From 1871-1891, 5 synagogues operated in Panevėžys city and there was a large Jewish community. One of the main and most visited places for Jews was the synagogue. At that time, the famous Rabbi Elijachu Dovid Rabinovich worked and lived in Panevėžys. He was born into a religious Jewish family and graduated from Hedori and Yeshiva. He is buried in Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives.
On February 14, 2023, the great-great-grandson of this famous rabbi, Rabbi Reuven Yeshua Koehn, visited Panevėžys and presented a large portrait of his great-great-grandfather to the Jewish community of Panevėžys. Then a meeting was held with the mayor of Panevėžys Rytis Račkauskas and the director of administration Tomas Jukna. The guests presented the project currently being implemented: Lithuanian Jewish Heritage Center is being built in Israel, where Lithuanian cities, including Panevėžys, will be presented in separate exhibitions. In this center, Israeli Jews will be able to learn more about Panevėžys, and if they are interested in the city, they can also visit it. Possibilities of cooperation with the city of Panevėžys were discussed.
“It’s nice to see you as a guest with beautiful ideas and an interesting proposal for cooperation. There are many Jewish heritage sites in Panevėžys, so this project may be of interest to Jews from all over the world. It’s a great idea to develop a Jewish heritage tourism route in Panevėžys,” said Panevėžys Mayor Rytis Račkauskas.
After the visit to the municipality, the guests visited the Panevėžys Local History Museum to get acquainted with the surviving Jewish heritage in the city and to discuss the possibilities of cooperation. Yeshiva students are planning to come to Panevėžys in April.