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Jewish Families from Panevėžys, Lithuania

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  • Shmuel Ramm (1865 - d.)
  • Lazar Muller (1895 - d.)
    Name: MAILER, Dov Leib. Father: Israel Khanan. Paternal Grandfather: Elia Iudel. Mother: Malka. Mother's Father: Iakov Zundel. Maiden Name: HEIMAN. Date of birth: 21/11/1895 - 16 Kislev. Born in Town/C...
  • Gittle (Gita) Leah Joffe (c.1869 - d.)
    Gittle's birth was sometime between 1869 and 1874 - none of the dates on her birth, census, or marriage records match. Also, she was alternately called Gitle, Ita Leya, Gita Leya, Gita Leia, & Gitel ...
  • Eliyahu David (the ADeReT) Rabinowitz-Teomim (1843 - 1905)
    Biography of Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim (1842/43–1905), rabbi in Lithuania and Jerusalem. Eliyahu Rabinowitz-Te’omim was born in Pikeln (Lith., Pikeliai), in western Lithuania. His father, B...
  • R' Joseph Shlomo Kahaneman (1888 - 1969)
    Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman (1886–1969), יוסף שלמה כהנמן, was an Orthodox rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Ponevezh yeshiva. He was a renowned Torah and Talmudic scholar, a distinguished member of the Council ...

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Panevėžys, Lithuania.

Panevezys (Ponevezh), Lithuania, Part l , Part ll JewishGen

Panevėžys, Ponevezh, Ponivezh, or Ponevich was included in Kovno guberniia. Most of the Jews of Panevėžys lived in the Slobodka quarter.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, Panevėžys was a typical traditional Jewish community, most of whose members identified as Misnagdim (opponents of Hasidim), while about 15 percent belonged to the Lubavitch Hasidic sect. Community life revolved around the town’s many synagogues and kloyzn (small prayer and study halls).

In 1909, Rabbi Yitsḥak Ya‘akov Rabinovich founded a yeshiva called Ha-Kibuts ha-Ponivezhi. Among other outstanding rabbis in Panevėžys in this period were Hillel Milikovsky and Eliyahu David ben Binyamin Rabinowitz-Te’omim.

In the early 1850s, a circle of maskilim began to grow in Panevėžys, and included, among others, Yehudah Leib Gordon, Yehoshu‘a Sirkin, Mosheh Prozer, Yitsḥak Rumsh,Tanḥum Aharonshtam, and the crown rabbi, Avraham Eliyahu Pompianski. Despite the opposition of conservative circles, maskilim expanded their activities into the field of education and in 1868 established a library.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, much of the town’s Jewish youth belonged to the Bund, and to Ḥibat Tsiyon and other Zionist movements.

After World War I, Jewish settlement in Panevėžys was renewed, and Jews played a central role in the town’s economic activity. Many local industrial concerns were owned by Jews; the larger among them producing beer, textile products, flour, clothing, and footwear.

More than half of the town’s physicians were Jews; there were also a number of banks owned by Jews. Jewish youths could choose to attend the Yavneh Hebrew high school, a Yiddish school, a junior high school (progymnasium), a school belonging to the ORT network, or a yeshiva founded in 1919 by Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman.

Also operating in Panevėžys were a Jewish hospital, an orphanage, and a “help committee,” along with the Maccabi, Ha-Po‘el, Ha-Koaḥ, and Yidisher Arbeter Klub (YAK) sports associations. In the interwar period, a variety of Zionist parties and organizations were active.

In 1940, Panevėžys, along with the rest of Lithuania, was annexed by the Soviet Union; it was conquered by the German army in June 1941. About a month later, the Jews of the town were forced into a ghetto where they suffered abuse, degradation, and torture at the hands of the Germans and their local Lithuanian collaborators.

Most of the Jews of Panevėžys were murdered in the nearby forests of Pajuostės Miškas, Kaizerlingas, and Žalioji Giria. After the war, several hundred Jews lived in Panevėžys, but most of them left in the 1990s. Source

The Ponevezh Yeshiva

The Ponevezh Yeshiva Yivo

Ponevezh Yeshiva, Ponevitch Yeshiva, ישיבת פוניבז׳‎ originally established in the town of Panevėžys, Lithuania is arguably the leading Litvak-style yeshiva in Israel today.

Suggested Reading

  • Raphael Hasman, ed., “Ponivez´ (Panyevez´is): ‘Ir maḥoz,” in Yahadut Lita’, vol. 3, pp. 335–337 (Tel Aviv, 1967);
  • Berl Kagan (Kohen), Yidishe shtet, shtetlekh un dorfishe yishuvim in Lite biz 1918 (New York, 1991), pp. 363–382;
  • Ona Maksimaitiene, Panevezio miesto istorija (Panevėžys, Lith., 2003);
  • Hirsh Osherowitch, Mayn Ponevezh / Ponivez´ sheli (Tel Aviv, 1974);
  • Yosef Rozin, “Ponivezh / Panevėžys,” in Pinkas ha-kehilot: Lita’, ed. Dov Levin, pp. 457–466 (Jerusalem, 1996);
  • Mordechai Zalkin, “‘Mekomot she-lo’ matsah ‘adayin ha-ḥasidut ken lah kelal’?: Ben ḥasidim le-mitnagdim be-Lita’ be-me’ah ha-tesha‘-‘esreh,” in Be-Ma‘gele ḥasidim, ed. Immanuel Etkes, David Assaf, Israel Bartal, and Elḥanan Reiner, pp. 21–50 (Jerusalem, 1999);
  • Mordechai Zalkin, “Yitsḥak Rumsh: Ben ‘haskalat ha-periferyah’ le-‘haskalah periferyalit,’” in ‘Olam yashan, adam ḥadash, ed. Eli Tsur, pp. 185–213 (Beersheva, Isr., 2005).