Residents of Rokiškis, guests and representatives of the Panevėžys Jewish Community gathered in the hall of the Rokiškis Regional History Museum on the afternoon of September 8. They gathered for an event to celebrate the European Day of Jewish Culture. Event organizer Neringa Danienė presented the program, the first part of which honored Molėtai Regional History Museum director and Lithuanian linguist Viktorija Kazlienė. Visitor from the USA F. Shapiro presented her the Ruvin volunteer award and thanked her for promoting Jewish heritage and for her contribution to the march of memory in Molėtai.
F. Shapiro has been visiting Rokiškis and Panevėžys for over ten years now, cities were his family lived until the Holocaust. Mr. Shapiro’s efforts led to a monument in the Rokiškis Jewish cemetery and fixing the cemetery fence. Shapiro spoke about Lithuanian military volunteer private Rovinas Būnas who sacrificed his life for Lithuanian independence. Rokiškis mayor Antanas Vagonis and Lithuanian MP Jonas Jarutis welcomed the audience. Guests then viewed the play Nutildytos mūzos [Silenced Muses] directed by Neringa Danienė and based on the diary of Panemunėlis pharmacist Naum Olkin’s daughter.
In the second part of the event guests went to the town square in Panemunėlis near the railroad station where a pillar shrine to Matilda Olkin made by folk-artist Vidmantas Zakarka was unveiled. Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman presented director Neringa Danienė a letter of thanks from the Lithuanian Jewish Community and a symbolic bell, and thanked all the organizers and attendees of the event as well as honored guests from Vilnius, whom he gave copies of the new Jewish calendar.
Well into the evening participants in the Holocaust commemoration went to Šeduikiškės village where a monument was unveiled in the forest. The monument was financed and set up by the volunteer actors of the Rokiškis teatras association, Mr. Shapiro and other supporters. Deputy mayor Egidijus Vilimas thanked Rokiškis Regional History Museum director Nijolė Šniokienė and chairman Gennady Kofman presented her, professor Irena Veisaitė and filmmaker Saulius Beržinis Jewish calendars.