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Jewish Families from Joniskelis, Lithuania

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  • Wolf Adowitz (1843 - 1908)
  • Jacob Goldstein (Eydovich) (c.1846 - 1906)
  • Ora Leizer Davimes (c.1825 - 1901)
  • Chaya Rivka Horowitz [Gurvich] (1862 - aft.1928)
    Samuel Horowitz's 1928 obituary in Baltimore Sun mentioned that he was survived by one sibling--a sister (unnamed) living in "Russia." This must have been Chaya Rivka, indicated on three Lithuanian Fam...
  • Eta Dine Horowitz [Gurvich] (1872 - d.)
    ETA DINA GURVICH appears on three Lithuanian Family Lists in Joniskelis, Kovno Gubernia (province). . Her age on all of them gives a birth year of around 1872.On the 1876 list, she's age 4 and the gran...

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Joniskelis in Lithuania.

Alternate names: Joniškėlis [Lith], Yonishkel [Yid], Ioganishkeli [Rus], Johaniszkiele [Pol], Jonišķēle [Latv], Yonishkelis, Joniškiai, Joniškelio, Juonėškielis, Ionishkelis, Ioganishkely, Yohonishkel, Yaneskel, Yonushkel, Yoganishkeli Region: Kovno

  • Before WWI (c. 1900): Ioganishkeli Ponevezh Kovno Russian Empire
  • Between the wars (c. 1930): Joniškėlis Biržai Lithuania
  • After WWII (c. 1950): Joniškėlis{{}} Soviet Union
  • Today (c. 2000): Joniškėlis Lithuania
  • Jewish Population in 1900: 136 (in 1897), 210 (in 1940)
  • Notes: Russian: Иоганишкели. Yiddish: יאַנישקעל

9 miles WSW of Pasvalys, 22 miles NNW of Panevežys, 25 miles WSW of Biržai.<

Joniškėlis, Lithuania: 56°02' N, 24°10' E

Other resources:

  • JGFF Town Search (55 Matches)
  • Yizkor Book - Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya Lithuania (Jerusalem, 1996)

From The Joniskelis KehilaLInks site:

An Introduction to Yanishkel (Joniskelis) According to "Lithuanian Jewish Communities" by Schoenberg, the town of Yaniskel (Joniskelis) was located approximately 6 km from Posvol (Pasvalys). Prior to the Holocaust it was home to about 70 families (162 individuals). In "Where Once We Walked" by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack, the town is further defined as being 58 km ENE of Shavli (Siauliai) at 56 02'/24 10'.

The book, "The Annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry", by the late Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, mentions that amongst the Jews killed in Posvol (Pasvalys) on August 27, 1941, were a number from Yanishkel (Joniskelis). The Jews from Yaniskel (Joniskelis) were buried in the Martyrs' Cemetery in Posvol (Pasvalys). There were five women who survived the slaughter - two were the Todes sisters from Yanishkel (Joniskelis).

Lithuanians participated in the murders and were supervised by the Germans. Names mentioned by Rabbi Oshry are: Petras Bieluskas, Verkus the shoemaker, Strazdas Yuozas the tailor, Metzkus, Ignatz Augentas, Godas Leonas, Antonas Birkauskas, Yanas Vilimas, and Visatzkus. He also mentioned one Lithuanian named Baniolis who was able to keep three Jewish girls alive in a barn for three years.

There are also a number of firsthand accounts of the community. One such memoir by Chaim Joselson follows along with a story by partisan historian Isaac Kowalski.

Joniskelis Stories and Resources

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, Editor in Chief Shmuel Spector, Consulting Editor Geoffrey Wigoder, New York University Press, New York, 2001.

Joniskelis (Yid. Yonishkel) Birzai district, Lithuania. Jews first settled in the 18th cent. The Jewish population in 1897 was 136 (22% of the total). At the end of the 19th century, many Jews emigrated to America and South Africa. During World War I the Jews were expelled, some returning after the war. In elections for Lithuanian’s Sejm, most Jews voted for the Zionist list. Jewish native Benjamin Miller was among the founders of the American Zionist Federation. The Jewish population in 1940 was 210 (21% of the total). After the German invasion in June 1941, Lithuanian nationalists tortured, robbed, and filled Jews. On 26 August 1941 the Jews were taken to a grove next to Zadeikiai and murdered.

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Lithuanian Research Resources