Historical Jewish quarter of Salantai


Salantai is widely known as the birthplace of one of the most famous Litvak Rabbis – Israel Salanter, the founder of the Musar movement.


In the 19th century, the active Jewish community of Salantai had a synagogue complex near the center of the town. The synagogue complex stood in the current day Sinagogos street, consisting of the brick synagogue, beth midrash, and two kloyzes. In 1926 a huge fire destroyed the town, as well as synagogues. The local community collected money and rebuilt only the main synagogue, which survived our days. However, synagogues were characteristic that every religious Jewish community possessed. The rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883), also known as Yisrael Lipkin, put Salantai on the map, as he was the founder of the Musar movement, which greatly influenced Lithuanian Orthodox Jewry.


After the Second World War, the synagogue of Salantai experienced extensive reconstructions, which completely altered its exterior and inner structure. The synagogue building was transformed into the cultural “house”. In 2004, the building was renamed to a cultural center, symbolically cutting its ties and renouncing its Soviet past. In 2011 the building of the former synagogue was reconstructed, and to commemorate the town’s Jewish past the memorial plate was built.


-Litvak Memorial Garden, 56.062383, 21.821884
-Darbėnai Jewish Cemetery (Darbėnai, Darbėnų sen., Kretingos r. sav.) 56.021667, 21.271944
-Memorial of victims of the Holocaust in Kaušėnai, 55.921067, 21.783250
-The former Jewish gymnasium and Library in Plungė (S. Neries g.6), 55.913700, 21.848991
-Dr. Borisas Efrosas house and memorial plaque in Plungė (Vytauto g. 14), 55.913471, 21.841670

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