Vilnius Jewish Community


Contact: Faina Kukliansky, Vilnius Jewish Community chairperson,

tel. (8 5) 2613003 email

There are around 2 thousands Jews in Vilnius Jewish community.

We in the Vilnius Jewish community sometimes feel paradoxical currents. It is thrilling to be heirs to such a magnificent, world-famous Jewish community: the city once known as “Jerusalem of Lithuania” or “Jerusalem of the North” and to be able to walk streets and “Vilna through-yards” that lead from one old-city street to the next, knowing we are walking in the footsteps of one of the most creative Jewish communities of the European past.

But it also places a great burden on us: We are a tiny remnant, we have no illusions about our role in today’s Jewish world, and we want to work hard to maximize what we can so that we can together build a community that one hundred years from now will be more substantial than it is today. Not easy, but roots in the past give reason and inspiration for thinking also about the future. And the future starts with the present.

That is why we close our eyes and smile inside, and don’t listen when people say we are finished. Like the generations of Litvaks (“Lithuanian Jews”) we hail from, we have no time for defeatism. There is too much work to do! We just roll up our sleeves and get to work on new projects to keep alive the spirit and ethos of our community.


We want people to know that we are proud of our community. It includes a healthy (some would say too healthy!) diversity of opinions and approaches to the Jewish and wider questions of the day, and it includes an amazing mix of people (nobody would say too amazing!).

You will be reading about some of them when we soon start our series of Profiles of Modern Jewish Vilnius, but for the moment let it be said that our ranks include factory workers and professors, musicians and artists, philosophers and writers, newborn babies and 100 year olds, doctors and lawyers, and frankly, people in many many walks of life. In diversity lies strength.

Many people ask us about the roots of our community. As in the case of all Lithuanian (or American, or British, or Israeli, or any country’s) citizens, all citizens are equal, those with centuries-old roots and those from more recent migrations.

There is one thing we want to make clear at the outset: We love it when people from every corner of the world with roots in Jewish Vilna or Jewish Lithuania (or even just historic interest in the Jewish heritage here), come to visit us and partner with us to ensure that their experiences here are fulfilling and pleasurable in every possible way! If you are planning a Jewish-interest trip or project, we are here to work with you to help realize the results in the best possible way! Please remember that a warm welcome and solid advice awaits you at the Vilnius Jewish Community!

Please make Pylimo Street no. 4 one of your first stops in Vilnius. Or even better, contact us (email:, long before you come so we can help you design, streamline and maximize your time in the land of some of your forefathers and foremothers.