An Evening to Remember Saulius Sondeckis and Simonas Alperavičius Z”L

The Destinies series of events invites you to come mark the 90th birthdays of the late Simonas Alperavičius and the maestro Saulius Sondeckis.


Discussions and recollections
Piano trip Musica Camerata Baltica
Screening of film “Aš kažkaip laimingas” (“I’m Happy Somehow,” 2014) by Berznitski and Gintarė Zakarauskaitė

Special television program “Svyatoslaw Belza Interviews Saulius Sondeckis”

6:00 P.M., October 18, Jascha Heifetz Hall, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

Initiated and moderated by Maša Grodnikienė

We will visit the graves of Saulius Sondeckis and Simonas Alperavičius, Z”L, in the morning on October 11.


The Lithuanian Jewish Community expresses deep condolences to the family of Gintautas Kirkilovskis on his loss. The family living in Riešė only recently joined the Vilnius Regional Jewish Community. We are deeply saddened by his loss.


Moišė Tarnaride passed away September 28. He was born in 1937. Our deepest condolences to his son Leonidas and daughter Jevgenija.


With sadness we report the death of professor Adolfas Bolotinas, an honored member of the Lithuanian Jewish Community who served two terms as chairman of the Vilnius Jewish Community. He was a doctor of physics and mathematics, a professor, recipient of the Republic Prize and an accomplished Lithuanian teacher and a member of the Israeli and New York Academies of Sciences. He was 93. Most of his life was centered around Vilnius University. He wrote his dissertation on theoretical and quantum physics. He was the author of more 250 academic articles and “raised” more than 20 other PhDs as professor. He is survived by his two children and wife.

Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends in this painful time. Your loss is all our loss as well.


With deep sadness we report the death of Nikolai Vainer on September 18 of this year. He was born in 1924. Our deepest condolences to his family on their loss.

World Jewish Congress Mourns Death of US Senator John McCain

NEW YORK–The World Jewish Congress mourns the death of Senator John McCain, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 81. WJC president Ronald S. Lauder said:

“I want to pay tribute to my friend Senator John McCain, a towering figure of American and international politics, who dedicated his life to serving his country, both as a heroic soldier and, of course, as a prolific senator.

“Throughout his career, John McCain worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, sticking by his principles for a better country and a better world. He was also a reliable friend of the State of Israel and a great supporter of the Jewish people.

“John McCain was a unique and inspirational leader, the likes of whom we are unlikely to see again. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”


Jefim Traiberg passed away August 6 following a long battle with illness. He was 73.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to his widow Ema and daughter Šeina.


Icikas Jakobas passed away July 25. He was born in 1949. We send our sincere condolences to his wife Galina, daughter and grandson.


With sadness we report the death of Estera Klabinaitė Grobman who lived in Israel. She lived a long, interesting and difficult life. Born in November of 1920 to a well-to-do Jewish family in Kaunas, she always called herself a Kaunas resident. Her parents had a large bakery before the Holocaust. Imprisoned in the Kaunas ghetto and Stutthof concentration camp, Grobman, who passed away at the age of 98, was an avid reader and shared her memories right up to the time of her death. In May, 2018, the rector of Vilnius University travelled to Israel to present her an honorary diploma.

We share in the pain of her friends and family and send our deepest condolences to her son Aron, her daughter-in-law Ele, her grandchildren Daniel and Saul and too many more to name. Although we seem to know that death is an inevitability, it always hits us painfully and unexpectedly. Rest in peace, Estera.

Claude Lanzmann Has Gone

Professor habil. Dr. Markas Petuchauskas, an inmate of the Vilnius ghetto who escaped dramatically and went into hiding, saw every play staged at the Vilnius ghetto theater. While organizing the International Art Days to Commemorate the Vilnius Ghetto Theater event, Dr. Petuchauskas invited Claude Lanzmann to travel to Lithuania and attend. The director agreed and, arriving in April of 1997, presented his film Shoah. This was the Lithuanian premiere of Lanzmann’s film, in the Cinema Program of Art Days. It was Lanzmann’s first and only trip to Vilnius, last only a few days during which he spoke directly with Lithuanian people and gave interviews. We present Professor Petuchauskas’s recollections:

Claude Lanzmann in Lithuania

The news struck like lightning. Claude Lanzmann has gone. The memory of his trip to Vilnius rose up inside me. This is how it was.

One of the first large international art projects organized by the Lithuanian Jewish Culture Club which I founded and directed was International Art Days in 1997, dedicated to commemorating the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Vilnius Ghetto Theater.

I invited Israeli writer Joshua Sobol, well known for his play Ghetto (about the Vilnius ghetto) and who wrote he had never been to Lithuania, to take part in the International Art Days event. Coming to Lithuania for the first time at my invitation, he had the chance to get up on the stage of the theater about which he had written and to tell how he created his play.

The opening ceremony for the Days, dedicated to him, was also held in the former ghetto theater hall.

Famous film director Claude Lanzmann from France, the creator of the globally acclaimed film Shoah, got up on the stage as well. I invited him along with French director Brigite Jaque, who was already known in Vilnius and an acquaintance of mine. It was pleasant to hear Lanzmann, a man who generally avoids lavishing much praise, speak such warm words about my work in holding the Days and about their importance for recalling notable pages in the history of the Shoah.


Feofanija Bambiza passed away July 15. She was born in 1922. Our deepest condolences to her husband Aleksandras Asovskis.


Vidmantė Jasukaitytė, Lithuanian Independence Act signatory, poet, writer, dramaturge and public figure, passed away July 14 following a long battle with illness. She had just turned 70 on July 10.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community express our deepest condolences to her children and friends. Jasukaitytė for many years lived at what was the HKP Nazi labor camp during World War II and created a number of works about the location. Her multimedia poetry installation “Subačius Street. Ghetto” was performed on September 24, 2015, the culmination of a week-long commemoration of Holocaust victims with events held around Vilnius.

Her event was held at the square outside her home where there is a monument to the Jewish inmates and victims of the HKP camp. Moving and still images were projected on the bare brick walls there as professional actors read selections from her poetry, testimonies of HKP camp inmates and Žeraldas Povilaitis’s oratory “Voice from Underground.”

Jasukaitytė had a number of plans for more Holocaust commemoration events including with musicians from the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Today we have a lost a talented writer, a good politician (who personally challenged Gorbachev about locking up Lithuanians avoiding Soviet military duty as mental patients) and a friend, and so we say, may you rest peacefully in the Lithuanian earth.


The Lithuanian Jewish Community sincerely mourns the loss of Vitas Antanaitis, father of Monika Antanaitytė, Chief of Staff to the chairwoman of the LJC. Our deepest condolences to all his many friends and family, including Monika, her mother Violeta and brother Martynas. We wish you strength in spirit and spiritual comfort during this time of loss.


With deep sadness we report the death in Israel of Michael Schemiavitz, born in Vilnius February 9, 1926. He was an inmate of the Vilnius ghetto. His parents were shot. Michael Schemiavitz was deported for forced labor to Germany. After the war he settled in Israel. He wrote a book about his experience of the Holocaust called Behind the Gate published in Tel Aviv in 2009.

Our deepest condolences to his family during this time of loss. We wish you strength.


Panevėžys Jewish Community member Jelena Larionova-Vaizberg has passed away. For many years she was a microbiologist and doctor at the Panevėžys Infection Clinic. The entire Lithuanian Jewish Community mourns her loss and we send our deepest condolences to her sons and daughters.


Boris Finkelson passed away June 30. He was born in 1941. Our deepest condolences to his wife Adelija and their children.


We send our deepest condolences to Vanda Klug, a long-time and active member of the Panevėžys Jewish Community and chairwoman of the congress of aldermen, on the death of her beloved father. Our sincerest wishes for strength in this time of loss to her and all relatives and friends.


On June 22 Etia Suvorova died. She was born in 1936. Our deepest condolences to her husband Cholem and daughter Marina.


Ivanas Grinkevičius (1944-2018) passed away June 22. Our condolences to his wife Sira.


The Lithuanian Jewish Community express our deepest condolences to the family members, son, daughter and grandchildren on the death of Svetlana Reches. Stay strong in this time of loss, loss of your mother and grandmother.