Latvia, Lithuania & Belarus - A Kosher Heritage Journey

PUBLISHED: ThuSep2016
Written By: David Walles

Hugh Raichlin in front of a captivated crowd.

When Dr. Les Glassman was invited by David Walles (owner of Eddies Kosher Travel) to video a group tour to Lithuania, Latvia & Belarus, he did not realize the strong impact it would have. A successful event jointly planned by The Telfed Jerusalem Regional Committee, World Mizrachi, WITS Alumni Israel & Eddies Kosher Travel  took place on Tuesday evening 20th September at the World Mizrachi center in Jerusalem. To set the scene a short piece of music was played on a violin. After which a few words of welcome were delivered by the organizers, beginning with Dr. Les Glassman, Chairman of WITS Alumni Israel, David Walles, owner of Eddies Kosher Travel and Rabbi Dorron Perez, C.E.O. of World Mizrachi.

A large crowd watched a fascinating video presentation which was filmed by Les, during a recent tour to Lithuania, where the guide was Hugh Raichlin, a prominent member of the Glenhazel community. The group travelled from the North to the South, visiting well-known towns and villages which were predominately Jewish before the destruction of the Second World War. Places such as Riga, Boisk, Ponevezh, Kedain, Kovno, Vilna, Radin, Volozhyn, Slonim, Minsk and many more.  It was immensely interesting to "visit" the Great Shul of Vilna, or stand by the grave of Great Sages such as The Gaon of Vilna, The Chafez Chaim; to get a better feeling of the magnificent Jewish communities of those wonderful years and the learning that took place in the famous Mir Yeshiva, as well as the forest of Rumbula where there are mass graves of our brothers and sisters who were brutally murdered. The audience also got a feeling of continuation of Jewish life, when the members of the tour group sang as one, "Ani Ma'amin" (I believe) & Hatikva (The Israeli National Anthem).

The meaningful evening continued with an excellent talk given by Hugh Raichlin. Hugh, who has a vast amount of knowledge and is well versed on the subject, shared a few heart touching unique stories. Members of the audience asked some interesting questions and shared some valuable remarks.

The wonderful event concluded with a vote of thanks given by Roy Scher, Chairman of Telfed's Jerusalem Regional Committee.

Artice written by Roy Scher

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