochure can be found here.

MACEVA participated in a cemetery workshop in Klaipėda (Memel) District with a group of Prussian regional cemetery enthusiasts, experts and preservation specialists. We were pleased to be a part of this workshop and to have the possibility of exchanging our different experiences, was useful and exciting! All participants of this workshop documented different cemeteries, including the Jewish cemetery in Gargždai.


The last year RÅ«ta AnulytÄ—  presented Maceva at the 33rd IAJGS International  Conference On Jewih Geneology in Boston. We are extremely grateful to Litvak SIG, especially Eden Joachim for inviting us to be their sponsored speaker at the IAJGS.
We submited and presented four presentations. We participated in a panel discussion on Jewish cemetery restoration and preservation, where we addressed Kaunas Žaliakalnis (Greenhil) Jewish cemetery. We presented our organizational activities and discussed preservation and digitization of Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania through support of local communities.
This invitation and participation is one of the greatest acknowledgments of the importance of our efforts.
Many thanks to Eden JoachimMarla Raucher Osborn and Carol Hoffman for the pictures!

In cooperation with the community of Žemaičių Naumiestis, Maceva organized a Day of Jewish Culture in Žemaičių Naumiestis. Events of this Jewish Culture Day cover different cities in Lithuania each year. Maceva applied for funding for events in Žemaičių Naumiestis for European Day of Jewish Culture.
Žemaičių Naumiestis is rich in Jewish heritage and history. It is a small town in Western Lithuania but holds an impressive and a rich history of a pre-WWII Jewish community. A manor synagogue and a wooden Beit Midrash (often refered as a winter prayer house) still stand, both buildings are abandoned and are rapidly deteriorating.
The town had two Jewish cemeteries: the New Jewish cemetery (Sugintų str.) remains on the outskirts of the town, the Old Jewish cemetery  (ŽemaitÄ—s str.) was demolished during the Soviet Era.
A great number of prominent Litvaks had roots in Žemaičių Naumiestis. During the Day of Jewish Culture, a group of local history enthusiasts organized a special annual meeting which was dedicated to the Jewish history of the town. The event took place in the town's museum and brought together a number of fellow townsmen interested in the history and culture of the previous Jewish residents. The Chair of local historian group - Dr. Zigmas Malinauskas presented some demographic data on the population of Jews in the area, Marytė Lidžiuvienė, the history teacher, introduced famous Litvak - Hermann Kallenbach, who was a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi. Rūta Anulytė a project coordinator of Maceva, explained more of the Jewish history of Žemaičių Naumiestis, and showed the remaining Jewish heritage in the town. Some town residents and visitors from the European Jewish Culture participated in a city tour. Ms. R. Anulytė introduced everyone to the city's Jewish heritage.
The project  was partially financed by the Department of Cultural Heritage under The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. This is the first official governmental support to our organization and we are pleased we could use this suport for Jewish Heritage dissemination in Žemaičių Naumiestis. It should be noted that none of the Jewish heritage sites in Žemaičių Naumietis were listed as historic heritage sites.  

For several years in a row the names of the ghetto prisoners are publicly read on September 23, the Lithuanian Jewish Genocide Remembrance Day. MACEVA joins this open initiative every year. We strongly support this initiative and kindly invite our subscribers who live in Lithuania to be readers of Names this year. Memory can not be nameless.

8th grade students from   Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Los Angeles translated matzeyvas from Utena Jewish cemtery. Here is how you can build a bridge between people on different continents, with different cultures but common values. A short story was told in the last Annual Report of MACEVA, which described how pupils from Califonia based Jewish school translated matzeyvas from Utena Jewish cemetery which had been cleaned and documented by Utena DauniÅ¡kis Gymnasium students. The translated names with pictures of gravestones was uploaded at the official website of MACEVA (Utena Jewish cemetery).
We should all applaud the effort of Utena-California connection and hope that we will be able to bring more examples like this in the future years. If there is anything which one can call MITZVAH, that was definitely the case involving so many good people.
Please read  Resurrecting Lithuania’s Jewish past.
Thanks to Mrs.Violeta Develienė for crediting Heschel School and Utena Dauniškis Gymnasium students for the work they performed in the local newspapers (you can read it here in Lithuanian).

Å eduva Gymnasium students and teachers prepared an excellent exhibition about what once used to be Jewish Å eduva. Co-founder of MACEVA, Sergey Kanovich and coordinator RÅ«ta AnulytÄ— visited the exhibition prepared by local schoolchildren. The main idea of the Virtual Litvak Cemetery Catalogue was presented to local teachers and schoolchildren. Many of them expressed a will to volunteer in a cemetery documentation in their area . The event took place during vacation time, nonetheless about 25 Lithuanian children attended the meeting out of curiosity. The exhibit they prepared is absolutely impressive. 

The Day of Jewish Culture in PandÄ—lys was organized by a local school. The School held a series of events: schoolchildren were involved in researching their town's Jewish history, they collected stories from the elderly about the pre Shoah Jewish residents of PandÄ—lys. The school community cleaned and photographed the Jewish cemetery, contributing to our project. A seminar "Our Jewish neighbors", which was attended by RÅ«ta AnulytÄ— from Maceva, took place at school.
We had a pleasant opportunity to listen to students' presentations, some girls even learned how to dance a few Jewish traditional dances. Schoolteacher EglÄ— GlemžienÄ— explained Jewish customs and  traditions. RÅ«ta AnulytÄ— told the schoolchildren more about Lithuanian Jewish Cemetery Project, and thanked everyone who voluntarily contributed to the digitization of the Jewish cemetery. Every documented tombstone will be translated and uploaded to the website  - in the near future. 
The priest of PandÄ—lys, Kostas Balsys, also gave a speech on the importance of Judaism for the whole Catholic community, he taught the schoolchildren how important it is to love your neighbor and be tolerant. Then together we visited the cemetery; the students placed flowers and lit a candle in honor of their dead Jewish neighbors.
We are pleased to have been a part of this seminar. It warms our hearts to know that these young people are the guardians of the memory of the Jews of their town.

We had a meeting with schoolchildren in SaldutiÅ¡kis the last autumn, initiated by local teacher Diana ŽvirblienÄ—. We are pleased that many young people came to know more about the culture and history of their past Jewish townsmen.We hope to meet all these schoolchildren and teachers again in the springtime and document the Jewish cemetery in Linkmenys together with them! 

PLANS in 2014

RokiÅ¡kis             Žemaičių Naumiestis
Nemakščiai        Kretinga
Tauragnai           Linkmenys

Implementation of our plans and the scale of our work largely depends on donations, since we are organized and registered as a not for profit NGO in Lithuania. We have one paid employee in Lithuania doing all "on the ground" coordination and education. Our expenses are for materials used in cemetery work, transportation and professional assistance where needed.  If you see a value in what we do, please contribute.
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