The Panevėžys Jewish Community kicked off their Purim celebrations in the events hall of the Panevėžys Community Center March 20. Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman greeted a large party of guests from Vilnius, Ukmergė, Šiauliai and Panevežys and read an excerpt from Magilat Ester.
Artūras Taicas, deputy chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and chairman of the Ukmergė Jewish Community, greeted guests as well and passed on the good wishes of LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky. Panevėžys city deputy mayor Petras Luomanas and city council member Alfonsas Petrauskas also gave wonderful addresses.
The Jewish song and dance ensemble Fayerlakh enchanted the audience with memories of the interwar Jewish shtetl. The audience applauded for a long time, after which chairman Kofman presented the musicians with a souvenir painting and a letter of gratitude. He also greeted long-time member of the musical collected Arikas Krupas on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Chairman Taicas presented the children’s dance troupe with a large Lithuanian pastry and there was much praise leveled at ensemble director Larisa Vyšniauskienė, choreographer Liza and ensemble singers Maša and Božena.
The guests visited the buffet table following the entertainment and helped themselves to hamantashen and other treats. The children were especially enthusiastic participants at the celebration and went wild, making a great deal of noise with their voices, rattles and graggers and generally maintained the festive spirit.