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  Z E I M I A I,  L I T H U A N I A  
The History of Zeimiai
From Pinkas Hakehilot - Lita [Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities - Lithuania]
Edited by Dov Levin and Yosef Rosin
Published by Yad Vashem, 1996, Jerusalem
Translated by Amnon Even-Kesef
Zheim Zeimiai (Zesheim in Yiddish)


Zeimiai as pronounced
in Yiddish (Zhaim)

District town, at a distance of 22 km South-East of the regional city of Keidan (see item) and 12 km North West of Yenovo (see item), and therefore, it was also called in Russian sources by the name of Yenovo Zheim (Yanovo Zheimi).

In 1847 there were 753 persons in the Jewish community of Zheim and they had a synagogue. Starting at the end of the 8th decade of the 19th century, immigration of the Jews of Zheim to South Africa and the USA increased and their number in Zheim gradually declined. Before WWI, 60 Jewish families resided in Zheim. During that time R' Chaim son of Ya’akow Glaizer and R' Chaim Klivanov served as Rabbis of Zheim. When independent Lithuania was established, a Jewish Community was established in Zheim, headed by an elected committee of 5 members. At the population census of 1923, 110 Jews out of a total count of 662 local residents were counted in the place. Of the 10 stores in town, Jews owned 9 of them. They also owned a flourmill. A "minyan" of children studied at a local Cheder. The continued drop in the number of Jews was felt also in the public activities. In 1929, in preparation for the 16th Zionist Congress, only 4 shekels were purchased.

At the summer of 1941, during the occupation of Lithuania by the Germans, no more than 20 Jews remained in Zheim. At the end of July or the beginning of August 1941, they were transferred to the Keidan Ghetto, and their fate was the same as the fate of the Jews there: most were murdered on 28 August 1941 (5 Elul 5701) at the hands of the Lithuanians who served the German occupation authorities.

(DBL) [Dov Levin]

Gatlib, Ohalei Shem, page 35.
Kamzon, Lita Jewery, page 123.

Editor's Note: The towns referred to above by their Yiddish names are, in Lithuanian:
Jonava, Kedainiai



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