The Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry

The Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry at the Spiegel Family Study Area represents an important addition to the Permanent Exhibit of the museum. Made possible thanks to the generous assistance of Mr. Solly Yellin and located on the first floor at the Spiegel Family Study Area within the Community Section, the center is dedicated to the history and heritage of the Jewish communities in Lithuania. Inaugurated in June 2001, The Solly Yellin Center includes information on 250 communities that existed before the Holocaust on the territory currently within the borders of the Republic of Lithuania and the neighboring regions in the republics of Belarus, Latvia, Poland, and the Russian Federation, corresponding with much of the area of the historic Duchy of Lithuania.


 


 

Visitors using the Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry at the
Spiegel Family Study Area

 

It was in this region that a vibrant Jewish community evolved over the centuries; by the end of the 19th century the number of the Litvaks, as the Lithuanian Jews are known in Yiddish, was estimated at about 1,500,000. Today, after more than a century during which large numbers of Lithuanian Jews emigrated to the Americas, South Africa, Israel and other countries, and especially after the vast majority of those who remained in place were murdered during the Holocaust, the Jewish population in this area is estimated at a few tens of thousands. The Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry is helping the visitor to Beth Hatefutsoth to understand the uniqueness and richness of this community while focusing on such issues as the history of Jewish settlement, daily life during the first half of the 20th century, the architecture of synagogues, biographies of famous Lithuanian Jews, their cultural and religious achievements, and their contribution to the revival of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel. A special section is dedicated to the life, activities, and the work of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman - The Gaon of Vilna.


 


 

Mr. Solly Yellin and Dr. David Alexander, Director-General of
Beth Hatefutsoth, Inaugurating the Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry
at the Spiegel Family Study Area, June 22, 2001


 


 

Visitors at the Solly Yellin Center of Lithuanian Jewry at the
Spiegel Family Study Area

 

The revamped Spiegel Family Study Area offers visitors the choice of viewing the full-size version of the virtual exhibition dedicated to The Gaon of Vilna, of searching through the interactive multimedia Database of Jewish Communities, or viewing a selection of documentary footages.


 

 

Links:
 

The Jewish Community of Vilna

The Great City Synagogue of Vilna