Sadly there are no Jews left in this Shtetl. In fact their is no shtetl at all since it is under water. My discovery on my first trip was that my Vilenchik family originated in the Shtetl of Vilkija. I have pictures of the recreated Shtetl which is like a Williamsburg, Va historical site. I think you are from Israel and to the best of my knowledge there are no recreated 1850 type historical setting in Israel. I have been to all the cemetaries in Kovno, where my great grandmother is buried and my grandfathers brother and 6 cousins are buried. One of my cousins was saved from death by being taken in by a righteous gentile who hid her as her daughter and returned her after the Germans left. She lived right across from the Jewish Cemetary. Since I am unsure of the cemetaries names I will describe the Kovno cemetaries to you. There was one near the Russian compound near the railroad tracks. Elchanan spector is buried there in a Cever at the far end. The rows are burried in chronilogical order with woman and men alternating rows. I helped translate some of the tombstones for Jewish gen. The other cemetary which was the main Jewish Cemetary was the place that this lady lived accross the street. The cemetary unlike the other is in total disrepair and not maintained well. 1/3 of the cemetary the tombstones were removed by the Russians to build an Apartment building that baruch hashem never got built. I felt it almost futile to find someone there.

Whereas I found relatives in the Vilna cemetary and the othe cemetary this one had problems since stones were down, grass was high, and it was very large compared to the other Kovno Cemetary.

I am uncertain what the "marker"thing you refer to. I was unaware that the stones were removed or where they were they were placed. I would like to give you an idea of what Lithuania is like. Vilna has 4500 Jews, Kovno 600, Memel (which I also visited now called Kalidepa has 300 Jews. The Rest of the country has 200 Jews all together. There are only 3 active synagogues still operating.

One in each of these towns mentioned before. One of the ironic virtures of the soviet union is that the spys still go to synagogue. During the russian period they told who went to synagogue and got so used to it that they today make up a good portion of the minyan. Although Vilna is the bulk of the Jewish community they have about 25 people who go to shul while Kovno has 50 or more. Kovnos daily minyan has about 30 people which is outstanding for a community so small. I'll try to see if I can scan my pictures of Rumsiskis so I can share them.

If you go to and go to images you will find my picture if you type in "Rabbi Ed Cohen". There are pictures of the Kovno archives and some of the cemetaries we visited. Ed Cohen