Seta Jewish Cemetery
Seta is a small town in Kaunas county in the center of Lithuania, with some 900 residents.The Jews first settled in Seta (Shat in Yiddish) at about the middle of the 17th century. There also was a Karaite community until the mid-18th century. In 1897 the Jewish population in Seta was 1,135 out of 1,670 of the total population (68%). In 1940 the Jewish population had declined to 300 (about 24%).
The Jews of Seta made their living through various enterprises including trade, crafting and transportation as cabmen. In the nearby villages of Bukantz and Truskova Jews were engaged in farming.
The Jewish religious life of Seta was centered around the beit midrash, built in 1892, which is not in use today however the nearby high school runs various activities there, including Jewish Heritage subjects.
Many outstanding rabbis were born or served in Seta, among them Rav Eliyahu ben Yakov Ragoler, one of the founders of the world-famous Slobodka yeshiva. His son Rav Yehoshua ben Rav Eliyahu Rabinowitz was a principal of the Kletzk Yeshiva in 1847-1867. Other famous Jews of Seta included; Mordechai Manes Monashewitz, a well-known writer, poet, playwright and teacher and Ephraim Kaplan, an American Jewish journalist.
The fate of the Jews of Seta is typical for the Jews of most Lithuania shtetls. On August 20, 1941, all the Jews of Seta were transported on trucks to the regional capital Kedainiai. There they were kept at the stables until August 28, after which they were murdered together with the Jews of Kėdainiai, first the men, and then the women and children.
The old Jewish cemetery is empty. It has a memorial stone with the inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian: “On this place till 1941 was the old Jewish cemetery”. There are also two gravestones lying on the grass, not in their original location