I am endlessly grateful for the friendship and fruitful cooperation from the very beginning with the Kaunas 2022 team (and especially the Memory Bureau team) and I am thankful for the honor bestowed me as a member of the consultation committee for the Litvak Forum to take place in 2022.
I am so very glad because it is always pleasant to communicate with open, tolerant people who are hungry for knowledge and who are striving to insure our society might also become more open, more tolerant and more accepting.
I am glad because we are joined in a common goal: to encourage recognition of the multicultural history of our city and to appreciate what we have, while not averting our gaze from painful episodes.
I am so very glad that talking with the people who are leading us to become the modern European capital of culture has led to so many meaningful and unforgettable meetings. One such was with Jyll Bradley, an artist from London who is visiting Kaunas this week and who is studying our city intensely. So far she has learned more about Kaunas than many of the people who were born and raised here know.
Jyll’s project is part of the Kaunas 2022 program. Choosing what might seem a small site in terms of physical size but one which represents a grand site in its encoded significance, she is striving after several objectives: to make more visible sites where Jewish life was carried on before the war or sites which had a Jewish connection; to create a dialogue or connection among the people who agree to become the caretakers of a sculpture site; and to invite the public to stop and “read” the information “carried” by this small site, the message being to take a moment to reconsider our values and our actions with others and with ourselves. Thank you to Daiva Citvarienė for this at first virtual look at this.
Gercas Žakas, chairman
Kaunas Jewish Community