Summer Camp in Zarasai
17.07.-26.07. 2023

The focus of the summer camp is the work at a local cemetery. Thematically, the project deals with Jewish history and culture in Lithuania as well as with the changeful, complex Lithuanian history in the 20th century.

© ASF/Archiv

Zarasai is an old, scenic and cozy town in the north of Lithuania on the border with Latvia and is situated among 7 lakes with a population of 6,000. Zarasai was traditionally a multiethnic and multi-confessional town with Jewish, Russian Orthodox, Russian Old Believers, Catholic Polish and Lithuanian, Belarussian and Latvian communities and congregations. Jews had lived there since the mid-17th century. The town grew immensely in the mid-19th century and at that time Jewish community reached its peak with 3,350 residents or 52% of total population. It had 6 synagogues. Between the two world wars  the Jewish community constituted about 1/3 of population.

The Summer Camp in Zarasai aims to preserve the town's Jewish heritage and prepare information and material for the inventory process of the local Jewish cemetery. Ultimately, it will help to understand about the situation of the cemetery as well as people who had been buried there. The inventory process will cover cleaning and tidying the cemetery from debris and excess of vegetation; digitisation and identifying coordinates of graves; identifying and copying legible inscriptions. Your volunteer work will be a vital part in making this almost lost information accessible to the public again.

The thematic work of this summer camp has to do with the Jewish history and culture in Lithuania, as well as the eventful, complex Lithuanian history in the 20th century. As in all summer camps, the participants are welcome to bring up additional themes that interest them. 

In addition to leisure activities being available in the direct surroundings, participants will also have the opportunity to choose and visit capital of Lithuania Vilnius, Kaunas or Daugavpils in Latvia during the program.

  • Type: International summer camp
  • Work: Maintenance work and documentation on a Jewish cemetery
  • Group: international, 8 participants, 18-35 years old

  • Camp Language:  English
  • Accommodation: guest hose/dormitory with kitchen