Synagogue Square Memorial Unveiled
A unique monument dedicated to hundreds of years of history of Jewish and Lithuanian communities was revealed in Jurbarkas, a small town in Lithuania, on Friday. Synagogue Square Memorial eternalizes friendship, tragedy and hope.
‘The monument is dedicated to many generations of the Jewish people living in this town and the tragic end of this community. Also, this monument is dedicated to those who saved Jews, and thus this memorial is tightly connected to the Litvak history as a whole. It is the first memorial of such kind. I am happy that we have completed the memorial, with the help of so many good-willed people’, says David Zundelovitch, world-acclaimed sculptor and the author of the monument.
Jurbarkas was a home to a large Jewish community, with thriving businesses, schools, beautiful synagogue. World War II shattered the fate of Jewish people and Soviet occupation tried to erase history from people’s minds. There are no Jewish people living in Jurbarkas these days.The mayor of Jurbarkas, Skirmantas Mockevičius, asked H.E. Mr. Amir Maimon, the Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Lithuania to contact Israeli sculptor David Zundelovitch and his creative group CAN (New Artists Collegium) with a request to design and create the future memorial. With the help of Israeli embassy in Lithuania, the creative team was established and completed the project with the help of people all over the world.
David, Greg and Anna Zundelovitch with the creative team of CAN decided to depict history creating a unique project to commemorate the wooden synagogue, names and professions of Jewish people and Lithuanians who had courage to save their Jewish neighbors during World War II.
The project which has no analogues in the world united descendants of Jurbarkas Jewish community from Israel, USA, South Afrika, United Kingdom, Russia and Canada, along with philanthropists from Lithuania, Germany and Israel, with the help of Good Will Foundation. It took three years to complete the project.
‘This project showcases a new era in Lithuania. Where the people of a country that is highly associated with the Holocaust to every Jew stand strong together, stating "We shall not forget". Where Lithuanians no longer regard their Jewish neighbors as foreigners, but as a part of their own national identity’, said David Zundelovitch.
Photo credit: Olegas Bovšys