Arkadijus Vinokuras Announces Candidacy for Chairman of Vilnius Jewish Community

To members of the Vilnius Jewish Community

Arkadijus Vinokuras,
writer, journalist, actor


Today I made a deeply-considered important decision not easy for me and my family, to become a candidate for chairman of the Vilnius Jewish Community. The main consideration in my decision was that only one candidate is seeking to assume the posts of chairman of the Vilnius Jewish Community and the Lithuanian Jewish Community pretending to be a democrat. The reality is different: the rules for a democratic election have been violated. In the name of personal and group interests, without regard to any principles of democratic elections, cynically dividing the community. And completely forgetting that the community is not a business enterprise, the chairman/woman is not an average manager, and the post of chairman is not a career step or a source of income. In the political, cultural and social sense, and finally in the sense of seriousness and solidarity, this division does not benefit any member of the Jewish community.

Transparency. This is a basic requirement for any candidate. A candidate should not have any problems with law enforcement, the tax inspectorate or the social insurance fund. What the future chairman of the VJC needs least of all is the specter of trials or debts. I myself am a member of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party’s Ethics and Procedures Commission and a member of the Lithuanian Journalists Union. I don’t have such specters. Unfortunately, candidate … Simonas Gurevičius possibly does, which he hasn’t made public. It is a matter of public record the Vakonda Group company has accused him of fraud, taking part in the embezzlement of 77,965.34 euros. This case has reached the Lithuanian Prosecutor’s Office. I would like to immediately stress the principle of the presumption of innocence which says a person is not guilty until proven otherwise. All the same, it would be intelligent and honest for every candidate to take care of similar accusations before announcing, so that there wouldn’t be any suspicions or lingering shadows. Therefore I sincerely hope Simonas Gurevičius does just that as quickly as possible.

Full announcement in Lithuanian here.