New Yiddish Classes

New Yiddish Classes

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Mameloshn Club invite you to attend Yiddish classes taught by Rosa Beliauskienė from 12 noon to 1:30 P.M. on Sundays at the LJC in Vilnius. For more information and to register, write zanas@sc.lzb.lt or call +370 678 81514.

Yiddish Concert in Kaunas

Yiddish Concert in Kaunas

The Kaunas Jewish Community invites you to their concert “Yiddish Heard Again in Kaunas: Inspired by Grandma’s Songs” at 5:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 27 at the Kaunas Artists’ House located at V. Putvinskio street no. 56 in Kaunas.

Alejandra Czarny of Argentina and more recently the United States with firm family roots in Kaunas will sing accompanied by Michel Gonzales on guitar, including Litvak Yiddish from different periods and Yiddish songs from Argentina and South America. Besides singing Yiddish her entire life, she also has her own radio program and is a cantor for synagogues located in South Florida, where she lives.

The concert is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required by filling out the form here:

https://forms.gle/nkT9Ww3oouyf1RyC8

Condolences

Jefim Grafman passed away on November 17. He was born in 1938. He was a member of the Panevėžys Jewish Community for many years and more recently a client of the social department there. He died unexpectedly while visiting his daughters in Germany. Those wishing to bid him farewell may attend the wake from November 26 to 27 at the Grauduva funeral home in Panevėžys. We extend our deepest condolences to his daughters and their families as well as all the other members of the family and the entire Panevėžys Jewish Community.

Condolences

Uogė Ieva Dargienė, a member of the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, has passed away. She was born in 1931. We extend our deepest condolences to her sister Jadvyga and niece Rima.

Happy Birthday to Yosif User

Happy Birthday to Yosif User

We wish Yosif User, founder and editor-in-chief of the weekly Pensioner and former editor-in-chief of the Obzor Russian-language news site in Lithuania as well as a member of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, a very happy birthday. Dear Joseph, with all our hearts we wish you good health, energy, optimism, joy and warmth! Mazl tov. Bis 120!

Jewish Scouts Hike in Pilaitė Neighborhood of Vilnius

Jewish Scouts Hike in Pilaitė Neighborhood of Vilnius

The hike by Jewish scouts through the woods in the Pilaitė neighborhood of Vilnius took place as planned on Friday evening, November 18. The cold wasn’t able to dampen their spirits. Thank you to everyone who took part and weren’t driven off by the light snowfall, and to the organizers. Stay tuned for more scouting activities in the near future.

Simonas Strelcovas Appointed Director of Vilna Gaon Museum

Simonas Strelcovas Appointed Director of Vilna Gaon Museum

Simonas Strelcovas was appointed by the Lithuanian Culture Ministry to the post of director of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum in Vilnius. He has a doctorate in history and is a credentialed teacher. Earlier he directed the Humanitarian Research Center at Šiauliai University and the Defense and Warfare Educational Center. He served as chairman of the board of directors of the scientific institute at Šiauliai University. More recently he was head of projects at the Lithuanian National Regional Development Agency. In 2019 he went to Meijo University in Japan as visiting researched and headed a project there on the collective memory of traumatic experiences.

“One of my main tasks as director of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum is to clarify with the staff the museum’s priority activities, setting a strategic goal for ourselves to make the museum one of the leaders in the region,” he told Lithuanian Radio and Television.

Genocide Center Sets Up Information Signs for Visitors

Genocide Center Sets Up Information Signs for Visitors

The Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania erected three information signs for visitors to Holocaust sites at three locations in Lithuania in later October and early November, according to their website.

The first sign was set up in the small town of Gelvonai in the Širvintos region in late October, followed by a visitors display in the town of Musninkai in the same region also in late October. On November 9 a sign appeared at the old Jewish cemetery in the town of Pušalotas in the Pasvalis region.

More information available in Lithuanian here.

Sabbath Times

Sabbath Times

The Sabbath begins at 3:54 P.M. on Friday, November 18, and concludes at 5:13 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Celebrates World Shabbos

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Celebrates World Shabbos

Millions of Jews around the world baked challa, blessed the bread and wine and sat at the Sabbath table with family members and friends, singing the Sabbath hymns last Friday as part of the Global Shabbos project. Members of the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community joined the project and were happy to host a guest from Germany, a former resident of Šiauliai, Lörrach community chairwoman Hanna Scheinker-Stark. Snapshots below.

LJC Celebrates Tolerance Day with Darna Event

LJC Celebrates Tolerance Day with Darna Event

The first Darna event was held in 2020 during the corona virus panic. Despite many restrictions that time we were able to do more than we had expected, creating an entire virtual festival to mark the International Day of Tolerance. We tried to show during that tough time what diverse and interesting things we have right here in Lithuania, and how these differences are not only interesting, but complement one another perfectly. Today we are very happy to announce we can continue this event for its third year in a row, only this time we can meet face-to-face at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. Everyone of all religious, ethnic and other backgrounds and of all views is invited to come have a cup of tea or coffee, listen to live music and sample Israeli street food from our Cvi Park kiosk starting at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 16, at the LJC. Note: please disregard earlier announcements which stated the event would be held at the Choral Synagogue. It will be held on the third floor of the LJC at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

The event program is available here. Musical performers, cooking workshops and meaningful conversations from the first Darna festival can be found here. More information about this iteration of the celebration can be found here.

#InternationalDayOfTolerance

World War I Remembrance Day Marked

World War I Remembrance Day Marked

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky together with religious leaders and ambassadors resident in Vilnius took part in a Remembrance Sunday event held by the British embassy to Lithuania November 13 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Vilnius. She read from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Germany’s National Day of Mourning

Germany’s National Day of Mourning

Germany’s National Day of Mourning was marked Sunday, November 13, at the military cemetery in Vingis Park in Vilnius.

In Germany, the second Sunday before Advent is known as Volkstrauertag, or the National Day of Mourning in English. This holiday commemorates everyone who has served in the armed forces of all nations, as well all of the civilians who have died during armed conflicts and oppression.

It’s a holiday that was first observed in its modern form during the 1950s but actually comes from a much older Prussian tradition. Although it’s a public holiday in Germany, it’s also categorized as Stiller Tag or a Day of Silence. That means that there may be restrictions on concerts, dances, and other such activities.

Lithuanian Makabi Ping-Pong Wins

Lithuanian Makabi Ping-Pong Wins

Last weekend Lithuanian men’s and women’s table tennis league held matches at the Daukantas pre-gymnasium in Vilnius. Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club women’s team members Neta Alon, Maja Bliumin and Orinta Ramonaitė, adult male team members Mathias Maindron, Ignotas Blaževičius and Justas Rutkauskas and second team members Uosis Račinskas, Arnas Federas, Ąžuolas Račinskas represented the Lithuanian Jewish Community at the competition. Arnas Juodelis from the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium formed the youngest team in league competition and while they didn’t win demonstrated a fighting spirit and resolution to play on at future matches.

Arnas Federas celebrated a 3:2 point victory over his counterpart from the Vilnius Capital Team and significantly raised his point rating. First Makabi adult team members won 3:0 over the second Makabi team but then lost 2:3 against the Tauras men’s team. The Makabi women’s team won 3:1 against the Grigiškės women’s team and 3:0 against the Tauras women’s team, but lost against the Jonava team 2:3. The female Makabi team looks poised nonetheless to enter the women’s upper league this season.

Lithuanian PM Proposes Compensating Expropriated Jewish Private Property

Lithuanian PM Proposes Compensating Expropriated Jewish Private Property

Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė proposed the Lithuanian Government set up a 37-million euro fund to compensate the Jewish community for private property expropriated during World War II.

The fund would complement a previous initiative launched a decade ago which has paid out a similar amount of money to Lithuania’s Jewish community in compensation for seized communal property.

Under the Law on Goodwill Compensation adopted in 2011, Lithuania pledged to pay out over 37 million euros over a decade in compensation for the property of Jewish communities nationalized by totalitarian regimes.

Full story here.

Evening Hike for Jewish Scouts and Young People in Vilnius

Evening Hike for Jewish Scouts and Young People in Vilnius

A hiking excursion in the Pilaitė neighborhood of Vilnius for Jewish scouts will be held at 5:00 P.M. on November 18. Young people in the 5th to 8th grades are also invited to make the hike and come and experience scouting for themselves. The hike is free but prior registration is required before 9:00 P.M. on November 15. For more information and to register, write skautai@lzb.lt or call scout leaders Audrius at +37061611505 or Adomas at +37060645094.

Condolences

Bela Tontak passed away November 9. She was born in 1946. Our deepest condolences to her son Eduard and her other friends and family members.