Copyright © 2015   Jon Seligman.  All Rights Reserved.
The joint Lithuanian-Israeli-American excavation and research project of the Great Synagogue of Vilna (Vilnius) will be lead by teams from the 'Kulturos paveldo išsaugojimo pajegos' of Lithuania and the 'Israel Antiquities Authority'.

Zenonas Baubonis -  Archaeologist. Director of 'Kulturos paveldo išsaugojimo pajegos' (Culture Heritage Conservation Authority in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Studied archaeology and history at the University of Vilnius, receiving his degree on the ancient secret roads (Kulgrinda) of Lithuania in 1991. Mr. Baubonis has worked as a licensed archaeological researcher and an antiquities inspector for the Department of Monuments of Lithuania (Paminklotvarkos departamente prie Lietuvos Respublikos) and the Archaeological Institute of the Cultural Heritage Centre (Kulturos paveldo centro Archeologijos paveldo institute), later serving as the head of the national cultural digitisation project for the National Archaeological Commission (Valstybines archeologijos komisijos). Mr. Baubonis' publications include research on ancient barrows and mounds, water mills and Late Bronze Age pile settlements. Zenonas Baubonis is the second chairman of the Society of Lithuanian Archaeology.
Meet the Team Researching the Great Synagogue & Shulhoyf of Vilna (Vilnius)
Dr. Jon Seligman - Archaeologist. Director of the Excavations, Surveys and Research Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Previous positions include twelve years as the Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist and six as a research archaeologist.  Dr. Seligman studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University College London, receiving his doctorate (summa-cum-laude) from Haifa University on the subject of the 'Rural Hinterland of Jerusalem during the Byzantine period'. Jon has directed some thirty excavations in Jerusalem, Bet Shean and in the Carmel Mountains and has published widely, including three books (on the Temple Mount, the Holy Sepulchre and the Roman farm at Nahal Haggit), and numerous chapters and articles in refereed books, journals and other publications. He also participated in the planning team for the Master Plan for the city and Old City of Jerusalem. Jon is a Litvak, part of his family originating from the area of Vilnius.
Prof. Richard Freund - Director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and Greenberg Professor of Jewish History at the University of Hartford.
Richard Freund has directed six archaeological projects in Israel and three projects in Europe on behalf of the University including: Bethsaida, Qumran, the Cave of Letters, Nazareth, Yavne, Har Karkom (Mount Sinai) as well as archaeological projects in Burgos and Cadiz, Spain and a research project at the extermination camp at Sobibor, Poland and at the site of the synagogue on the island of Rhodes. Dr. Freund joins this project as part of the ground penetrating radar research group.
Prof. Harry Jol - Professor of Geography & Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Prof. Jol garnered his Ph.D. From the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, his earlier degrees granted by the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada
Harry Jol is a renowned expert in ground penetrating radar (GPR). Much of Harry Jol's research is collaborative in nature with other researchers and has utilized ground penetrating radar (GPR) at more than 1200 sites in North America, Spain, Greece, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.  He has a broad background in many fields of the earth sciences, particularly geomorphology, sedimentology and more recently in geoarchaeology.
Dr. Vladimir Levin - Historian. Deputy Director of the Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Educated at the Hebrew University, earning a PhD (summa-cum-laude) with a thesis on 'Jewish Politics in the Russian Empire during the Period of Reaction, 1907-1914.' Dr. Levin teaches at Ben-Gurion Univesity of the Negev and the Hebrew Univeristy of Jerusalem. His research interests include Lithuanian Jewry and the history of synagogues in Eastern Europe. Recently he co-edited a magnificent two-volume catalogue Synagogues in Lithuania (Vilnius, 2010-2012), that includes an historical overview of the synagogues in Lithuania and specifically on the history of synagogues in Vilnius. Among his published works are the articles “Social, Economical, Demographic and Geographic Characteristics of Lithuanian Jewry in the Nineteenth Century” (in Lithuanian) and “Lithuanians in the Jewish Politics of the Late Imperial Period.” Currently he is involved in the project “
Mental Maps and Making of National Spaces: The Case of Lithuania.”
Prof. Philip Reeder - Dean and Professor Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University.
Dr. Philip Reeder earned his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, his master's degree in Geography from Western Kentucky University, and his bachelor's degree in Earth Science from Frostburg State University. Prof. Reeder's research and areas of expertise focus on environmental change, paleo-climate and landscape evolution; environmental education, sustainability and the human role in environmental change; and paleo-environments, geoarchaeology and cultural landscape evolution. His fieldwork and research have been conducted around the world, including sites at Jeju Island in South Korea, Mary's Well in Nazareth, the Cave of Letters in the Judean Desert and the Northern Vaca Plateau in Belize.
Prior to joining the Bayer School as Dean, Dr. Reeder served as Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program in the College of Arts and Sciences, Geography Department, at the University of Southern Florida. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Waikato in New Zealand and Valdosta State University.
Arch. Ram Shoef - Architect. Conservation architect in the Conservation Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Architect Schoef studied architecture and architectural and urban conservation at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem and the Leuven University Belgium. From 2002 he was a team member of Journey into Jewish Heritage Project of the Avi Chai Foundation with whom he coordinated the documentation of Jewish community structures in Slovakia, Moravia, Bulgaria, India and Romania.
Prof. Michael Turner - Advising Architect. UNESCO Chairholder in Urban Design and Conservation Studies at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem.
Professor Turner has a private practice in architecture, conservation and urbanism. He has been involved with environmental issues since the creation of the first Municipal Unit in Jerusalem in 1974 and the Environmental Programme at the Hebrew University. As a member of many professional-academic bodies he was chairman of the Israel World Heritage Committee 1999-2011, vice President of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee 2007-2008, and is currently special envoy to the Assistant Director General - Culture involved in Culture for Development with the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes.
Arch. Tsila Zak - Architect.
Architect Tsila Zak returned to Israel at the end of 1994, after 9 years in Stockholm, where she completed her studies at Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan and worked as an architect at Tengbom Arkitekter. At this senior firm, renowned for its high profile projects, Tsila Zak has led a variety of design projects for office buildings, restaurants, apartments & houses, schools, and lecture halls, winning in 1991 a competition for her restoration and renovation of two century old buildings in the centre of Stockholm. In 1990 she won, in collaboration with Swedish sculptor Willy Gordon, an international competition for the design of the 'Jewish Memorial Centre in Vilnius', on the site of the lost Great Synagogue of in her parents' hometown. Since returning to Israel, Zak established her own office in Tel-Aviv, working on the design and execution of projects which combine architecture and interior design. Significant projects include the renovation and restoration of the Ramat Gan Museum of Art and the 'Pagoda House' in Tel Aviv, and the design of successful commercial chains.

This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer or Firefox
[Home] [Contribute to the Project] [Contact]
[The Project] [Community] [Partners] [The Synagogue] [The Vilna Gaon] [Previous Work] [GPR Survey] [Media] [Links]