« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 6]

Čekiškė (Tsaikishok)

55°10' 23°31'

Tsaikishok (in Yiddish) lies in central Lithuania, on the main Kaunas–Raseiniai road near the Dubysa River, about 36 km. northwest of Kaunas. Apparently a settlement already existed on this site in 1457, but by the beginning of the seventeenth century there was substantial evidence of Tsaikishok's existence. In 1762 the town was granted the privilege to maintain a weekly market and a yearly fair. During the period of Russian rule (1795–1915) Tsaikishok was at first included in the province (Gubernia) of Vilna, and thereafter from 1843 in the Kovno Gubernia. During the years 1915–1918 the town was under German military occupation, and during the period of Independent Lithuania (1918–1940) it was a county administrative center in the Kovno district.


Jewish settlement till after World War I

Jews probably settled in Tsaikishok at the end of the eighteenth century. It is certain that in the second half of the nineteenth century an organized Jewish community existed, headed by a Rabbi.

According to the Russian census of 1897 there were 668 residents in Cekiske, including 432 Jews (65%).

A list dated 1871, of donors who gave money for the needy in Lithuania through the Aid Committee of Memel, contains quite a few names of Tsaikishok Jews. The fund raisers were Nakhman Shlezinger and Yisrael Segal.

The Hebrew newspaper HaMagid (1872) published a list of donors for victims of a famine in Persia, which included the names of 101 Tsaikishok Jews (see Appendix 1).

In 1887 a fire destroyed all the town's houses, including the two prayer buildings and the precious holy books housed there. A young woman was burnt to death, and only three houses were left undamaged. About 160 Jewish families were left roofless and in great poverty. The local rabbi, Avraham Levental, a wealthy man, also lost all his property. Jews of the neighboring towns Vilki (Vilkija), Srednik (Seredzius), Rasein (Raseiniai), Girtigola and others, were the first people to bring carts loaded with bread and other food products to the victims of the fire, who were camping in the open. The Hebrew newspaper HaMelitz from July 8th, 1887 published an appeal for help, signed by Eliyahu Gurland in the name of the victims.

In 1914, before World War I, about 200 Jewish families lived in Tsaikishok.

During World War I, in 1915, the retreating Russian army carried out pogroms against the Jews in many towns, with the participation of local peasants. Men were cruelly abused and women raped. Tsaikishok Jews were

[Page 7]

later relieved to receive their exile orders to Russia, which saved them from this unbearable situation.

After the war few of the exiles returned to Tsaikishok and the number of the Jews decreased from year to year, until only about 60 families remained in the town before World War II.


During the period of independent Lithuania (1918–1940)

Following the passage of the Law of Autonomies for Minorities by the new Lithuanian government, the Minister for Jewish Affairs, Dr. Menachem (Max) Soloveitshik, ordered elections for community committees (Va'adei Kehilah) to be held in the summer of 1919. In Tsaikishok a community committee of seven members was elected, four from Tseirei–Zion, two from Mizrahin and one from the artisans. This committee functioned until about the end of 1925 when the autonomy was annulled by a new Lithuanian government. For several years the committee was active in all aspects of Jewish life in town.

According to the first census performed by the government in 1923 there were then 577 residents, including 324 Jews (56%).

Tsaikishok Jews made their living from shopkeeping, commerce and crafts. According to the government survey on shops and industry in 1931 there were then twelve shops, all in Jewish hands: six textile shops, three restaurants, one grain shop, one pharmacy and one miscellaneous shop. Jews owned a wool combing plant, a leather–producing plant and a felt–producing factory. Later a steam–operated flourmill and a sawmill were added. Many Jews rented fruit gardens, selling the fruit in the summer.

In 1937 there were eleven Jewish artisans: three tailors, three butchers, two shoemakers, one baker, one glazier and one barber.

The Jewish Popular Bank (Folksbank) played an important role in the economic life of Tsaikishok Jews. The bank was established in 1920 and was one of the first in Lithuania, beginning with 39 members. In 1927 their number had increased to 72, but in 1933 there were 60.

Of the eight telephone owners in 1939, one was Jewish.

Jewish children studied at the Yiddish elementary school. Beside the school there was a library with about 500 books.

A number of Tsaikishok Jews had adopted the Zionist ideal by the time of the first Zionist congresses. A delegate from Tsaikishok participated in the regional conference in Vilna in 1899. During the period of Independent Lithuania, many became members of the Zionist movement with all its nuances.

Among the Zionist parties and youth organizations there were the Z”S Education Society in the name of Nakhman Sirkin, as well as HaShomer

[Page 8]

HaTsair and others. Sport activities were organized at the local Maccabi branch, with forty members on average participating.

The results of the elections for the Zionist Congresses are given in the table below:


Year Total Shkalim Total Votes Labor Party
Revisionists General
Grosmanists Mizrahi
14 1925 40
15 1927 6 6 4 2
16 1929 29
17 1931 30 11 3 3 3 2
18 1933 25 18 4 2 1
19 1935 108 102 4 1 1

After the great fire of 1887, a new brick synagogue was built to serve also as a place for learning Torah, because the Beth Midrash, which had been destroyed in this fire, was not rebuilt.

The following are the Rabbis who officiated in Tsaikishok: Avraham HaCohen Levental (from 1859 until his death in 1894); Avraham Gordon (from 1903); Ya'akov Abramovitz (in the 1920's) and the last Rabbi Shemuel–Ze'ev Melamed, who was murdered in the Holocaust.

Persons of note born in Tsaikishok include Rabbi Mordehai Eliashberg (1817–1889), an enthusiastic “Hovev Zion”, about whom Ahad–Ha'am wrote that his book “The Book of the Golden Path” (Warsaw, 1897) was more meaningful than a settlement in Eretz–Yisrael. Also Rabbi Mosheh Zilber (who died in 1949 in Jerusalem), the father of Aba Hilel Silver, a famous leader of American Zionists.


During World War II

With the annexation by the Soviet Union, Lithuania becoming a Soviet Republic in 1940, and some Jewish–owned shops and plants in Tsaikishok were nationalized. All Zionist parties and youth organizations were disbanded. About 60 Jewish families lived in the town at this time.

German soldiers entered Tsaikishok a week after the war between Germany and the Soviet Union began on June 22nd, 1941. However, even before a single German soldier was seen in town, Lithuanian nationalists took over. They detained Jews, mistreated them and murdered eighteen Jewish men.

[Page 9]

According to Nazi documents (Jaeger report), on September 4th, 1941, 22 Jewish men, 64 women and 60 children were murdered.

It is known that Jews from Tsaikishok were also murdered in Eiragole (Ariogala) and Vilki (Vilkija).


A mass grave in the forest of Pakarkle, 2 km. from Veliuona, where the remains of those murdered in Tsaikishok were transported and buried.



Yad Vashem archives, Jerusalem, O–3/1015
Central Zionist Archives: 55/1788; 55/1701; 13/15/131; Z–4/2548
YIVO, New York, Collection of Lithuanian Communities, file 1539, pages 69705–06
Dos Vort, Kovno (Yiddish), 10.9.1935; 2.1.1939
Di Yiddishe Shtime, Kovno (Yiddish),16.4.1923; 28.12.1937; 23.2.1938; 19.9.1938
Der Yiddisher Cooperator, Kovno (Yiddish), # 2–3, 1930
HaMelitz, St, Petersburg (Hebrew), 8.7.1887; 17.7.1887; 28.7.1887; 9.3.1893
Folksblat, Kovno (Yiddish), 15.8.1935; 2.1.1938

[Pages 10-13]

Appendix 1

A list of 101 contributors from Tsaikishok for the victims of the Persian famine in 1872. It was published in HaMagid #10 (1872)
(JewishGen. Org. Databases, compiled by Jeffery Maynard)

BLOCH Zalman
BOROWSKE Gavriel Bentzion
GOLD Moshe
GRINBERG Shmuel (from Seredzius)
HALEVI Yitzchok
KA"TZ Avraham
KATZ Nechemiah Aharon
KATZ Shraga
KATZ Yeshiyahu Yitzchok
KELMER Mordechai
MEHL Zalkind
MILNER Avraham
MIRAGOLE Dovid Bentzion
PERIL Avraham
PERIL Mordehai
PERIL Yechezkel
SEGAL Yisroel ben Shmuel
SEGAL Zachariah
SHLEZINGER Nachman ben Avraham
SHMID Eliezer
SHOR Avraham
WELLER Betzalel
YAFE Yisroel
YUDKOWSKE Avraham Yosef
YUDKOWSKE Moshe Yitzchok
ZILBER Moshe Mordechai
ZILBER Yisroel
  Abba ben Hillel
  Aharon ben Dov
  Aharon ben H
  Aharon Hillel
  Ari ben Yitzchok (from Vilkija)
Rabbi Avraham ben Dov Ber HaCohen
  Avraham ben Yitzchok
  Avraham Yitzchok
  Binyamin ben Reuven
  Chanoch Zondil (Cantor & Shohet)
  Dov ben Helman
  Dovid ben P
  Dovid ben Y
  Ephraim ben D
  Ephraim ben Yitzchok
  Hirsh ben Eizik
  Leib ben A
  Leib ben Moshe
  Leib ben Ozer
  Mattitiyahu ben Avraham
  Menachem ben Yisroel
  Mordechai ben Meir
  Moshe ben N
  Moshe ben Zev
  Nachum ben Moshe
  Nechemiah ben L
  Reuven ben Binyamin
  Shabasai Yosef
  Shalom ben A
  Shalom ben Avraham
  Shlomo ben Boruch
  Shlomo ben Tzvi
  Shmuel ben Hillel
  Tzvi ben Dovid
  Tzvi ben Yakov
  Yakov ben Moshe
  Yakov ben Peretz
  Yehuda ben Tzvi
  Yitzchok ben Ch A
  Yitzchok ben Dov
  Yitzchok ben Pesach
  Yitzhok ben M
  Zerach ben Yehuda

[Pages 13-19]

Appendix 2

List of 142 Tsaikishok donors to the Settlement of Eretz Yisrael
(From JewishGen.Org.>Databases>Lithuania>Hamelitz. Compiled by Jeffrey Maynard)

Surname Given Name Comments Source:
BEINE Yakov   #205 1903
BERELOWITZ Chaim Pinchos #184 1899
BERELOWITZ Pinchos from
#179 1900

[Page 14]

Surname Given Name Comments Source:
BERNE Libe   #179 1900
BERNE Libe   #263 1900
BERNE Yakov   #179 1900
BERNE Yakov   #263 1900
BERNE Yakov   #240 1902
BLUMZOHN Shimon Yitzchok   #205 1903
BLUMZOHN Shimon Yitzchok   #240 1902
BLUMZON Chana   #179 1900
BLUMZON Shimon Yitzchok   #179 1900
BLUMZON Shimon Yitzchok   #263 1900
BORON Rivka   #205 1903
BORON Rivka   #240 1902
BORON Rivka wife of Yakov Glazer   #263 1900
BORON Yakov Hilel   #179 1900
BORON Yakov Hillel   #184 1899
BORON Yakov Hillel   #205 1903
BORON Yakov Hillel   #263 1900
BORON Yeshiahu Yitzchok   #263 1900
BORON Yeshiyahu Yitzchok   #179 1900
BORON Yeshiyahu Yitzchok   #205 1903
BORON Yeshiyahu Yitzchok   #240 1902
BOROWIK Avraham Shlomo   #205 1903
BOROWIK Pesha   #205 1903
BORSHTEIN Boruch   #205 1903
BORSHTEIN Boruch   #240 1902
DOV Yehuda   #263 1900
FIN Moshe   #205 1903
FIN Moshe   #263 1900
FIN Moshe   #240 1902
FIN Sarah wife of
Shimon Yitzchok Blumzon
of Keidan
wed #85 1899
FLOKCHIN Leib Yitzchok Rabbi #240 1902
FLOKCHIN Mashe   #240 1902
FRIDMAN Shmuel   #205 1903
FRIDMANN Shmuel   #240 1902
GANDEL Leib   #179 1900
GANDZ Leib   #205 1903
GANZ Leib   #240 1902
GELFAND Leib   #240 1902
GITELMAN Shmuel   #263 1900
GITELMANN Shmuel   #240 1902
GITLMAN Shmuel   #179 1900
GODSON Ari Leib   #179 1900
GOLD Elimelech   #179 1900
GOLD Elimelech   #205 1903
GOLD Elimelech   #263 1900
GOLD Elimelech   #240 1902
GOLD Yitzchok   #205 1903
GOLD Yitzchok   #263 1900
GOLD Yitzchok   #240 1902
GOLDPOND Leib   #263 1900
GONDIN Avraham   #263 1900
GORDON Avraham   #179 1900
GORDON Avraham Rabbi Gaon #205 1903
GORDON Avraham   #240 1902
GORDON Leib   #263 1900
GORDON Raphel Leib   #184 1899
GORDON Raphel Leib   #77 1899
GROSMAN Rafel   #263 1900
HELFAND Leib   #205 1903
ITZKOWITZ Yehuda   #205 1903
ITZKOWITZ Yehuda   #240 1902
KERMANT Reuven   #240 1902
KRIWANT Aba   #263 1900
KRIWANT Aba   #240 1902
KRIWANT Gedalia   #205 1903
KRIWANT Reuven   #205 1903
KRIWANT Tzvi   #205 1903
LIPMAN Chaim Aharon   #184 1899
LIPMAN Chaim Aharon   #179 1900
LIPMAN Chaim Aharon   #263 1900
LIPMAN Libe   #179 1900
LIPMANN Chaim Aharon   #205 1903
LIPMANN Chaim Aharon   #240 1902
MELER Lipman   #263 1900
NEIMAN Mordechai   #263 1900
NEIMANN Yisroel   #240 1902
NEIMARK Mordechai   #205 1903
PASAREWITZ Matitiyahu   #179 1900
PEISACHOWITZ Matitiahu   #263 1900
PEISACHOWITZ Matitiahu   #240 1902
PEISACHOWITZ Zalman   #205 1903
PEISACHOWITZ Zalman   #263 1900
PEISACHOWITZ Zalman   #240 1902
PEREL Ari   #263 1900
PERL Ari   #179 1900
PERL Ari   #205 1903
PERL Avraham   #205 1903
PERL Miriam   #240 1902
PESIL Avraham   #240 1902
PLENER Yakov   #205 1903
PLOKCHIN L   #60 1899
PLOKCHIN Levi Yitzchok   #179 1900
PLOTCHIN Levi Yitzchok   #205 1903
PLOTCHIN Masha   #205 1903
PLOTKIN Mashe female #263 1900
PLOTKIN Yitzchok   #263 1900
PLOTZKIN Levi Yitzchok   #231 1899
PREGER Reuven   #240 1902
PREGER Yakov   #240 1902
PRENER Yakov   #263 1900
RAVITZ Dovid Moshe   #179 1900
ROTKOWSKI Shmuel   #263 1900
ROZENBERG Tzvi Yakov   #179 1900
ROZENBERG Tzvi Yakov   #263 1900
ROZENBERG Yakov Tzvi   #205 1903
ROZENBERG Yakov Tzvi   #240 1902
SHAFER Chana Miriam   #205 1903
SHAFER Chanah Miriam   #240 1902
SHAFER Naftali Hertz   #263 1900
SHAFER Naftali Hertz   #240 1902
SHAFER Naphtali Hertz   #179 1900
SHAFER Naphtli Hertz   #205 1903
SHITNOWITZ Binyomin Rabbi #179 1900
SHTREICHMAN Rivka   #179 1900
SHTREICHMAN Yitzchok   #179 1900
SHTREICHMAN Yitzchok   #263 1900
SHTROBMANN Yitzchok   #240 1902
SHUB Shlomo Noach   #263 1900
STREICHMANN Aharon   #205 1903
WEBTER Mordechai   #205 1903
WECHTER Mordechai   #240 1902
WEINIK Yosef   #205 1903
WEIS Dov Ber   #240 1902
WEISS Dov Ber   #205 1903
WELER Lipman   #179 1900
WELER Lipmann   #240 1902
WELLER Lipmann   #205 1903
WIGDEROWITZ Yitzchok   #205 1903
WINIK Yosef   #240 1902
WOROBUK Avraham Shlomo   #240 1902
YAMKOWSKI Moshe Yitzchok   #205 1903
YASKOWSKI Sh   #205 1903
YOTKOWITZ Shmuel   #240 1902
YOTKOWSKI Avraham Shimon   #179 1900
YOTKOWSKI Moshe Yitzchok   #179 1900
YOTKOWSKI Moshe Yitzchok   #240 1902
YUDKOWSKI Yisroel Yitzchok   #205 1903
YUTKOWSKI Moshe Yitzchok   #263 1900
  Roshel Rabbi's wife #205 1903


« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose
of fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without permission of the copyright holders: Josef Rosin z”l and Joel Alpert.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation.The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Protecting Our Litvak Heritage     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2024 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 13 Dec 2018 by JH