A rabbinical academy – Yeshiva – was established in Telšiai in 1873 by Rabbi Eliezer Gordon. Telšiai always had a large Jewish community, thus Yeshiva was established here not by accident. In 19th century the rabbinical academy was known in the whole world, rabbis from England, United States, Uruguay, South Africa, Hungary and other countries would come to study there. At one time 500 future rabbis were studying at the Yeshiva, and at that time Telšiai was known in the world purely because of the Jewish religious centre.
Next to Yeshiva there was also a Jewish girl’s grammar school and teacher training school. The Yeshiva was closed down in 1940, the building nationalised, its pupils dispersed across other cities.
In 1941 the learning system that was created in Telšiai was recreated and used in Yeshivas in Cleveland, USA, and Tel Aviv, Israel, where it is operational until the present day.
Even though the building is historically significant and attracts many international tourists, for many years it was neglected and unused. In 2018 Telšiai District Municipality announced its plans to restore the building and to adapt it for educational, cultural and public activities.
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