A reading of the names of Holocaust victims will take place at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius between 10:00 and 11:00 A.M. on September 23.
The exhibit “Polish Ambassador to Japan Tadeusz Romer and Jewish Refugees in the Far East” will open with an event in the Jascha Heifetz Hall on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 6:00 P.M. on September 19.
This mobile exhibit from the Polish Institute was first shown last March at the Sugihara House museum in Kaunas. The authors of the exhibit Dr. Olga Barbasiewicz and Barbara Abraham are to take part in this opening. The exhibit will run till October 19.
It’s never too late to learn a new language or renew and enrich your knowledge. Come learn Hebrew with Dr. Ruth Reches beginning October 6.
9:45 A.M. Advanced group
1:00 P.M. group with some knowledge
2:45 P.M. Beginners
Class will be held in the conference hall on the 2nd floor at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius. Registration required. Register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone is welcome.
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum invites the public to the opening of a showing of photography by Bartosz Frątczak called “(Non-)Existence” at the Tolerance Center at 5:00 P.M. on September 19. The opening ceremony is dedicated to marking the Day of Remembrance of Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky is visiting Chicago in the United States. She, Lithuanian minister of culture Dr. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas and Tomas Venclova are to participate in a University of Illinois at Chicago seminar “Narratives of Pluralism in Lithuania’s Past and Present” on Tuesday. For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/events/368273490525689/
The Vincas Kudirka Public Library in Kaunas invites the public to a series of tours in a project called Jewish Heritage in Kaunas. The tours will be conducted on September 6, 8 and 10 and will cover modern architecture, the Old Town, Slobodka and major achievements by Litvaks. Registration required. Call (37) 22 23 57 or send an email to email@example.com
The guided tour on September 10 begins at 6:00 P.M. and will be led by local guide Asia Gutermanaitė.
You’re invited to take part in the March of the Living procession in Ponar at 1:00 P.M. on September 23, 2019. The march begins at the Ponar railroad station and concludes at the main memorial in the Ponar Memorial Complex, where a commemoration ceremony to remember the genocide of the Jews of Lithuania will begin at 1:15.
A bus will offer transport from the LJC to the memorial complex leaving at 12 noon. Registration begins September 16. To register, call 8 5 261 3003.
A lesson on how to bake traditional challa bread will be held at 3:00 P.M. on September 15 at the Šeduva Crafts and Culture Center located at Vilniaus street no. 1 in Šeduva. Chefs from the Bagel Shop Café will share the secrets of traditional Litvak holiday customs and cuisine.
The Vilnius Jewish Religious Community is proud to present an exhibition of documents and photographs by Michailas and Natalija Duškesas opening at 6:00 P.M. on September 10.
The Aušra Museum in Šiauliai will mark European Day of Jewish Culture on September 8, 2019. At 1:00 P.M. a game will be held on the grounds of the Frankel factory. At 2:00 P.M. the museum will open the exhibit “The Frankel Factory: A Symbol of Šiauliai Industry and Modernization” and screen a series of documentary films about Jews of Šiauliai called “Dingusio pasaulio pėdsakais. Žydiškieji Šiauliai” [Traces of a Lost World: Jewish Šiauliai] directed by Jūratė Sobutienė at the Chaim Frankel villa.
The game will requires teams of from 2 to 4 people with telephones or tablets with internet access. To register your team call 8 41 524 392 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Augustė Labenskytė, acting director,
History Department, Aušra Museum
The Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club will hold a fun run starting from Vingis Park in Vilnius at 11:00 A.M., September 8, 2019. Runners who are members of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and friends of the Community are invited to compete. Runners may chose to run 1.5 or 3 kilometers. The 1.5=kilometer run starts at 11:30 and the 3-k at 12:15 P.M. The fee is 3 euros for students and retirees, 5 euros for everyone else. Payment may be made prior to SEB Bank or in cash at the starting line. Bank code: LT69 7040 0600 0090 8716. Registration by internet is open to midnight, September 5, here:
Registered runners will receive a unique number to wear.
Artiom Perepelica is the coordinator and can be reached by telephone at+370 60 448 036 or by sending an emila to email@example.com
The Vilnius, Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community invites the public to attend a meeting with Dita Zupavičienė-Šperlingienė, a living legend, a survivor of the Kaunas ghetto, the Stutthof concentration camp and other concentration camps and of the final death march. The meeting will include a presentation of unique footage from Kaunas in 1929, filmed by Dita’s uncle Honon who came for a short visit before going on to Riga and Lvov, which also feature in the film. Members of Dita’s family look at us through time and Dita will tell their stories and how the film itself made it through the war and came to her.
The meeting will take place at 6:00 P.M. on September 4 at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library.
An exhibit of works produced by participants in the plein air outdoor painting workshop opens at 6:00 P.M. on September 6 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to come celebrate the 20th annual European Day of Jewish Culture, “Sabbath in the Jewish Quarter,” in the Vilnius Old Town on September 1.
World-renowned writer Chaim Grade called the Vilnius Old Town the Jewish Quarter ca. 1930, and wrote: “Long Fridays of Summer. The housewives go to the bakery to shop for Saturday: they buy dry bagels, dark cookies and pastries with poppy seeds, small little cakes with powdered sugar…” (from his Der shtumer minyen, or Silent Minyan).
On Sunday, September 1, restaurants and cafés located in the Vilnius Jewish Quarter will present a menu of Jewish dishes, Jewish music will play and there will be lectures and tours. LJC chairman Faina Kukliansky will open ceremonies with a welcome speech at 12 noon. Saulius Pilinkus will MC and new Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Yossi Avni Levy, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Department head Vidmantas Bezaras and Lithuanian Ethnic Minorities Department director Vida Montvydaitė will also welcome participants.
A concert will be held at the Kaunas State Philharmonic at 7:00 P.M. on September 5 to celebrate the 125th birthday of doctor and rescuer of Jews Ona Jablonskytė-Landsbergienė.
Performers include Keiko Borjeson doing lyrics and playing piano, Arvydas Joffe on percussion, Tomas Botyrius on sax and Mykolas Bazaras on bass.
The concert is free and open to the public.
As part of the 20th annual European Day of Jewish Culture, the Lithuanian Jewish Community invites the public to visit the former Jewish Quarter of Vilnius. Recently several frescoes appeared on the walls there. The creators will lead a tour and talk about their surprising project The Walls Remember on September 1. Project author Lina Šlipavičiutė-Černiauskienė describes it this way:
“Vilnius had one of the largest and most active Jewish communities in our region. The horrors of World War II almost completely destroyed this community and this is without doubt one of the most painful losses for Lithuania and especially Vilnius. We don’t have the right to forget these people, and we do not forget them.
“But we forget too much the time when the people of Vilnius were simply happy. These bright memories should be visible: how these people worked, grew up, created families and grew old… How they shaped their lives in Vilnius whose streets we walk today, the same town we the current inhabitants of Vilnius love.
Sabbath in the Jewish Quarter, a lost tradition where every Friday evening the Jewish family sat down at the dinner table together, lit the candles, prayed and broke bread, followed by a day of rest on Saturday, and the beginning of the new week on Sunday.
Let’s rediscover the ferment, history, tastes, smells and melodies of the Jewish Quarter on the European Day of Jewish Culture.
Disagreements over the historical legacy of Kazys Škirpa and Jonas Noreika reached a sort of culmination yesterday. It was great to see how many journalists and historians treated the topic objectively. We thank them for their civic-mindedness. You have defended Lithuania’s history and conscience.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky has a difficult mission. She was forced to make a decision based on the painful experience of her family and all LJC members. It was a courageous and difficult decision.
Sadly, this situation did not lead to greater unity among the Jewish communities. At least not verbally.
The take by the president and prime minister on events and their assurances of security meant much to us.
ON THE CLOSURE OF THE LJC BUILDING AND SYNAGOGUE FOR AN INDETERMINATE PERIOD
The continual, escalating publicly-expressed desire by one political party for recognizing perpetrators of the mass murder of the Jews of Lithuania as national heroes and the demand these people be honored with commemorative plaques and by other means, as well as the public call to attend protests to defend this shameful position on August 7 not only divide Lithuanian society, but actively set factions against one another.
Anti-Semitic comments and inscriptions which are posted to social media pages of political parties and their leaders are being tolerated and go unpunished (even calling the Christian Mary “Jew-girl”), which makes us wonder even more whether we are safe or not.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community has received threatening telephone calls and letters in recent days. In this atmosphere of rising tension and incitement to more tension, neither the LJC nor the synagogue in Vilnius have the means to insure the safety of visitors, including Holocaust survivors and their families.
We underline the fact that up to the present time we have not seen any reaction by any institution to the escalating discord. We would like to hear the opinion of the leaders of Lithuania and to hear a firm position on whether public propaganda in favor of honoring Holocaust perpetrators will continue to be tolerated in Lithuania.
In order to insure the safety of members of the community and worshipers and without any indication that the proponents of this escalating provocation will be called to disciple or account publicly, in cases where the law provides for this, the LJC has been forced to make the painful but unavoidable decision to close the LJC building and the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius for an indeterminate period.
We are also requesting additional security be provided at the Jewish cemetery on Sudervė road in Vilnius to prevent vandalism.
The LJC will adopt future decisions based on the general atmosphere and the positions adopted and expressed by Lithuanian political leaders regarding these issues.
Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman
Lithuanian Jewish Community
Vilnius, August 6, 2019
On Political Responsibility in Judging Collaboration with Occupational Regimes
The Lithuanian Jewish Community expresses concern certain Lithuanian political forces and political figures, not possessing any legal or historical foundation to do so, are publicly and actively defending people, people whose tragic fates do not exonerate them from actions which are documented and have been assessed by authoritative and competent commissions constituted of historians including the International Commission to Assess the Crimes of the Soviet and Nazis Occupational Regimes in Lithuania, formed by presidential decree in 1998.
We call upon the political elite of the country to abstain from defending those whose reputations have been tarnished by their collaboration with the Nazis as well as the Soviets. We would remind them that this sort of public defense legally transgresses the internationally accepted definition of the crime of genocide adopted by the United Nations as well as the international definition of anti-Semitism which Lithuania has adopted. We would like to point out that these kinds of irresponsible statements in fact border upon Holocaust denial and should cease immediately. We hope for more understanding and support from the highest leaders of state in solving these and similar problems at the national level.