Museum of Culture and Identity of Lithuanian Jews

Opened in 2024, the museum is the largest branch of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History.

It presents the history, culture, customs, and historical scenes of everyday life of Lithuanian Jews in a diverse and comprehensive manner. There is also a museum of the artist Raphael Chvoles from Vilnius. Other world-famous Litvaks are also featured, including Nobel Prize winners Aaron Klug and Bernard Lownas, artists Markas Antokolskis, Jacques Lipchitz, Nehemiah Arbitblat, and Hollywood stars Ruth Roman, Al Jolson and Laurence Harvey. The 17 exhibitions with a contemporary design feature authentic exhibits and the opportunity to interactively engage with the history of Lithuanian Jews.

The visitor should look at the exhibition halls, but not forget to look at the museum environment – the decor of the floors, walls, ceilings, stairs and architecture. It is unique. The museum is housed in the former Jewish Gymnasium “Tarbut” building. It is a historicist building and was once an important centre of the Jewish community of Vilnius. The building originally housed luxury apartments. In 1915, the physician Joseph Epstein founded a Jewish gymnasium with Hebrew as the language of instruction, and in 1916 the school leased premises at Pylimo g. 4.

When the founder died during a typhus epidemic, the gymnasium was named after him. In the 1930s, the Tarbut organisation began to patronize the gymnasium and the school was renamed Tarbut. Another fact: the world-famous photographer Moï Ver (Moishe Raviv-Vorobeitchik, 1904-1995), a pioneer of European artistic photography, graduated from the gymnasium.

Skaidrė 1-1

White bows, black sheep