In the activities it carries out, the Lithuanian Jewish Community constantly emphasizes the importance of human respect.

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Olameinu Summer Camp for Kids 2014

The first session of the Olameinu summer camp for kids at the Dubingiai-Litorina recreational area in Dubingiai, Lithuania, took place from June 30 to July 9, under the direction of camp director Dorin Rosenkov and a creative and active team.

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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Congratulates Lithuanian Jewish Community Chair on Award


Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius congratulated Lithuanian Jewish Community chair Faina Kukliansky today on her receiving an award from the Jewish research institute YIVO for service to society.

On December 15 the YIVO institute in New York held a benefit dinner during which Kukliansky and others who contributed to a YIVO project were honored. The funds generated from the benefit dinner will be used for YIVO's Vilna project, which is aimed at digitizing and virutally conecting YIVO archives in Vilnius and New York over seven years.

Minister Linkevičius congratulated Kukliansky on her award and noted her many years of work with the Lithuanian Jewish community, strengthening ties between Lithuanians and Jews, celebrating the Jewish cultural legacy and deepening ties between the Jewish communities of Lithuania, Israel and the world.

The YIVO Yiddish - language archive is the largest and most comprehensive collection of pre-war documents in Yiddish in Eastern Europe. The archive was preserved by Jews, Lithuanians, Americans and others during and after World War II.

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YIVO Award Presented to Lithuanian Jewish Community Chair Faina Kukliansky



The Jewish research institute YIVO has awarded Lithuanian Jewish Community chair Faina Kuklianksy for her contributions in strengthening the Jewish community in Lithuania. Former US ambassador to Lithuania Anne Derse was also recognized for her leadership, and former Vilna ghetto inmate, partisan, historian and former head of Yad Vashem Yitzhak Arad, originally from Švenčionys, Lithuania, was also given an award for a lifetime of achievement.  YIVO bestows the awards annually upon people from  around the world for achievements in Jewish history and culture and contributions to the Jewish communities.

This year the awards ceremony was held in New York, where YIVO headquarters were relocated from Vilnius during World War II. Kukliansky has received a number of awards previously from the Lithuanian state, including the Order of the Knight's Cross "For Contributions to Lithuania." YIVO was founded in Vilnius in what was then Polish territory in 1925 as the first secular Jewish research institution in Eastern Europe. The institute moved its base of operations to New York in 1940. At the present time the YIVO archive and library conserve 24 million documents and more than 385,000 books, including the largest collection of Yiddish-language materials in the world.

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KR Slade: My Dream of When the Witch is Found



Editor’s note:  Defending History is proud to launch its new poetry section with Ken Slade’s My Dream of When the Witch is Found (© KR Slade 2010-2014). KR Slade is an author/journalist, educator, and English-language text editor in Vilnius, Lithuania. He repatriated to his family’s native Lithuania in 2004. Graphics, from the public domain, are added, intending to illustrate the message, and do not reflect on such original artist’s context or intentions.

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Lithuanian Jewish Community Chair Faina Kukliansky on the Passing of 2014



In ushering out 2014, we remember the Lithuanian Jewish Community was established 25 years ago, and we remember how many contributions and how much effort people sacrificed to make this community what it is today. Our financial situation improved in 2014 and we become more independent. The community became more creative and freer, and many more plans, projects and hopes have surfaced. Improved finances have allowed us to bring more ideas to fruition. I would like to emphasize that the restitution monies received, which the Lithuanian state has begun to pay out, are not there for us to spend them all in one day, to splurge and waste these resources. No one has paid us all 128 million litas in a lump sum.

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News updates from the World Jewish Congress website – 16 December 2014


Former Auschwitz guard to be put on trial in Germany

A 93-year old man suspected of being a former guard at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz will be tried in the new year, a German court said on Monday, according to the 'Reuters' news agency.

Oskar Gröning will go on trial in Lüneburg, near Hamburg, next April on charges of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people. Prosecutors said the man is believed to have worked as an SS guard at the camp in occupied Poland between September 1942 and October 1944, where he was in charge of counting and managing the money seized from those deported to Auschwitz...

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