Before World War II, Lithuania had a large, vibrant Jewish community, largely centered in Vilnius. (See image of pre-WWII Jewish children.) That community was almost totally eradicated in the Holocaust. Today, there is a substantial Lithuanian (Litvak) Haredi community in Israel, as well as in New York City. Litvak Haredim are not the same as Hassidic Haredim. Indeed, Litvak Haredim are critical of some Hassidic practices.
Quote: “Today, the Lithuanian stream makes up about a third of the ultra-Orthodox sector, and its major emphasis is dedication to Torah study. Although the image of the entire Israeli haredi public is one where the men study Torah and do not work for a living, this image is especially applicable to the Lithuanians, who have the highest proportion of men who spend most of their time studying in kollelim, yeshivot for adult married men only.”
Sources: Wikipedia (introduction), The Jerusalem Post (quotation)
Learn more about the history of the Jewish community in Lithuania from Wikipedia. ►
Read more about Litvak Haredim. ►
Watch “Time Off: Jews of Lithuania” [2:08]. ” ►
Read “Understanding haredi society: Litvak culture ” ►
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