Join us on Monday February 22, 2021 for a virtual walking tour of Vilnius (Vilna) with local guide Daniel Gurevich (Daniel was our CSP guide when we visited Lithuania in July 2019). Vilnius, Lithuania’s largest city and capital, has been known by many names over its long and remarkable history, including, most famously for Jews, as Vilna. It was a midsummer Wednesday year 1812. On this day, the 24th of June, Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the Nemunas River with his huge army, heading for Vilnius. Napoleon stayed in Vilnius for 18 days, until the 10th of July, awaiting the Russian Tsar's reply to his new peace offer. It is said that Napoleon himself became very surprised on what met him in Vilnius, a city so far away from the European mainstreams and still with a lively Mediterranean mood and life. Napoleon was the one who started calling Vilnius ‘Jerusalem of the North’, and it was the first and only "Jewish city" Napoleon would ever see. He was no doubt aware of the Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms and laws designed to discourage Judaic life. But there it was, right before his eyes, an exception to the rule. Join us we explore the story of Jewish life, thought and culture in Vilnius. We’ll discuss its renowned yeshivot (advanced religious schools) that developed a highly intellectual method of Talmudic study that still influences Jewish life and learning. We’ll also see how Vilnius had, by the early twentieth century, developed into a powerhouse of modern Jewish culture, literature and institutions.