“Zeimiai” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Žeimiai, Lithuania)

55° 58' / 23° 25'

Translation of the “Zeimiai” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Dov Levin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1996


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Lita: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Lithuania,
Editor: Prof. Dov Levin, Assistant Editor: Josef Rosin, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


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(Page 291)

Zeimiai

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

In Yiddish, Zheim

A county town, 22 km southeast of the district city of Kedainiai and 12 km northwest of Jonava. As a result of the town's location, in Russian sources it was also called Yanovo Zeimiai.

In 1847, Zeimiai had a Jewish population of 753 people and they had a synagogue. During the latter part of the 1890's, the size of the town's Jewish population decreased gradually because many of them emigrated to South Africa and the United States. About 60 Jewish families lived in Zeimiai before WWI. During this period, the town's rabbinate was headed by Rabbi Khaim son of Yakov Glazer, and Rabbi Khaim Kalibanov. During the period of Independent Lithuania, the Jewish community of Zeimiai was headed by an elected committee of 5 members. The 1923 census counted in the town 110 Jews among its 622 residents. 9 of the 10 stores in Zeimiai were owned by Jews. They also owned a flourmill. 10 students studied in the local “Kheder”. The continuous decrease in the town's Jewish population was also evident in its public activities. In 1929, during the 19th Zionist Congress, only 4 Shekalim (tokens of membership in the Zionist organization) were bought in the town.

The number of Jews who remained in the town in the summer of 1941, when Germany occupied Lithuania, was not more than 2 dozens. At the end of July, or at the beginning of August, 1941, they were taken to the ghetto in Kedainiai and their fate was the same as the fate of the Jews of Kedainiai: in August, 1941 (5 Elul, 5701), all of them were murdered by Lithuanians who served the German occupying authorities.

Bibliography:

Gotlieb, Ohalei Shem, p. 35.
Kamzon, The Jews of Lithuania, p 123.

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