The old Jewish cemetery in Shnipishok, Vilnius is in danger of being destroyed, as plans for a convention centre on the grave site unfold. The cemetery was also the resting place of the renowned tzadick, the Vilna Gaon Z"L and is still the resting place of his parents, children and hundreds of his relatives, including a vast number of Vilna scholars from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.
The initiative to construct the building is supported by the Lithuanian Government and is being opposed by Jewish and Christian groups who are up in arms about the desecration which would be appropriated to the grave site. The Lithuanian Government's support of the construction of the convention centre, is in violation of the international code of Human Rights. The cemetery was the first Jewish cemetery established in Vilna. According to historical records it was founded in 1487.
IMAGE: An authentic 1825 portrait of the Vilna Gaon, created at a time when people still remembered what the Gra looked like.