LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky Speaks at National Equality and Diversity Awards Ceremony

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and other ethnic communities and public organizations appreciate the National Equality and Diversity Awards includes a nomination for “Dialogue between Peoples.”

As a member of an ethnic minority, I feel a more enlightened view in society on topics such as the Holocaust and xenophobia. People are slowly coming around to asking questions, engaging in discussions and thinking about the issues. Four years ago the Lithuanian Jewish Community began the Bagel Shop tolerance campaign which opened the Community’s doors to the public and made Jewish culture and history more accessible and, of course, more attractive. When the Community opened its doors, the public opened their hearts to the Community. I would like to thank everyone who took an interest and participated in this tolerance initiative which I believe marked the beginning of a small “dialogue between peoples” revolution. I present the highly esteemed candidates for the “Dialogue between Peoples” award:

Marius Ivaškevičius, the force behind the March of Memory dedicated to the murdered Jewish community of Molėtai. A record number of people turned out to remember and honor those killed, up to 3,000 participants marched along the last route taken by the victims of genocide perpetrated by Lithuanian hands.

The Lithuanian Human Rights Center, thanks to whose initiative the Memory Stones were put in place, and Lithuania joined in the largest commemoration of Holocaust victims in the world. I thank Birutė Sabatauskaitė and her group.

Natalija Šervytienė, the chairwoman of the Vilnius Ukrainian Association who has focused in her work on providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and celebrating the Ukrainian ethnic identity. Her work has been recognized internationally as well, she was elected a member of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations. And this candidate is the winner.