Daily Archives: 21 November 2020

Who in Lithuania’s Seimas (Parliament) Represents Your Shtetl?


by Andrius Kulikauskas

Here is a list of 259 shtetls, large and small Lithuanian Jewish communities, which were located within what are now the boundaries of modern day Lithuania (many Litvaks hail from classical Lithuanian lands now in neighboring states, see map). Each row provides the Lithuanian name of the city or town, the Yiddish name in Latin letters and Hebrew letters, possibly with variant spellings, following Dovid Katz’s provisional online list (linked to a map),  and also the name of the current representative in Seimas, Lithuania’s parliament, a link to their web page, and finally, their official email address.

Seimas is the Lithuanian parliament. Its members serve four year terms. Half of them are elected through nationwide party slates and the other half represent electoral districts. The district boundaries can change with each election. The list below shows the representatives elected in the October 2020 election. See Seimas’s own English language page for photos of each, and each member’s political affiliation.

Lithuanians and Litvaks from around the world have many good reasons to write to the members in Seimas representing their ancestral homelands. These members can act on issues of local heritage and also speak out on matters of national policy. Indeed, many national issues are well pursued by building relationships with members of Seimas in districts throughout Lithuania. This is certainly the case with defending the old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery in Piramónt-Šnipiškės.

Members of Seimas or their assistants can also be helpful in making contacts with local authorities such as mayors and aldermen.

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