The Sabbath begins at 7:01 P.M. on Friday, September 22, and concludes at 8:09 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.
The Choral Synagogue in Vilnius will hold mincha at 7:00 P.M. and kol nidrei and maariv services at 8:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 24, to mark Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
On Monday, September 25, there will be morning prayer service at 10:00 A.M., followed by a yizkor service at 12:00 noon and mincha and neil at 7:00 P.M.
European Days of Jewish Culture
Time: Starts at 10:00 A.M. on September 3, 2023
Location: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius; Choral Synagogue, Pylimo street no. 39, Cvi Park (Petras Cvirka Square across the street from the Lithuanian Jewish Community).
Exhibit “Ghetto Children Tell Their Story to Contemporary Children”
Time: September 4 to September 30, 2023
Location: Adomas Mickevičius Public Library, Trakų street no. 10, Vilnius.
Special Concert to Remember Victims of the Holocaust
Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė, patroness
Time: September 6, 2023
Location: Lėlė Theater, Arklių street no. 5, Vilnius.
by invitation only
Commemoration of Holocaust Victims at Ponar Memorial Complex on September 21
2:40 P.M. March of the Living procession from Ponar railroad tracks to Ponar Memorial Complex, duration about 20 minutes;
3:00 P.M. Ceremony to commemorate Holocaust victims at the main memorial in the Ponar Memorial Complex.
If you’d like transportation, the LJC will provide a bus leaving at 2:00 P.M. sharp from the Neringa Hotel located at Gedimino prospect no. 23 in Vilnius. Those who wish to ride the bus must register by calling Liuba at+370 685 06900 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name. Those who haven’t registered won’t be boarded and the bus won’t wait for latecomers.
Reminder: If you’d like transportation to the Holocaust commemoration at Ponar on September 21, the LJC will provide a bus leaving at 2:00 P.M. sharp from the Neringa Hotel located at Gedimino prospect no. 23 in Vilnius. Those who wish to ride the bus must register by calling Liuba at+370 685 06900 or by sending an email to email@example.com with your full name. Those who haven’t registered won’t be boarded and the bus won’t wait for latecomers.
This play by students from the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius is based on passages from the diaries of Yitzhak Rudashevski, Masha Rolnik and Hermann Kruk with Vilnius ghetto songs performed by Rafailas Karpis and Darius Mažintas. Sholem Aleichem students will tell the stories of children from the Vilnius ghetto.
Location: Konstantinas Sirvydas Square in Vilnius, next to the French embassy
Time: 8:00 P.M., September 20.
The dance troupe Lietuva and the Prabudimo orkestras present a song and dance spectacular called “Symphony of Dance from the Jerusalem of the North.” The performance is based on Jievaras Jasinskis’s work “Simfonija iš Šiaurės Jeruzalės” [Symphony from the Jerusalem of the North]. The story begins 4,000 years ago and extends till the present. The performance will take place on different dates around Lithuania. Tickets available here.
7:00 P.M. on September 23 at the State Youth Theater in Vilnius, by invitation only.
6:00 P.M. on September 24 at the State Youth Theater in Vilnius
7:00 P.M. on September 27 at the State Drama Theater in Kaunas
6:00 P.M. on October 7 at the Concert Hall in Palanga
The Lithuanian parliament will host an international conference called “Communism and Anti-Semitism” beginning at 10:00 A.M. on November 28. The organizers of the conference include the Lithuanian Jewish Community, YIVO, the POLIN institute and the Goodwill Foundation. It will be broadcasted on the parliament’s website www.lrs.lt and via the parliament’s youtube channel. Stay tuned for more details.
The Lėlės Theater in Vilnius presents a play in Lithuanian called “Pasirinkimas” based on Holocaust survivor and trauma psychologist Edith Eva Eger’s book “The Choice: Embrace the Possible,” which details her Holocaust experience as a young woman. The play starts at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 24. The theater is located at Arklių street no. 5 in Vilnius.
Tickets are available here.
Filmmaker Justinas Lingys’s two shorts “Vilniaus geto gyvybės arterija” [Life Artery of the Vilnius Ghetto] and “Holokausto aukoms atminti” [To Remember the Victims of the Holocaust] will be screened at the Adomas Mickevičius Public Library at Trakų street no. 10 in Vilnius at 5:30 P.M. on September 28.
The celebrated Lithuanian filmmaker takes two approaches regarding the Vilnius ghetto: the actual Holocaust, and the underground city connected by a system of tunnels where life was carried on unseen by the Nazis and Lithuanian collaborators, where people taught children, through which food supplies were smuggled into the ghetto and through which information and news about the war travelled. Jews were also rescued through the tunnels, and when the Vilnius ghetto was liquidated a small number escaped through the tunnels.
“Jerzy Orda: Anarchistas pagal šv. Augustiną” aka “Jerzy Orda: Anarchista w duchu św. Augustyna” [Jerzy Orda: The Anarchist Who Followed St. Augustine] (2022, Lithuania) is a flim about the man Jerzy Orda who said he was a Vilniusite by choice and whom others called an “integral humanist” and “a man of paradoxes.” During the period between the two world wars, he called himself “an anarchist inspired by St. Augustine.” He also rescued people from the Holocaust and was posthumously awarded Lithuania’s Order of the Life Saver’s Cross. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion at the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum at Naugarduko street no. 10 in Vilnius starting at 6:00 P.M. on September 26. The film consists of recollections and interviews in Polish and Lithuanian and there will be Lithuanian subtitles for the Polish segments.
The National Drama Theater in Kaunas presents the play “Getas” [Ghetto] written by Joshua Sobol and directed by Gintaras Varnas at 4:00 P.M. on September 24 and 6:00 P.M. on November 14. The theater is located at Laisvės alley no. 71 in Kaunas.
The play centers around Vilnius ghetto inmates who waged a spiritual and cultural war for survival under genocidal conditions, founding the Vilnius ghetto theater in the face of almost certain death.
The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum will host a viewing of scenes about the Ponar mass murder site outside Vilnius from the 9.5-hour-long documentary film Shoah (1985, France) and short film clips from YIVO and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C., touching on Jewish life in Lithuania before the Holocaust. A panel discussion will follow.
The event begins at 6:00 P.M. on September 22 at the Tolerance Center located at Naugarduko street no. 10 in Vilnius.
The State Youth Theater located at Arklių street no. 5 in Vilnius presents the play “Dulkės” [Dust] at 6:00 P.M. on September 22, based on the book “Panerių dienoraštis 1941–1943” [Ponar Diary 1941-1943] which is a collection of observations made there by Polish journalist and refugee Kazimierz Sakowicz, hidden in bottles, buried and later recovered after the war and painstakingly deciphered.
The young director of the play Justinas Vinciūnas said he was looking for his own attitude regarding the Holocaust and instead of using literary sources preferred authentic primary sources such as the Ponar Diary.
Sakowicz and his wife were forced out of their apartment in Vilnius and their newspaper press was seized by the Soviets in 1940. He took up residence in Ponar outside Vilnius and observed the daily mass murder operations there. Lithuanian readers are sometimes shocked to learn the mass murder was carried out mainly by Lithuanians with very little Nazi German presence there.
The Ninth Fort Museum in Kaunas will host a ceremony to honor the victims of the Holocaust murdered there, followed by the unveiling of a commemorative art installation at the museum created by Christian Boltansky and called ANIMITAS accompanied by a dance performance by Erika Vizbaraitė. Those attending will also be invited to view the museum’s malina exhibit. The events begin at 1:00 P.M. on September 22 at the Ninth Fort Museum at Žemaičių highway no. 73 in Kaunas.
The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies present their podcast episode “Remembering Vilna: Voices from the Holocaust” at 6:00 P.M. on September 21 at the National Library located at Gedimino prospect no. 51 in Vilnius. The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University in the United States currently conserves over 4,000 testimonies by Holocaust survivors. “Remembering Vilna: Voices from the Holocaust” is the third episode of the podcast series “Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust” produced jointly by the Fortunoff center and YIVO in New York. This episode draws upon Hermann Kruk’s diary and other testimonies which detail the destruction of the Jews in Vilnius. Podcast guests also discuss the rise of anti-Semitism in the period between the two world wars, the Soviet occupation of Lithuania followed by the Nazi occupation, the establishment of ghettos, the mass murder of the Jews of Vilnius and the end of the war and what that entailed.
Podcast producers Nahanni Rous and Eric Marcus and hostess Eleanora Reissa will attend the event which will be conducted in English.
The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum will screen the documentary film “Samuel Bak: Painter of Questions” following a discussion of the film and the artist. The film was made by Christa Singer in 2003 and looks at the life and work of Samuel Bak through the prism of his childhood in the Vilnius ghetto. In the film he returns to Vilnius, walks the streets of the ghetto and visits Ponar where his father and grandparents were murdered. The film is in English and there won’t be subtitles in Lithuanian. The event begins at 6:00 P.M. on September 21. The Tolerance Center is located at Naugarduko street no. 10 in Vilnius.
imdb entry here.
The March of the Living this year will include marchers who begin the trek to Ponar from Rūdninkų square in the former ghetto in the Vilnius Old Town, located across the street and kitty-corner from the Greek embassy. The marchers are set to gather on Rūdninkų square at 1:00 P.M. on September 21. Most will take the train or private transportation to reach Ponar. Actually marching from Old Town to Upper Ponar on foot would take several hours at least. The LJC will provide a bus for those needing transportation. For more information, see the top of the English-language version of this webpage.
The Lithuanian parliament, or Seimas, will hold a special sitting and ceremony to honor the anti-Nazi resistance in the Vilnius ghetto and Holocaust victims. The ceremony will be livestreamed on the parliamentary website www.lrs.lt and via their youtube channel. It will begin at 10:00 A.M. on September 21. The Lithuanian parliament is located at Gedimino prospect no. 53 in Vilnius.
The exhibit uses modern technology in light, audio and visual installations to tell the little-known story of Jewish theater in Lithuania, presenting the stars of the stage in Kaunas and the founders behind the ghetto theater in Vilnius. It goes on public display at the Museum of Lithuanian Theater, Music and Cinema at Vilniaus street no. 41 in Vilnius on September 20.