Daugavpils Today


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Daugavpils' only synagogue on "Sun" street.

 

INTRODUCTION

Daugavpils' architecture 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.

Daugavpils Pedagogical 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 HaKohen (right).
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
the Soviets as the location for a sports field. Rabbi Meir Simcha, the chief
rabbi 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 Avot).

 

VIRTUAL TOURS

Virtual Tour of Daugavpils

The Countryside Virtual Tour
      The Countryside between Riga and Daugavpils (Dvinsk)

 

RELATED PAGES

History of Jewish Latvia - Daugavpils (Dvinsk)


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