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The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum

The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum

gaono zydaiThe Jewish Museum, as an institution concerned with Jewish culture and traditions, has a long tradition in Lithuania . The first Jewish museum was established in Vilnius (then Vilna) in 1913 through  the efforts of the Society of Lovers of Jewish Antiquity. The activities of this society and museum were interrupted with the outbreak of the First World War. In 1919, noted Jewish writer Sholom Zanvil Rapoport (better known under the pseudonym of Sh. An-sky) revived the society, renamed the Lithuanian-Belorussian Society for Jewish History and Ethnography. The Jewish Museum was re-established in 1920 and named posthumously after Sh. An-sky.

When Vilnius was occupied by Polish troops that same year, the Jewish History and Ethnography Society continued its work in Kaunas, the interim Lithuanian Capital. In 1931, the Society finally established a Jewish museum, similar to its predecessor in Vilnius. On the eve of the Second World War, the Museum housed over 3000 objects and 6000 books, as well as other valuable items, such as letters, memoirs, and pinkasim (Jewish Community’s chronicles). In addition, there were more than a hundred thousand documents, photographs, newspaper issues, etc.  Original texts of the privileges (charters) granted to Jews by the Grand Dukes  the late Middle Ages, were considered  the most valuable museum item.

With the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union in 1940, the museum was placed under the supervision of the People's Commissariat (Ministry) of Education and lost its independent status. In May 1941 the museum was handed over to the Soviet Lithuanian Academy of Science.

Another Jewish museum was established in Polish Wilno (as Vilnius was then called) in 1925. It was known as the Theater Museum of the Institute for Jewish Research, or YIVO. Uma Olkienicka was the director of the museum. The collection was centered around the personal archives of well-known actress Esther Rochl Kaminski. The researchers of YIVO continued to collect material and planned to establish various Jewish museums dedicated to education, art, ethnography, sports and literature.

Address: Lithuanian Jewish Community Centre Pylimo str. 4 Vilnius;

Green House Pamenkalnio str. 12 Vilnius.


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  • Opening hours - Pylimo str. 4. - I-IV,VII 10.00 am - 2.00 pm.
  • Exposition - Holocaust exhibition; Gallery of the Righteous; Avrom Karpinowicz memorial room; Chatzkel Lemchen memorial room; Jasha Heifetz and Vilnius; Mark Antokolski and Vilnius; The Jews of Lithuanian in the fight against Nazism.


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Fly & Lease of campers in the Baltic.

Camper on the road

Take a tour and discover Baltics by yourself!

You will be able to travel comfortably throughout Baltic Sates in our campers, as passengers really may feel themselves like home and take any necessary stuff with them, even their most loved cup for coffee.
A virtue of motor homes is the possibility to be in the cabin in all companionship while going from place to place.
Moreover, you will be free as you will be independent from hotels and every evening you will be able to spend in any place you wish!

Prepaid individual transfer :

no trouble with money exchange upon arrival,
no need to take care oftaxi search,
no language problems !

The driver will wait for you at arrival hall with your name on the card, will help you with luggage and will safely transfer you to agreed place.
Please fill in the Transfer Reservation and we will contact you within 24 business hours with confirmation

KIA CARNIVAL  25 EUR (max 5 persons)                                                
MERCEDES-BENZ VIANO  35 EUR (max 7 persons)

per car only!