Come Make Challa with Us

The Shabbos Project has been called a Jewish spring, a global social phenomenon and an incredible experience.

Last year 6,000 volunteers in 95 countries and 1,152 cities organized challa-making events during a single Sabbath, events which included over 8,000 women and participants speaking more than 10 different languages in Buenos Aires, and five city blocks in Los Angeles were closed to traffic for setting up cooking tables in the streets. In Melbourne 10,000 people attended the havdala concert and the event generated 61,884,223 images posted on the internet.

We’re inviting everyone to the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 6:00 P.M. on October 26 for an evening of challa-making and baking. Challa is the traditional bread served at Sabbath dinner. Please register here.

Save the Date: International Conference #RememberanceResponsibilityFuture

Save the Date: International Conference #RememberanceResponsibilityFuture


Dovilė Budrytė, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia, USA

Writing about memory in Eastern Europe, Alexander Etkind observed in his book Warped Mourning that various groups are likely to cultivate different versions of the past, define their friends and foes, thus creating separate memory communities that are likely to engage in memory wars.  Etkind’s observation raises several fundamental questions about historical memory in Eastern Europe:  Can a major historical trauma start uniting various groups to combat current expressions of prejudice and violence?  How should major historical traumas be commemorated so that memory wars are avoided?  Are there proper ways to remember horrendous events to make sure that history does not repeat itself?

NHK World Documentary Painting with Soul

Japan’s largest broadcast NHK invites you to watch their documentary “Painting with Soul.”

The “To-Kon Painters” add color to the lives of people who are short on cash. They’re volunteers who will travel anywhere for a good cause, painting buildings and playground equipment free of charge. Most are former social dropouts who once belonged to biker gangs or quit school. We follow them to Lithuania, where they repaint a memorial honoring Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who helped 6,000 Jews flee the Holocaust during World War II. The painters must overcome cultural and linguistic challenges to get the job done.

Watch here.

Shmini Atzeres and Simchat Torah Holidays at Choral Synagogue

Šmini Aceret ir Simchat Tora šventės Vilniaus choralinėje sinagogoje

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (or Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah in Ashkenazic Hebrew) conclude the fall cycle of Jewish holy days.

There are 54 weekly readings of Torah read over the course of the Jewish calendar year. The Shmini Atzeres holiday marks the end of the annual reading and the beginning of the next year of readings at synagogue.

The Torah scroll is removed from the aron kodesh and members of the congregation dance with the Torah around the bimah, where the readings take place, seven times. It is one of the most fun Jewish holidays with singing and dancing.

Simchat Torah will be celebrated at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius at 7:30 P.M. on October 12, 2017.

We’ll sing and dance, and food and treats will be provided.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

Makabi Fun Run October 15

All Makabi members and supporters are invited to a Fun-Run this Sunday, October 15, at Vingio park in Vilnius.

We think everyone can run the 3 kilometer or 1.5 kilometer course and have a good time together. All funds received will be used to support and expand Makabi Club activities.


or by sending an e-mail to


10:00 A.M. Opening
10:30 A.M. 1.5 km run
11:15 A.M. 3 km run
12:00 noon awards

Uncomfortable Cinema

Uncomfortable Cinema is an annual human rights documentary film festival which has been going on since 2007. It’s a social and cultural project and everyone is invited to take part. During the festival a rich program of films, meetings with the filmmakers and discussions with actors, human rights activists and others are held in Vilnius and throughout Lithuania. Despite its educational and activist content, the festival is extremely popular with the public and is the only festival of its kind in the Baltic states. It draws 15,000 viewers in Lithuania annually.

More about the festival in Lithuanian here.

LJC and Greek Embassy Event to Celebrate Righteous Gentiles

Marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Greece, the Greek embassy to Lithuania and the Lithuanian Jewish Community invite you to an event to celebrate Lithuanian and Greek Righteous Gentiles and Lithuanian and Greek Jewish relations in the Diaspora.

The event will be held at 6:00 P.M., Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius.


Presentation of book “Greek Righteous among the Nations,” edited by Dr. Photini Tomai-Constantopoulou, a representative of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Documentary about Greeks at Auschwitz

Presentation by Patrida, the Greek community in Lithuania

Greek music, Greek and Jewish food

The event is free to the public and the main language of the event will be English. Greek ambassador to Lithuania Dr. Vassiliki Dicopoulou is scheduled to attend.

Come Watch a Movie Sunday

The Lithuanian Jewish Community is joining the International Film Festival for Children and Youth.

Come watch Villads fra Valby (Villads from Valby, Denmark, 2015), directed by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard, with Lithuanian voice-over, at 3:00 P.M. on October 8 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius. The film follows 6-year-old Villads in school and at home. Villads often runs into trouble because he loves to play, and most of the times the rules of Villads’s games conflict with the rules set by adults.

Please register for a seat by sending an e-mail to


Hebrew Classes for Beginners


It’s never to late to learn something new or go over what you already know. With that in mind we invite you to study Hebrew this October. A class for beginners will meet at 1:00 P.M. on Sundays at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius.

Please join us. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, contact the teacher Ruth Reches by e-mail at

Yochanan Fein to Speak at LJC Presentation of His Testimony in Lithuanian Translation


The memoirs of Yochanan Fein have been translated and published in Lithuanian and the new book will be presented at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 6:00 P.M. on October 5, 2017. Author Yochanan Fein is scheduled to speak at the event to be moderated by professor Leonidas Melnikas. A musical performance is to be provided by violinist Jokūbas Račiūnas. The event is to take place mainly in Russian. Fein is a Holocaust survivor from Kaunas and the the new book is called “Berniukas su smuiku,” or “The Boy with the Violin.”

Come Learn about Jewish Fall Holidays

Žydų rudens šventės – kviečiame į paskaitą

Sukkot, or Sukkos, is the feast of tabernacles, meaning tents.
Simchat Torah, or Simkhas Torah, is a celebration of the Torah.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and educator Natalja Cheifec invite you to a lesson where you’ll learn:

Why Jews must dwell in these booths made especially for Sukkot
When sins become good deeds
What the requirement of the four species means
Why Simchat Torah is the holiday of rejoicing in the Torah
Why Jews are not only allowed but required to drink during Simchat Torah

and many additional interesting facts. Students will also receive a small gift.

Register here:

We meet at 2:00 P.M. on October 8 at the entrance to the Bagel Shop Café located at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

Sukkot at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius

SUKKOT šventės Vilniaus Choralinėje sinagogoje

October 4: Service at 6:30 P.M., followed by treats in Sukkot tent at Bokšto street no. 19.

October 5: Service at 9:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 6: Service at 9:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 7: Service at 9:00 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 8: Service at 8:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 9: Service at 8:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 10: Service at 8:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

October 11: Service at 8:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

Shmini Atzeres

October 12: Service at 9:30 A.M., followed by treats in the Sukkot tent at the synagogue.

Simchat Torah

October 12: Service at 7:21 P.M., dancing with Torah, followed by sushi at the synagogue.

October 13: Service at 9:30 A.M., followed by treats at synagogue

October 12 and 13 are non-working days.

Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

New LJC Calendar for 5778 Features Lithuanian Synagogues

The new calendar for the Jewish year 5778 published by the Lithuanian Jewish Community features graphic representations of the synagogues of Lithuania in the drawings by Gerardas Bagdonavičius.

Bagdonavičius (1901-1986) was an artist working in drawing and painting, an illustrator, a theater designer and teacher. His legacy, a corpus of more than 4,000 works, is preserved at 11 Lithuanian museums, with the majority at the Aušra Museum in Šiauliai, the collection to which the illustrations in the new calendar belong.

Of the hundreds of synagogues once gracing the Lithuanian landscape, only several dozen remain. There were more than one hundred synagogues in Vilnius alone before the Holocaust. Currently 44 synagogues and synagogue complexes are listed on the registry of Lithuanian cultural treasures. The majority have disappeared forever, in many cases leaving us no picture of how they looked. The Bagdonavičius drawings of synagogues featured in the calendar are a rich source of information, drawings he made during different ethnographic expeditions in the period between the two world wars.

Only two of the synagogues portrayed in the calendar are still standing: the synagogue of the Chaim Frankl leather factory in Šiauliai and the synagogue in Pakruojis. The latter belongs to the LJC with whom the Pakruojis regional administration has a use agreement. It was only reopened to the public in the spring of 2017 after extensive renovation over several years. It is the first wooden synagogue restored after the Holocaust in Lithuania.

Renovation work is being performed on three more synagogues which belong to the LJC: the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius, the Zavl kloyz on Gėlių street in Vilnius and the wooden synagogue in Žiežmariai.

Zavl Shul Design Concepts

You’re invited to a sneak-peak of the newly renovated Zavl synagogue located at Gėlių street no. 6, Vilnius. at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

The synagogue on Gėlių street is one of only eight such buildings which survive in Vilnius. It is currently undergoing extensive restoration work.

We have brought together a team of young designers to address some important issues concerning the re-emergence of the building into the life of 21st-century Vilnius. It likely will play a role in the continuity of Jewish life in the city, but so far its future function hasn’t been determined.
The designers come from different backgrounds and have different ideas about “what design can do.” Most are alumni from the Vilnius Academy of Arts and six studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, one of the world’s leading institutions for critically examining the role of design in society. Two Eindhoven graduates previously studied in Israel.

The presentation on Sunday will consist of ideas, associations and suggestions, not definite projects. They are all connected to the long history of the building and the Jewish presence in Lithuania but they are not intended as memorials. Instead, the presentations are intended to serve as a jumping-off point for future projects dealing with issues facing many communities in a globalized world: how to weave strands of culture, tradition, heritage, religion, identity and history into the fabric of contemporary life.

The presentation starts at 4:00 P.M. at Gėlių street no. 6, Vilnius.

We would very much appreciate your presence.

Koen Kleijn, Design Academy Eindhoven
Vytautas Gečas, Performance Design Association, Vilnius
Martynas Užpelkis, Lithuanian Jewish Community

Yom Kippur at the Choral Synagogue

Yom Kippur at the Choral Synagogue

During Yom Kippur we must ask ourselves: have we really asked forgiveness from all whom we have hurt? Have we resolved all misunderstandings? Have we made amends for all the problems we have created? It is important to remember that during Yom Kippur we strive to put our relationships with other people and with our community in order.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, a day of good will and of atonement for sins before the Creator.

Yom Kippur at the Choral Synagogue:

September 28 (Thursday): 7:00 P.M. Preparations for Yom Kippur:
Discussion about Yom Kippur

September 29 (Friday): At 2:00 P.M. the gabbai will begin writing down names to be read during the yizkor prayer and charity donations will be accepted (purely on a voluntary basis).
5:00 P.M.: Mincha
5:30 P.M.: Seudah haMafseket (last supper) before Yom Kippur
6:30 P.M.: Kol nidrei service

September 30 (Saturday):
9:00 A.M.: Prayer service
11:30 A.M.: Yizkor prayer
~6:30 P.M.: Ne’ilah service
~7:50 P.M.: Havdalah and snacks

Tsom kal v’gmar hasima tova!

Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

Rabbi Burshtein Presents Menachem Mendel Lefin Book

Rabbi Chaim Burshtein will present Menachem Mendel Lefin of Satanov’s work Cheshbon HaNefesh (Accounting of the Soul) at 6:00 P.M. on September 28 on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Lefin was a great rabbi and Musar teacher. The book examines the depths and treasures of the soul and the individual’s great service to the Creator, bringing the sons of Israel closer to the spiritual state which the Most High intended when He created them.

Screening of Molėtai Film at LJC

There will be a free public screening of a film about the march in Molėtai at 5:00 P.M. at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

The documentary film “Paskutinis rugpjūčio sekmadienis” [Last Sunday in August] has received much praise following its premiere August 29, the date the Jewish population was murdered in Molėtai during World War II. The audience for the first screening included the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel and the Israeli ambassador to Lithuania.

Week of Names Events to Commemorate Holocaust This Year

In the run-up to the Day of Remembrance of the Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide, organizers of the civic initiative NAMES invite you to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust. Now for the seventh year, the reading of the names of those murdered will include different groups and occupy an entire week.

The series of events will begin in Merkinė. On September 17 residents will read out loud the names of members of the community murdered more than 70 years ago, commemorating the tragedy which took place in the town.

On September 20 the reading of the names will take place at two locations in Vilnius: outside the former ghetto library (Žemaitijos street no. 4) and at the “memory stone” commemorating Fania and Lazar Lewando, founders and owners of a vegetarian restaurant (Vokiečių street no. 14).

On September 23 the names will be read out in Kaunas.

On September 24 residents of Lithuania are invited to visit Jewish mass murder sites located nearest to them.

“The Holocaust is one of the most painful topics in the history of Lithuania. Only by remembering and talking about the unpleasant past can we open up to the world. I think these readings are a strong and personal expression of this kind of remembrance and freedom,” NAMES coordinator Milda Jakulytė-Vasil says.

The list of initiatives isn’t final: all who want to may contribute by selecting an important location for Holocaust commemoration. The names and surnames of those murdered can be found in museums, libraries and institutions concerned with the preservation of Jewish heritage. More information about the readings and how to organize them yourself can be found here.

The period of one week isn’t coincidental; over this week several important Jewish religious and cultural holidays take place. Rosh Hashanah takes place on September 21 and 22 this year. This is, the Jewish New Year, a time for reflection. The Lithuanian Day for the Remembrance of Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide falls on the Sabbath this year; according to Jewish custom it is forbidden to visit graves on this day.

Lithuanian Day for the Remembrance of Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide is marked on September 23. This was the day in 1943 when the Vilnius ghetto was liquidated.

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