Chess Tournament

The Lithuanian Jewish Community will host a chess tournament dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Blumenfeld at 5:00 P.M. this Sunday, April 8. For more information write or call 8 655 43 556.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Responds to Proposed Legislation to Censor “Goods”

The Lithuanian Government has sent proposed amendments on the consumer-protection law to parliament for consideration which would ban sales of goods which “distort the historical facts of Lithuania or belittle Lithuania’s history, independence, territorial integrity and constitutional order.”

Proponents of the amendments say they’re needed to stop sales of toys which allegedly commemorate the incorporation of the Crimean Peninsula into the Russian Federation. Lithuanian legal, trade and consumer experts say the amendments aren’t specific and that anything which is sold is a “good,” meaning the law could be used to censor books.

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky has made the following statement regarding the matter:

“These kinds of amendments without precise explanation raise well-founded concerns and recall the dark times of government censorship. History and the writing of annual chronicles are two different things. Historical memory, especially concerning our country’s greatest historical tragedy, the Holocaust, is still in its beginning stages and probably won’t ever be final. These sorts of foolish, misguided attempts by the Government to protect consumer rights have given rise to anger, with foundation, in the international Jewish community. In Europe, where anti-Semitism is on the rise, and especially in Central and Eastern Europe, where laws are being passed on the ‘appropriate’ interpretation of history, Lithuania must remain open and democratic. Freedom of speech and human rights must be insured in our country just as actively as the calls to fight for the protection of consumer rights through these amendments.”

“Returns” Concert

At 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 4, a free concert will be held at the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Tenor Juris Jope from Latvia, pianist Irena Friedland from Israel, soprano Austėja Lukaitė from Lithuania and pianist Gražina Zalatorienė from Lithuania will perform works by Čiurlonis, Rakhmaninov and others. Admission is free. For more information call 8 655 25898 or 8 5 261 3171 or see

Tolreance Center Holocaust Commemoration Event

Dear friends of the Museum,

We kindly invite you to an event for Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom ha-Shoah), a screening of the documentary film “The Story of Irena Sendler” and to meet historian Dr. Marcin Urynowicz on April 11 at 5.30 P.M. at the Tolerance Center (Naugarduko street no. 10/2, Vilnius). The event is being organized together with the embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Institute in Vilnius.

Choral Synagogue Preparing for Passover, Everyone Welcome

The Choral Synagogue in Vilnius is preparing for a Passover seder. This Passover will include young people, who have in past years held separate seders. The photographs above and below show the general section and a special section for young people. Tickets for the seder are still available and may be purchased at the door. The service begins at 7:00 P.M. tonight, Friday, March 30, and the seder begins at 7:30. Rabbi Krinsky and Rebbetzin Dina are preparing the seder.

Pesakh kasher v’sameakh!

Smuel Levinas, chairman
Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

Jewish Theater in Inter-War Lithuania

An event to launch the new book “Žydų teatras tarpukario Lietuvoje” [Jewish Theater in Inter-War Lithuania] by Dr. Ina Pukelytė will be held at 6:00 P.M. on the second floor of the Grand Dukes Hall in Kaunas on Wednesday, April 4.

All theater and book lovers are invited to attend to learn more about Jewish activities in Lithuania and other countries in the period between the two world wars, the place Lithuanian Jewish theater holds abroad and about the evolution of Lithuanian theater after the war.

Head of Vytautas Magnus University’s Theater Studies Cathedral Dr. Edgaras Klivis is to moderate the event.

Public Launch of Rudashevski Vilnius Ghetto Diary at LJC

The Lithuanian Jewish Community hosted a second, more public launch of the new Lithuanian translation of the Yitzhak Rudashevski Vilnius ghetto diary Tuesday, following last month’s and exclusive initial presentation at the Vilnius Book Fair.

Rudashevski was 14 when he and his parents were imprisoned in the Vilnius ghetto. He celebrated his 15th birthday there. The family hid during the ghetto liquidation, were discovered and then murdered, presumably at Ponar outside Vilnius. Over the last two decades Rudashevski’s diary has emerged as one of a handful of testimonies by children. It was initially published in extracts in the original Yiddish in Israel, and then in English in 1973. An older and newer French translation ha4xandra Zapruder’s books about children in the Holocaust and in a documentary on the same topic aired on MTV.

Rudashevski Vilnius Ghetto Diary Presentation March 27

The literary monument of a fifteen-year-old chronicler of the Jewish ghetto to the suffering of the Holocaust, Yiddish culture, the will to survive and hope. For those who haven’t yet had a chance to learn about the Vilnius ghetto diary of Yitzhak Rudashevski, we invite you to come to the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 6:00 P.M. on March 27, 2018, for a public books launch. Participants: LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, translator Dr. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, designer Sigutė Chlebinskaitė, Holocaust historian Neringa Latvytė-Gustatienė. Dr. Lara Lempert will serve as moderator.

“Returns” Music Festival

The Lithuanian Musicians Support Fund in cooperation with the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Goodwill Foundation present the 20th annual international music festival Returns at 6:00 P.M., March 29, 2018, on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

Musica Camerata Baltica, with Leonidas Melnikas on piano, Boris Traub on violin and Valentinas Kaplūnas on cello, will perform along with cantor Shmuel Yatom.

Admission is free.

For more information call 8 655 25898 or 261 3171, or see


A ceremony to unveil a memorial plaque commemorating German Jews sent to the Ninth Fort in Lithuania and murdered on November 25, 1941, will be held at 11:30 A.M. on April 13, 2018, at the Ninth Fort Memorial Complex, Žemaičių highway no. 75, Kaunas. You are invited.

Legendary Jewish-German Silent Film Set to Music at Lithuanian National Philharmonic

A restored copy of Ewald André Dupont’s 1923 film “Das alte Gesetz” (The Ancient Law) is to be shown at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic in Vilnius at 7:00 P.M. on March 28, 2018, accompanied by the modern music of Philippe Schoeller, performed by the Orchester Jakobsplatz München orchestra conducted by Daniel Grossman.

The film was a sensation at the 68th Berlin Film Festival when it was set to French composer Philippe Schoeller’s music. The restored film premiered at the Friedrichsstadt-Palast theater in Berlin on February 16, 2018.

The film is on tour around Eastern Europe with the first stop after Berlin in Vilnius. It will be screened in Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Munich and then San Francisco after that.

The Ancient Law is considered an important historical German and Jewish cinematic production recreating the introverted world of the Eastern European shtetl contrasted with Vienna of the 1860s and speaks to Jewish assimilation in Europe in the 1800s.

Sabbath Celebration

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to a Sabbath celebration with Righteous Gentile Ona Landsbergienė’s great-grandson Gabrielius Landsbergis. LJC executive director Renaldas Vaisbrodas will moderate.

The Sabbath ceremony will be held on the second floor of the LJC at 6:30 P.M. on Friday, March 23. The number of seats is limited and registration is required. Call 8 678 81514

Lithuanian Public Television Begins Righteous Gentiles Series

Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT has begun airing a series called “Righteous Gentiles,” presenting the stories of Lithuanians who rescued Jews from the Holocaust. Almost a thousand Lithuanians have now been officially recognized as Righteous Gentiles, per capita the largest percentage in any country. According to the national television broadcaster’s site, the series will tell hitherto unknown stories of Lithuanian heroism during the Holocaust.

Video and more information in Lithuanian available here and here.

A Year of the Jews without Jews?

Position of the Lithuanian Jewish Community
March 13, 2018

Today the parliament of the Republic of Lithuania is scheduled to consider announcing 2019 the Year of the Jews. What the Lithuanian Jewish Community thinks about this is apparently of interest only to members of the media, not the initiators of the Year of the Jews measure.

The writers of the measure have not consulted with the LJC, the largest Jewish organization in Lithuania, at any stage of their initiative, which compels us to question the contents of the proposed resolution and its sincerity. The laconic legislation contains nothing that doesn’t happen every other year, except for, one supposes, allocation of funding for a special commission or commissions. We hope if the measure is adopted it won’t turn into the formation of yet another commission which takes students on Holocaust “excursions” through mass graves during Sabbath.

With no prospect of learning the plans and intentions of the authors of the idea first-hand, this strange initiative looks like some sort of atavism of former times, as when Thursdays were fish day. On other days the people were not provided fish, but on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Lithuania, is the issue of Jews really so uncomfortable and uninteresting? A whole slew of important dates for Lithuania and the Lithuanian Jewish Community are yet to come this year, including the 30th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Community; the 100th anniversary of the unification of Lithuanian Zionists, who supported Lithuanian statehood; the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto and the 115th anniversary of the founding of what is now Vilnius’s only working synagogue. We therefore call upon the authors of this Year of the Jews to begin that year this year, to celebrate 100th anniversary of the modern Lithuanian state together with the Lithuanian Jewish Community.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community esteems the progress of the state in solving issues topical for all of us, but political games using the Jews but not including the Jewish community are not an appropriate way to insure effective dialogue between ethnic Lithuanians and Jews.

Lithuanian Jewish Community

Pylimo g. 4
LT-01117 Vilnius
T:+370 5 261 3003

Passover, the Holiday of Liberation and Freedom

Passover Seder by Malcah Zeldis, © 2018

Natalja Cheifec invites you to attend her lecture on Passover in Russian at 6:00 P.M. on March 14 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community.

Short synopsis:

-How the Jews were enslaved in Egypt
-How the Egyptians oppressed the Jews
-Moses, the leader of the Jewish people
-Why the Jews needed liberating
-How G_d punished the Egyptians, the 10 plagues
-Preparing for the Passover holiday: why yeast is avoided
-Celebrating Passover:

*four cups of wine
*required elements of the Passover table
*why leavened foods are not eaten or drunk on Passover

To register, see

Small Conversations in the Middle of Europe

A concert called Small Conversations in the Middle of Europe will be held at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 6 o’clock on March 15.

Performing will be the violinists Boris Traub (Lithuania) and Boris Livshitz (Switzerland) and the pianist Rūta Mikelaitytė-Kašubienė (Lithuania). The program will feature the premiere of Giedrius Kuprevičius’s “Small Conversations,” Alexander Zazirski’s Mazurka, Mikhail Bronner’s Jacob’s Ladder and pieces by Mikhail Kokzhayev, Dov Seltzer and others.

Chess Tournament

A chess tournament will be held to celebrate Lithuanian Independence Day at 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, March 25, at the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Boris Rositsan, FIDE master, will be tourney director. For more information and to register, write to or call 8 655 43 556.