Lithuanian Jewish Student Union Celebrates Hanukkah


Lithuanian Jewish Community Student Union director Amit Belaitė furnished the following information and responses from facebook.

This year we began celebrating Hanukkah at the Vilnius Choral Synagogue. Then we went to Roshon, the only kosher restaurant in Vilnius. It was great to see several dozen happy faces and that Rabbi Samuel Daniel Izakson joined our group. Before we began to eat dinner, we lit menorahs. Michaelis Frišmanas, who recently started his own beautiful family, led the getting-acquainted game in which we all shared our hopes and dreams. Hanukkah is inconceivable without playing the dreidel game. We decided to play in an unusual way, a true competition! Five players made it to the finalists’ table and the winners were Michaelis Frišmanas’s wife Gintarė and Rachmilas Garberis. The restaurant surprised us with a fantastic dessert: small kosher doughnuts in the shape of a dreidel! We would like to thank the staff of the Rishon restaurant very much, and especially Aleksandras Arončikas, for performing a Hanukkah miracle and helping us hold the celebration. We would also like to thank Lithuanian Jewish Community program coordinator Julija Lipšic, and the LJC for financial support. Now we know for sure that miracles really do happen during Hanukkah!

Responses: Students from Israel said their families shared pictures of Hanukkah celebrations at home, and they felt as if they were spending the holiday with their new family in Lithuania.

Rašelė Šeraitė: “I haven’t participated in such a nice and happy Hanukkah celebration in a long time… It’s usually just a formal sitting with food, but this was completely different… Many young people, a comfortable atmosphere, playing the dreidl, which I have never played before in my life, gave rise to so many positive feelings, I was even surprised at how the time flew by. I want to thank Amit for the great organizing and for creating such a warm atmosphere! I will gladly attend other events she organizes.”

Viktorija Vosyliūtė: “Imagine that all the people stand up and begin to share their dreams, and the dreidel doesn’t stop spinning all evening. You come away from such an evening with the realization that this young part of the nation is ready not just to spread light, but to make their dreams come true. That’s why we know there will be many more miracles.”

Jurga Diržanauskaitė: “Thank you for a super evening, that it was fun and wonderful, and for the great company.”

Some snapshots from the celebration:

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