Walk the ancient streets of Vilnius old town, where Lithuanian Jewish history can be traced back to the 14th century.
The classic Lithuanian Jew (Litvak) is known in folklore for a love of education, no-nonsense straight-talk and certain sardonic wit. Jews were settled in Vilna, as the capital was and still is known in Jewish culture from around the time of its founding in 1323.
By the 18th century Vilna had become the world capital of traditional religious (Talmudic) learning, often referred to as the Jerusalem of Lithuania, or Jerusalem of the North. Towering over the many great Jewish figures the city has produced, is Gaon of Vilna.
Today a small community of 5,000 or so Litvaks makes bold efforts to maintain its heritage.