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Daugavpils' only synagogue on "Sun" street.
has the charm of the Latvian style of 4-6 story
painted buildings, and
the feel of a large, sophisticated but relaxed college
town. Indeed it
has a number of universities and colleges and a significant student population.
In 1913, about half
of the city’s 120,000 residents were Jewish and it was a Jewish center
for the surrounding region. Today, about 400 Jews live in Daugavpils which
has a total population of about 125,000. There is a Jewish Community organization
and one synagogue on "Sun" street. Most of the 400 Jews here
are elderly and the synagogue sometimes has trouble getting a minyan.
University employs historians who teach and study Judaism, most notably
Professor Josifs Steimanis (see his book in the section History
of Latvian Jews).
Graves of the Rogatchover Gaon (left) and Rabbi Meir Simcha
These rabbis' graves were moved to the new Jewish cemetery in Daugavpils
from the old Jewish cemetery (since desecrated) many years ago.
The wooden house
and the synagogue of Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen are
long gone, but his
grave remains intact. It was moved to the "new" Jewish cemetery
as the older cemetery was desecrated by the Nazis and used by
as the location for a sports field. Rabbi Meir Simcha, the chief
of Mitnagim, is buried next to his rival and friend The Rogatchover Gaon
(Rabbi Yosef Rosen), chief rabbi of the Hassidim. One can only imagine
the discourse which their souls continue after 37 years of agreement and
disagreement in life, all "in the name of heaven" (Talmud, Pirkae
Tour of Daugavpils
The Countryside Virtual
The Countryside between Riga and Daugavpils
of Jewish Latvia - Daugavpils (Dvinsk)
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