With on-site work on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, the foundation creating the Lost Shtetl Museum and memorial complex in the Lithuanian town of Šeduva has reached out to the local community with a €15,000 donation for the emergency purchase of protective gear for health workers.
According to the Radviliskis District web site, the funds are being used to purchase disposable medical masks and disposable hooded overalls, as well as respirators.
Part of the supplies are destined for the town’s emergency reserves, while part of the aid will go to the the Šeduva ambulance service which the foundation supported in the past with the donation of an ambulance.
“It is necessary to be together with friends in both joy and trouble,” Jonas Heraklis Dovydaitis, the director of the Šeduva Jewish Memorial Foundation, said on the district’s web site. “The life of our foundation is directly related to the life of Radviliškis district. Especially with Šeduva.[…] Beautiful and meaningful cooperation must not be interrupted, especially at such a difficult time. “
Since 2012 the Foundation has been overseeing the creation of a complex memorial site in and around Šeduva that has included the restoration of the Šeduva Jewish cemetery and the placement of sculptural monuments both in the town at at the site of three Holocaust mass graves. Ground was broken two years ago on the next step of the project, the state-of-the-art Lost Shtetl Museum, to be located across the road from the cemetery.
Lost Shtetl Project Director Sergey Kanovich told JHE that construction and other physical work on the Museum was on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis, but curators, architects, and other planners have been able to continue work via internet, focusing on completing the content, finalizing the interior design and putting final touches on technical design.
“Our Foundation in a sense is lucky compared to the numerous closed down Jewish Museums who have to find (and are successfully finding) how to reach their audience by digital means – we are still in process of creating and constructing Museum of Lost Shtetl,” he said.
He said that the Lost Shtetl team were all locked down — in various countries — by quarantine or other restrictions, but were meeting daily online.
“Our work is progressing every day – just last Thursday we spent almost seven hours talking with our colleagues in New York, Zurich, Kaunas, Helsinki and Vilnius,” he said.
This work is uniting all of us in this difficult times, it gives us perspective and strengthen our belief in achieving the goal. We all are worried about our friends and loved ones and their well-being — likewise, our sponsors are equally concerned about the well-being of the community where our museum is going to be opened. This concern lead them to the decision to make a donation to the Radviliskis Municipality Crisis Management center and Seduva ambulance crew – which we donated to several years ago. We believe that humankind will prevail and our work will help make the world a better place. Now is a time when everyone needs to come together, shoulder to shoulder.