The wooden beit midrash in Zarasai


The wooden beit midrash of Zarasai is an extraordinary part of both Lithuanian and Eastern European Jewish cultural heritage. It is one of only 17 extant wooden Jewish prayer houses in Lithuania.

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Although individual Jewish families in Zarasai have been mentioned already in the 17th century, communal Jewish settlement in the town began only at the beginning of the 19th century. The majority of new Jewish settlers in Zarasai came from former Trakai Jewish community, which as economic rivals has been evicted by Trakai Karaite community. The newly settled Jewish community in Zarasai concentrated in the strategically most convenient part of the town – around the market square. Active Jewish life in Zarasai is well reflected by the fact, that at the end of the 19th c. there have already been six Jewish prayer houses. Two of them survived to-this-day – the great mural synagogue and humble wooden beit midrash on the banks of Zarasas Lake.


The extant wooden beit midrash on Bajorai street no. 14 has been reorganized to a residential house, which is a two-story building and stands out of other nearby residential houses in the narrow street.  


The great beit midrash (Sinagogos str. 3), 55.734225, 26.243228

Monument commemorating the victims of Holocaust, 55.706000, 25.983000

Printing house established by Kovneris, and later administered by D. Šteiman and E. Rozman  (Šiaulių str. 28), 55.736211, 26.244233

The old Jewish cemetery (Šaltupė alley), 55.738353, 26.235517

Jewish cemetery at Kauno street, 55.717250, 26.231653

Photo-atelier of Moisiejus Botvinikas (Sėlių str. 23-24), 55.732106, 26.247086

Carbonated water workshop  owned by Abelis Pitelis G (Sėlių sq. 2), 55.730917, 26.244598

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