RASEINIAI (Rus. Rossieni), city in W. central Lithuania. The community there, which included *Karaites, numbered 4,247 in 1797, 2,649 in 1847, and 3,484 in 1897 (46.7% of the total population). Raseiniai was one of the centers of the *Haskalah movement in Lithuania. Abraham *Mapu and Senior *Sachs lived there. According to the 1923 census, there were 2,305 Jews living in Raseiniai (43.7% of the total), most of whom were occupied in small trade and crafts, with a number in business on a larger scale. The Jewish People's Bank had 600 members. Communal institutions included a Yavneh primary school, a Hebrew secondary school, and a yeshivah. Raseiniai was occupied by the Germans a few days after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war in 1941. The more prominent Jews were murdered first, followed by the men, and ultimately the women and children. A few families who managed to escape survived until the liberation.
Z. Kadish, in: Lite, 1 (1951), 1383–86; N. Ben-Ḥayyim, ibid., 1576–77; Lite, 2 (1965), index; Yahadut Lita, 1 (1959), index; 2 (1967), 359–60.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.