“Kopcheve” - Lithuanian Jewry
(Kapciamiestis, Lithuania)

50°00' / 23°39'

Translation of “Kopcheve” chapter from Yahadut Lita
(Lithuanian Jewry), Vol. 3

Published by The Association of The Lithuanian Jews in Israel

Published in Tel Aviv, 1967 (Vol. 3) and 1984 (Vol. 4)



Project Coordinator and Translator

Carol Hoffman


Our sincere appreciation to Joseph Melamed, Advocat, for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Yahadut Lita: (Lithuanian Jewry), Vol. 3
Town: Kapciamiestis (Kopcheve), Seiny District, p. 344 (Vol. 3)

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[Page 344 - Volume 3]


Kopcheve is situated in the heart of forests, between the two rivers, the Ancia, white and black, close to the Neiman and large lakes, on the road which crosses Lithuanian on its southern border. Distances to Vesai are 12 kilometers, Lipin 18 kilometers, Serejai 36 kilometers, Lazdai 40 kilometers. The closest train station is in Braksenai.

In independent Lithuania there were about 50 Jewish families whose livelihood was based mainly on workshops and commerce. Three families made their living from agriculture, but almost all of the families had vegetable gardens and fruit trees for their personal consumption. Amongst the villagers were some large commercial businessmen who specialized in forestry. There were 2 flourmills and 2 metal factories owned by Jews. Towards the end of the 19th century there was a large iron factory for reaping machines, railroad ties, nails and other iron products.

The village was famous for its educated students in Cheder, where they studied everything except Gemora and the Hebrew language. In independent Lithuania there was a Hebrew grammar school and next to it a library with an active drama circle. Youth were organized in Zionist groups, predominantly “HaHalutz” [The Pioneer].

Rabbis: Rabbi Zvi Dirkator, Rabbi Abraham-Zvi Pinchas-Eliashberg, Rabbi Zvi-Aria Luria (thereafter known widely in Seijny, Suwalk & Zalodek), Rabbi Meyer Stolvitz. The last Rabbi was Rabbi Menachem-Mendel Sher.

Born in Kopcheve were the historian Elhanan (Edward) D, Kalman (1891-1939), Rabbi B.Z. Shimshlevich, later known as the famous Lithuanian forestry businessman; he was a pupil of Rabbi R. Israel Slenter, a man of high morals (Rabbi Abraham-Zvi Pinchas would relate that he would come to him and ask, “Rabbi, tell me if this ruble is kosher”.

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