According to various reports in the Israeli media, there has been a sharp increase in South African Litvak applications for Lithuanian citizenship.
Some authors have even mentioned some sort of “Lithuanian Citizenship Programme,” whose existence is unknown to the Lithuanian Jewish Community.
Because of the seemingly increased interest, we are placing some of our earlier reporting back at the top of page one of the English version of the webpage.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind readers the amendment to the Lithuanian law on citizenship, the initiative of both the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Lithuanian parliament, only removed and changed language which might have led to discrimination against Jews and Litvaks by individual public servants. There is no language about welcoming Litvaks with open arms, unfortunately. The amended law only levels the playing field to make sure Litvaks are treated equally with ethnic Lithuanians and others in the application process.
While the law doesn’t express welcoming Litvaks with open arms, the Lithuanian Jewish Community does welcome Litvaks from around the world, including South Africa, to become members, and does support Litvaks’ bids for Lithuanian citizenship. It has been our honor to have played a part in the amended legislation signed into law by the president of Lithuania last month.