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Many family members have returned to Jonava to see what has became of the town we sang about at family gatherings. One of the Jewish tour guides in Kaunas told me about giving tours to cousins who I’d never met when I was there in the summer of 2001.

These pictures are from our trip, if you have pictures from your trip, I’d love to add them!
                                   Peggy Mosinger Freedman


Looking across the Neris River at the town of Jonava


Kovna Street in Jonava--this is all that is left of the Jewish part of town. The buildings are covered with grafitti.

An old synagogue that has been turned into a bakery. Inside the bakery, you can still see the graceful, fluted columns which are all that is left of the synagogue decorations.


This unassuming building was also a synagogue. These are the only two surviving synagogue buildings in Jonava.


A typical house on Kovno Street with very modern young people hanging out.

Jonava Jewish Cemetery

The old Jewish Cemetery still stands in Jonava, although the stones were knocked over and then reset and many are missing. I have indexed all the tombstones in it, very few have surnames on them. 

Grave of Rivka Gitl

This is the tombstone of our ancestor, Rivka Gitel, wife of Solomon Isaac. Evidence of this comes from her name on the stone, and her date of death which matches her death record from the Archives.

It is both a poem and an acrostic with her name spelled by the first letter of each line.

The translation is:

Marking a Soul

Our spirit is very broken
When we stand on the grave
The grave of our mother
We can’t believe our eyes
Joy has been exiled from us
The 22 of Adar, the joyous month
Her soul is pure
To the heavens she rose
The modest Rivka Gitel
Daughter of R’ Yehuda Leb has died
22 Adar II 1889

M[ay] H[er] S[oul] B[e bound in the] C[hain of] L[ife]


I don’t know who this is! Please let me know if you do. The stone has been translated as follows:

Our Dear Mother
 Sarah Sholsky
 daughter of Zalman Leyb
 died 3-Iyar-????

 It was taken by Rita Edlin during
 her trip to Jonava in May, 1993.
 The date of death is partially hidden 
 by the cement base.

Updated February 20, 2005

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