Stakliškės is one of the shtetls, where buildings clearly tell us about the town’s Jewish past. If you want to see unique and beautiful landscapes, and learn about the Litvak culture and past, while traveling to Stakliškės we recommend you to visit other Jiznas, Prienai, Žiežmariai and Kaišiadoriai shtetls.
Since the beginning of the 19th century, Jews constituted a major part of the towns’ population, and during the interwar period about one-third of people who lived in Stakliškės were Jews. The wooden Jewish synagogue once stood in the main towns’ square, during the great fires that ravaged the entire town, the synagogue was reconstructed at least several times.
During the interwar period, there was a synagogue, Jewish cemetery, and separate Jewish primary school (cheder). The majority of Jews engaged in trade, crafts, and there were some innovative people, who applied modern technologies to their business. A perfect example is Ruvin Rabinowicz, who in the 1930s built the first motor mill that provided electricity and light to the towns’ people.
Another Rabinowicz, named Mejer, lived at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century was an active businessman who opened “Gintaras” beer brewery. After 1918, when Lithuania restored its independence, M. Rabinowicz actively supported the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union and even built their headquarters.
In 1995 Stakliškės town obtained a special status of a place of cultural value. In 1996, the old Jewish cemetery was included in the cultural heritage register. Even though the town lost all main symbols of Jewish cultural life, yet there are plenty of wooden houses that belonged to the local Jews. These buildings are easily recognizable as their main doors always facing the street.
There is Stakliškės Jews’ descendants group. Interested should contact the admin of the group at StakliskesAncestors@gmail.com
Historical Jewish Quarter in Jieznas
Historical Jewish Quarter in Prienai
Beit midrash of Prienai
Historical Jewish Quarter in Birštonas
Historical Jewish Quarter in Žiežmariai