Announcements

Hanukkah Greetings

The Abi Men Zet Zich Club greets all our clients and friends on the upcoming holiday of Hanukkah!

At 1:00 P.M. on December 6 students and teachers from the Saulėtekis will perform in a concert called “Let’s Light the Hanukkah Light” on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

At 3:00 P.M. on December 12 you’re invited to the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle at the same location.

For more information contact  Žana Skudovičienė, zanas@sc.lzb.lt, +370 678 81514

Magical Hanukkah Journey

Lithuanian Jewish Community children are invited to go on a magical Hanukkah journey with their parents on December 16 and 17.

During the trip we will:

▪ visit the dolphinarium in Klaipėda
▪ search for treasure in the “upside-down house” (http://dino.lt/apverstas-namas-radailiai/)
▪ celebrate Hanukkah on the seaside at the Žuvėdra vacation home
▪ hold the havdalah ceremony to complete the Sabbath

Please note: space is limited. Registration is open until December 10.

Registration and information:

children aged 2-4: contact Dubi Mishpokha Club coordination Alina Azukaitis at alina.roze@gmail.com or by telephone at +370 695 22959

children aged 5-7: contact Margarita Koževatova, Dubi Club, margarita.kozevatova@gmail.com, +370 618 00577

for additional information, contact:

Žana Skudovičienė, zanas@sc.lzb.lt, +370 678 81514

Launch of Victor David Brenner Catalog

You’re invited to the launch of a catalog of works by Victor David Brenner, the Litvak who designed, among other things, the United States one-cent coin.

The publication will be launched at the Jewish Culture Information Center at Mėsinių street no. 3a in Vilnius at 3:00 P.M., Monday, December 4, 2017. The launch of the catalog will be accompanied by an exhibit showcasing Brenner’s design work.

Christmas Fair at Old Town Hall Square

The Israeli embassy and the Bagel Shop Café presented Jewish foods for the Christmas Fair at the Old Town Hall in Vilnius Tuesday. The fair will take place on Saturday, December 2. The fair is held annually by foreign embassies in Vilnius with all sorts of handicrafts, Christmas decorations and food on offer. Revenues generated go to welfare programs in Lithuania. More than 30 embassies and 5 international schools will man booths at the fair. A lottery will be held with valuable prizes awarded and traditional song and dance will be performed. The fair will be open from 12 noon to 6:00 P.M.

The Litvaks: 900 Years of History

You are invited to a multimedia presentation called “Litvaks: 900 Years of History” by the students of the Saulėtekis school in Vilnius. The Saulėtekis school has presented a number of plays on Litvak culture and the Holocaust. The school has a strong Holocaust education component. In addition, student choirs often perform songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, most recently at the Holocaust commemoration at Ponar at the end of September where they performed the Vilnius ghetto anthem, Zog Nit Keynmol.

The presentation will take place at the Russian Drama Theater at Basanavičiaus street no. 13 in Vilnius at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 29.

Admission is free.

Exhibit of Miniatures by Valius Staknys

An exhibit of miniature drawings by Valius Staknys called Letters will open at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 5:30 P.M. on November 30. The opening ceremony will include a retrospective of the artist’s life and work. He is best known as a theater director. The exhibit will run until December 18 on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community.

Screening of “Aš turiu papasakoti”

The film “Aš turiu papasakoti” (“Ya Dolzhna Rasskazat”) will be screened at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius at 6:00 P.M. on November 23. The movie is based on the book by Marija Rolnikaitė about surviving the Holocaust.

The film is open to the public and admission is free. Director Feliks Dektor and producer Eugenijus Bunka will be there.

Tens of Thousands of Jewish Documents Lost during Holocaust Discovered in Vilnius


YIVO announces the discovery of 170,000 Jewish documents thought to have been destroyed by the Nazis. Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for YIVO

NEW YORK (JTA)–A trove of 170,000 Jewish documents thought to have been destroyed by the Nazis during World War II has been found.

On Tuesday the New York-based YIVO Institute for Jewish Research announced the find which contains unpublished manuscripts by famous Yiddish writers as well as religious and community documents. Among the finds are letters written by Sholem Aleichem, a postcard by Marc Chagall and poems and manuscripts by Chaim Grade.

YIVO, founded in Vilnius in what is now Lithuania, hid the documents, but the organization moved its headquarters to New York during World War II. The documents were later preserved by Lithuanian librarian Antanas Ulpis who kept them in the basement of the church where he worked.

Most of the documents are currently in Lithuania but 10 items are being displayed through January at YIVO, which is working with Lithuania to archive and digitize the collection.

“These newly discovered documents will allow that memory of Eastern European Jews to live on, while enabling us to have a true accounting of the past that breaks through stereotypes and clichéd ways of thinking,” YIVO executive director Jonathan Brent said Tuesday in a statement.

United States Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, democrat from New York state, praised the discovery.

“Displaying this collection will teach our children what happened to the Jews of the Holocaust so that we are never witnesses to such darkness in the world again,” Schumer, who is Jewish, said in a statement.

Israeli consul general in New York Dani Dayan compared the documents to “priceless family heirlooms.”

“The most valuable treasures of the Jewish people are the traditions, experiences and culture that have shaped our history. So to us, the documents uncovered in this discovery are nothing less than priceless family heirlooms, concealed like precious gems from Nazi storm troopers and Soviet grave robbers,” he said.

Full story here.

Samuel Bak Museum Opens

Painter and Vilnius native Samuel Bak attended a press conference in Vilnius Wednesday to announce the opening of a Samuel Bak museum in Vilnius.

Bak, now based in the US, donated over 50 of his artworks for the museum. Born in 1933, the Jewish painter is a Holocaust survivor. He began drawing and painting in the Vilnius ghetto. After the war he lived in Israel and Western Europe. He and members of his family plan to spend just over a week in Vilnius on their current visit.

Bak is scheduled to be awarded honorary citizen of Vilnius at a ceremony to be held at the Vilnius Old Town Hall. The museum is to open November 17. 2017.

New Fall Issue of the Bagel Shop Newsletter

After skipping a beat this summer, the newest Bagel Shop newsletter has hit the stands. The fall issue includes a complete news round-up from spring to the present, the usual sections and articles about the history of the Bund, efforts to restore Jewish headstones removed from Soviet-era public works projects around Vilnius to their rightful locations and the history of the Jews of Skuodas. The Jewish Book Corner this issue features a book about the tractate Nazir from the Babylonian Talmud and the Telšiai Yeshiva.

Look for the newest issue at the Bagel Shop Café, available for free, or download the electronic version below:

Bagel Shop Newsletter No. 2, 2017

AJC Decries Hateful Demonstrators on Poland’s Independence Day

November 13, 2017, Warsaw — AJC is urging the Polish government to speak out clearly against rising hatred inspired by the country’s far right. The call to action comes after a large demonstration filled with neo-Nazi and white supremacist rhetoric that took place in Warsaw on Saturday, the country’s independence day.

“While the joyous 99th anniversary of Polish independence was appropriately celebrated in ceremonies led by president Duda, the day was seriously marred by hateful, far-right throngs that threaten the core values of Poland and its standing abroad,” said Agnieszka Markiewicz, director of AJC’s Warsaw-based Central Europe office. “The growth of xenophobic nationalism in Poland is becoming more dangerous, and we urge the government to condemn unequivocally the phenomenon and take appropriate action to counter it.”

An estimated 60,000 people participated in the “March of Independence,” an annual event organized by far-right groups in Poland that attracted many more people than last year, including some from other countries. Men and women wearing face-masks chanted “pure Poland, white Poland” and “clean blood, lucid mind” as well as “sieg heil” and “Ku Klux Klan.”

“The apparent tolerance shown for these purveyors of hate — and, let’s be clear, that’s exactly what they are — by some Polish government officials is particularly troubling,” said Markiewicz.

Interior minister Mariusz Blaszczak called the large demonstration “a beautiful sight,” adding that “we are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”

AJC, an organization long involved in Poland and steadfastly devoted to fostering strong links among the U.S., Israel, Poland, and world Jewry, calls on the Polish government to counter all forms of xenophobia and racially-motivated hatred through concerted action. “History has painfully taught us that silence or inaction in such matters can come with a high price,” said Markiewicz.

“As the late President Lech Kaczynski laudably said during the 2008 independence day celebration, ‘Patriotism does not mean nationalism,'” Markiewicz said. “It is an important message worth remembering and reinforcing. Radical nationalism and the spewing of hatred should not be confused with patriotism.”

Shapiro Silverberg
AJC Central Europe Office

Kaunas Jewish Community Invites You to a Conference

The Kaunas Jewish Community and chairman of the organizational committee Valentinas Aleksa, also chairman of the Sūduva Regional Scientific, Historical and Cultural Association, invite you to attend the conference “Diplomatic Document of Lithuanian National Self-Respect and Civic Courage in Nazi-Occupied Lithuania in World War Two” on November 14, 2017.

The conference is to be held at the Raudondvaris manor at Pilies takas no. 1 in Raudondvaris in the Kaunas region. Registration from 12:20 P.M. to 12:50 P.M., conference to start at 1:00 P.M.

The conference is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian state and to 75th anniversary of the signing of a memorandum by the three heroic Lithuanians third Lithuanian president Dr. Kazys Grinius and former Government members and MPs professor Jonas Aleksa and professor Mykolas Krupavičiaus.

Kaunas regional administration head Valerijus Makūnas is the patron of the conference.

Conference on Anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania

Press release

Marking November 9, the international day against fascism and anti-Semitism, the Lithuanian Jewish Community is holding an international conference called “Remembrance Responsibility Future” for notable scholars and specialists to seek solutions to pressing problems, including whether the commemoration of painful historical events can serve to educate in contemporary policy and help to insure the Holocaust never happens again.

The main goal of the conference is to come up with effective recommendations for fighting anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania. The conference is intended to demonstrate the intersection of historical memory and contemporary forms of hate in Lithuania. It is part of a project called “Drafting and Publication of Recommendations for Fighting Anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania” with support from the EVZ foundation in Germany. This foundation supports systematic and long-term studies of discrimination against and marginalization of Roma and Jews in Europe. The Goodwill Foundation is also supporting the Lithuanian project.

Professor Saulius Sužiedėlis is to deliver the main presentation November 9 called “Warning of History: Origins and Development of Anti-Semitism in Lithuania.”

Šarūnas Liekis, Vygantas Vareikis, Linas Venclauskas, Violeta Davoliūtė and Charles Perrin are also scheduled to give presentations.

The agenda includes a discussion of contemporary anti-Semitism.

Partners include the Roma Social Center, the Lithuanian Human Rights Center and the Women’s Information Center.

The conference begins 9:30 A.M., November 9, in the conference center of the Novotel Hotel at Gedimino prospect no. 16, Vilnius.

Invitation to International Conference #RememberanceResponsibilityFuture

Invitation to International Conference #RememberanceResponsibilityFuture

Introduction

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?

Leon Livshin Piano Concert

World-famous pianist Leon Livshin from the USA will perform selections from Brahms, Schnittke and Renaud Déjardin at the Stasys Vainiūnas House of the Lithuanian Musicians Support Fund, located at Goštauto street no. 2-41 in Vilnius, at 5:30 on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. For more information call 8 699 90035.

Livshin was born in Vilnius. He was graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Merkin and Steinway halls, the Cologne Philharmonic, Zurich town square, Moscow and Harvard College in the USA, among others.

Yuri Tabak to Address Gešer Club

Yuri Tabak, the religious studies scholar, author of numerous books, one of the favorite speakers at Limmud and a wonderful storyteller from Moscow, will visit the Gešer Club of the Lithuanian Jewish Community to speak at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, October 27. Space is limited and registration is required by sending an email or calling Žana Skudovičienė at zanas@scb.lzb.lt or 8 678 815 14.

National Library Hosts Ilja Bereznickas Retrospective

The Lithuanian National Martynas Mažvydas Library will host a day celebrating Lithuanian illustrator and animator Ilja Bereznickas October 27 including the screening of an animated film, the opening of a new exhibition of works and a presentation of the man’s new book.

At 12 noon the animated feature “Happiness Is Not in a Goat” and previously unseen works by Bereznickas will be shown in library’s screening room on the fifth floor.

At 1:00 P.M. the author’s 2017 book “Animation: From Idea to Screen” will be presented and an exhibit of drawings will open in the library’s art space on the fifth floor.

At 2:00 P.M. a retrospective of Bereznickas’s work from the 2010 DVD Baubas and Co. will be presented in the screening room on the fifth floor.