"A SHTETL was a small town in Eastern Europe which contained all the elements of a community: streets ,houses, public buildings, places for trade, for study, and for worship. But while each shtetl was a little town, the opposite cannot be said: that each little town was a shtetl. For a shtetl, from its conception hundreds of years ago until its tragic end in this century, was  more than the sum of its physical ingredients; it also possessed an additional, intangible quality which transformed a township into a shtetl- for its Jewish inhabitants at least.
There are various theories as to what this quality was: religion, philosophy, style of life, sum of beliefs, or historical fate. But whatever it was, it was able to tie its inhabitants to their legendary past, subject them to an inner discipline and turn their hopes toward a mystical future."1


          Ukmerge is 45 miles NNW of Vilnius-This site is the Ukmerge Uyezd which is a district within Kaunas Guberniya and consists of 20 Shtetlach. Click here to view: MapQuest


       Ukmerge was a major Jewish community and in 1923 the Jewish population was 3,885, 37.5% of the  total population. It was noted for its secondary school, the Vilkomir Reali School which provided instruction in Yiddish. Distinguished Jews from this community include the following: 1857- Zvi Hirsh Fogelovitz was correspondent  to Hamagid and Rabbi S.Z. Koifman and A. Klatzi donated for the Eretz Israel colonists: 1882-birthplace of Mendel Silber who moved to the United States in 1900 and was a Rabbi in New
1  Shulman, Abraham:The Old Country,  pp.37,  Charles Scribner's Sons,
       New York 1974
Encyclopedia Judaica: Ukmerge (Pol. Wilkomierz; Rus. Vilkomir), Vol.15,pp.1513 Macmillan  1971. Additional Reading:2 The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia: pp. 135  1942.Schoenburg, Nancy and Stuart: Lithuanian Jewish Communities, pp.335-344, Jason Aronson Inc. 1996 Northvale, NJ
  1. Encyclopedia Judaica: Lithuania(Lithuanian, Lietuva;Pol.Litwa; Rus.Litva; Heb. Lita; Yid. Lite. pp.362-390 Macmillan 1971.
Other Resources:
  1. JewishGen ShtetLinks Directory
  2. Database of Donors List in Hamelitz
  3. LitvakSIG Home Page
  4. JewishGen Family Finder
  5. U.S.Holocaust Museum
  6. Yad Vashem
  7. Avotaynu's Consolidated Surname Index
  8. Kaunas Regional Archives Catalog
  9. Photo Album of Ukmerge (Wiesenthal)
  10. Vilkomir Landsmannschaft Plots in New York (Ada Green)
  11. The Jaeger Report

   PhotosDembo Family 
  LIST of Shtetlach

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Compiled by Richard A. Winer
January 30,1999 Revised  July.2000  Revised September 30 2006
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Copyright©1999 Richard A.  Winer

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