Liepaja Jewish Religious Community
From 1989, resurrection of Liepaja Jewish community has begun. The community has united everyone who survived the Holocaust, their children and grandchildren, and those who came here from the other former Soviet republics. It was initiated by Ilana Ivanova and Boris Gribelsky. The community’s first chairman was Vladimir Ban.
According to data of 2008, there are about 400 Jews living now in Liepaja. 102 of them are members of Jewish Religious Community of Liepaja.
From 1996, under Ilana Ivanova’s chairing, various activities were held, aimed onto returning and keeping of community property, organizing constant social aid for the needy and sick community members. Holidays and religious events were also organized.
However, special attention was always paid to learning facts about Liepaja’s Jews tragedy during the Holocaust and immortalizing the dead – monuments were installed in Rainis park, next to tinned fish factory, on the Jewish cemetery, on the place where ghetto of Liepaja used to be, a memorial in Shkede, which was opened in 2005.
A memorial room was opened in the community in 2001. In the community premises, a museum was opened in 2007.
The main mission of JRCL is studying and conservation of Jewish religion and traditions, learning Hebrew, further studying of community history’s various stages, organizing public and club activities, public relations, connections with former inhabitants of Liepaja abroad, collaboration with Latvian Council of Jewish Communities.
Social aid center organizes various kinds of support for needy and sick community members. Center’s leader is Zhenia Vilenskaya.
Cultural center is planning and organizing all Jewish holidays, jubilees and meetings, lead by Rosalia Sukhar.
Table games club is lead by Mikhail Kort. Every week club members get together to play lotto, kun-ken, chess and other table games. This tradition has a long-term history and today is followed by a younger generation.
Every Sunday it’s time for Sunday school classes, lead by Marina Gudkova.
Ilana Ivanova organizes and conducts city excursions for those who would like to learn about past and present of Liepaja Jewish Community.
R. Sukhar and E. Kaplan offer consulting about burial inquiries on the Jewish Cemetery.
Board Chairman – Naum Vorobeychik
Board Members – Ilana Ivanova, Miron Karafelov
Executive Director – Zhenia Vilenskaya
Kungu str. 21
Fax, phone.: (+371) 634 25336