Bagel shop

Bagel shop



In the activities it carries out, the Lithuanian Jewish Community constantly emphasizes the importance of human respect. In its various programs, initiatives and projects the Lithuanian Jewish Community strives not only to preserve and pass on historical memory, but also to foster relationships based upon tolerance and mutual understanding between people of different cultures.

Sensitive to expressions of discrimination in society and observing the growth and spread of a difficult-to-control culture of hatred, derision and bullying, the Lithuanian Jewish Community is convinced that one of the most effective measures for the prevention of hatred directed at "the other" is education and the dissemination of positive information.

With the aim of diminishing the hate and encouraging openness in society, the Lithuanian Jewish Community is conducting a project called "Bagel Shop" a tolerance campaign against public expressions of anti-Semitism and hate. The project is being financed under the NGO program of the European Economic Area's financial mechanism for the 2009-2014 period (see for more information in Lithuanian.)


 CONTEXT:People of other races or ethnicities and other faiths are the most frequent victims of hate in Lithuania. Statistical data from 2010 show that of 213 pre-trial investigations initiated over criminal acts of this kind, 36 investigations were connected with incitement of anti-Semitism, and hatred towards different ethnic groups.

GOAL: The main goal of the project is to encourage tolerance and stop the sowing of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.

ACTIVITIES: The project includes three types of activities:

a)      Monitoring of the public space;

Monitoring of the most popular websites in the attempt to identify expressions of hate and intolerance. Results from the monitoring to be analyzed and used in seeking more effective methods for controlling these sorts of expressions.

b)      Public campaign "Be Different";

During this part of the project, for the first time ever in Lithuanian "Bagel"[1]nominations will be made for acts or behaviour encouraging tolerance in society. Discussions will also be organized on topical human rights issues. A Bagel Shop Club will be established on the premises of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, a space for generating and implementing ideas fostering tolerance. Continuous updates of useful information to be provided on the Lithuanian Jewish Community website, the Community's facebook page and via newsletter.

c)      Increasing organizational abilities;

The activities of this group will include different thematic training classes and seminars intended to increase the organizational potential of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and raise its profile among other Lithuanian NGOs and among the public. Project participant exchanges and visits by Norwegian partners planned, as are joint events.

PARTNERS: Norwegian project partners: Jewish Community of Oslo.


PROJECT DURATION:The project is to run 18 months, from January of 2014 till June of 2015.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:If you have questions, suggestions, observations or would like to join the project team, please contact us by mobile telephone at 868413902 or send an email to

More about EEA financial support:

The Kingdom of Norway, Republic of Iceland and Grand Duchy of Liechtenstein, in order to contribute to the lessening of the economic and social divide within the European Economic Area (EEA), have instituted EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms. EEA financial mechanism support is allocated for the 15 states (the 12 new EU members plus Greece, Spain and Portugal), while Norwegian financial mechanism support goes to the 12 new EU states.

The second period of EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms covers the 2009-2014 period. During this period a total of 1,079,000,000 euro has been allocated for recipient states (with 84 million euro for Lithuania). Norwegian and EEA support is for implementing various projects in the recipient state. Support is scheduled for complete allocation by 2014, while the period for implementing support extends to mid-2016.


[1] The bagel concept is playfully attractive and memorable as well as having a symbolic sense in connection with Jewish culture. The bagel as symbol of tolerance is employed for the following reasons:

  • Nostalgia: the older generation will recall the small Jewish bakeries in pre-war Vilnius and other cities. Even the smallest Lithuanian town had a bagel shop where, besides food, visitors could acquire all the latest news in town;
  • Commercial, or popular: Outside Lithuania the bagel is popular, universally known and recognized as part of the Jewish culinary legacy, or at least as a Jewish food. Bagels are sold i cafes and shops. In cafes they are served with coffee and other drinks, and such cafes are popular around the world;
  • Traditional pretzel: The word "bagel" comes from the Yiddish word for pretzel, beigl. It is truly a common Jewish word but has never penetrated into the folklore or lexicon of the Lithuanian language.