Survey of Anti-Semitism in the European Union

Dear friends and colleagues,

Tomorrow, 81 years ago, the Nazi regime ordered a concentrated pogrom against Jewish communities. At least 91 Jews were murdered, hundreds of synagogues were burnt down and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and houses were looted. Krytasllnacht or the Night of Broken Glass would be remembered as the beginning of the Holocaust and the extermination of six million Jews. More than 75 years after the Holocaust some prefer to think anti-Semitism has been banished from our societies, yet as we witness again and again violence and murder inspired by a hatred of Jews, we can see that anti-Semitism remains deeply ingrained in Europe. The anti-Semitic attack last month on the synagogue in Halle, Germany, once again reminded us anti-Semitism remains a threat to our European values and that we must remember we have responsibilities arising from our shared history.

World Sabbath Celebration November 15

World Sabbath Celebration November 15

The Vilnius Jewish Religious Community invites you to take part in the Shabbat Project’s 2019 global sabbath celebration November 15, starting at 4:00 P.M. at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius. Come celebrate the sabbath together with millions of Jews around the world. Sabbath favorites will be served following the service.

South Africa’s Rabbi Warren Goldstein began the global sabbath celebrations in 2013. The goal of the international project is to bring Jews around the world together, to remind them of our roots and to get them involved in the community.

Come Celebrate Simchat Torah

Come Celebrate Simchat Torah

This marks the end of the Jewish New Year cycle. On the 23rd of Tishrei we celebrate the last but happiest of the New Year holidays, Simchat Torah. The name itself says this is a day we should be happy together. Simchat Torah is a holiday symbolizing the unity of our people, independent of age or religiosity. Simchat Torah is the day we realize we are one family, sharing the bond of faith and love of the Most High.

We wish you a happy and joyful 5780 in the name of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Vilnius Jewish Religious Community and the Lithuanian Jewish Religious Association. Everyone is invited to carrying of the Torah and a shared meal at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius at 7:00 P.M. on October 21.

Faina Kukliansky, Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky and Simas Levinas

Yossi Levy’s Love Peddlers Published in Lithuanian

Yossi Levy’s Love Peddlers Published in Lithuanian

Israel’s ambassador to Lithuania Yossi Avni-Levy isn’t just a seasoned diplomat, he’s also an accomplished Israeli writer. One of his short stories was the basis for a film in 2013 and his “Man Without a Shadow” is currently being filmed. Now his novel “Love Peddlers” (“Rochlei haAhavot,” Hebrew, 2016) has been published in Lithuanian.

According to the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature:

A couple returns to their apartment in Tel Aviv with a tiny baby wrapped in a blanket. They are welcomed by the grandmother who showers them with candies and the grandfather who heaps blessings upon them. Far away, in time and space, a frightened, handsome Jewish lad sets out on the journey of his life, a journey to the maze of alleys of the legendary city of Herat in Afghanistan. What is the thread that connects the boy slipping away from school so that he can watch the dancers in their colorful garb cavorting in the marketplaces, to Assaf, an Israeli professor of linguistics, a gay man, a new father, who wants to be reconciled with his own father?

Yossi Avny-Levy’s novel is an emotional confession of a father to his newly born first son who embodies a mixture of different cultures, an intimate confession through which he tries to trace his own identity. Assaf unfolds the saga of his family, beginning in Afghanistan in the 1940s, and reveals the story of his father and in particular the story of his father’s younger brother, Assaf’s uncle, who was a dancer in the Herat marketplaces and a lover of a Pashtun man.

It is a book that is both sad and amusing, a powerful and humane love story which will resonate all around the globe – a constricted, unspoken love between a son and his father, an unrestrained love of a child for his mother, and a tortuous love between two fathers. It is also a story of love for a world that is no more, for its colors and fragrances, studded with characters who are both delightful and heart-breaking. In his inimitable and sensual language, Avni-Levy leads the reader through the poverty-stricken and yet magnificent streets of a dusty Israeli town of the 1960s to the picturesque streets of a remote city in Afghanistan, where humans and demons live side by side.

Dance and Day Camp for Children

On Sunday, October 20, the Dubi, Ilan and Mishpoca Clubs invite children to an evening of dance with Jelizaveta Volynskaja together with tiny dancers from the Fayerlakh song and dance ensemble. From October 28 to October 31 children aged 7 to 12 are invited to the Amehaye Fall Camp at the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Registration is required. Please call Sofja at 8 601 46656 or write her at to register or for more information. An on-line registration form for the camp is posted here:

Special Guests from America and Israel at Kaunas Ghetto Concert

Special Guests from America and Israel at Kaunas Ghetto Concert

Many Lithuanians know something about the ghetto in Kaunas where tens of thousands of Jews were imprisoned from 1941 to 1944. Nonetheless, even if it’s not a secret, what life was like there behind the walls is a page of history which hasn’t been considered yet. One event in the Kaunas 2022 history festival will spotlight one of the ghetto’s leading lights, the Kaunas ghetto orchestra. On October 20 the music of the “Final Concert” at the Kaunas cultural center will mirror history: performed in the same building where the Gestapo was headquartered during World War II.

Full Lithuanian text here.

Children Invited to Sukkot Event

Children Invited to Sukkot Event

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Ilan and Dubi Clubs invite children to a fun gathering at 1:00 P.M. on October 13 called “From Rosh Hashanah to Sukkot.” We’ll “dwell” in the Sukkot booth and have traditional Jewish snacks and treats. Lego engineering teachers will be on hand for building and playing. Come to the Ilan Club at the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Registration is required, so call 8 601 46656 or send an email to

From Rosh Hashanah to Sukkot Celebration

Celebrate “From Rosh Hashanah to Sukkot” at 6:00 P.M. on October 10 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community and come meet members of the LJC’s various programs, including the seniors’ Gesher Club, the Kaveret young families’ club, Israeli dance club Rikudei Am, the Students’ Club and students in the Hebrew courses.

Program: song, dance, traditional Jewish fall treats, an exhibit and sale of Jewish-themed work by Olga Kapustina and musicians and dancers of the Fayerlakh collective.

Registration required. Call 8 678 81514 or write

Yom Kippur at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius

Yom Kippur at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius

Yom Kippur ceremonies will be held at the Choral Synagogue, Pylimo street no. 39, Vilnius, according to the following schedule:

Monday, October 7:

6:30 P.M. preparations for Yom Kippur, lessons on the holy day, Kaparot ritual

Tuesday, October 8:

5:30 P.M. dinner before fast
6:10 Kol Nidre
6:20 fast begins

Wednesday, October 9:

9:30 A.M. Shakharit
12 noon Izkor
5:30 P.M. Minkha
6:30 Niila
7:29 fast ends, dinner

Holocaust Commemoration in Švenčionys October 6

Holocaust Commemoration in Švenčionys October 6

There will be a Holocaust commemoration held in Švenčionys on Sunday, October 6. At 11:00 A.M. there will be a remembrance ceremony at the Menorah sculpture in the city park. At 12 noon there will be a commemoration at the mass murder site at the Švenčionėliai military base in Platumai village.

For those wishing to attend, a bus will depart from the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 9:00 A.M. Sunday. Register by calling +370 5 261 3003 or writing

Moisej Šapiro, chiarman
Švenčionys Jewish Community

Concert to Celebrate 90th Birthday of Grigoriy Kanovitch

Concert to Celebrate 90th Birthday of Grigoriy Kanovitch

A series of several concerts with world-famous performers, composers and material from the works of Grigoriy Kanovitch will be held to celebrate Kanovitch’s 90th birthday. Kanovitch is the author of a number of classics in Jewish literature and is a recipient of the Lithuanian National Art and Culture Prize. Lithuanian Jewish Community members will receive a 40% discount on the ticket price.

For more information, see here.

Rosh Hashanah 5780 at the Choral Synagogue

Rosh Hashanah 5780 at the Choral Synagogue, Pylimo street no. 39, Vilnius:

Sunday, September 29

6:00 P.M. Minkha/Maariv, prayers, Kiddush/pastry table

Monday, September 30

9:30 A.M. Shakharit (morning prayer)

12:00 noon Blowing of the shofar horn. Special souvenir for participants and new 5780 Jewish calendar

12:30 P.M. Musaf (prayer)

5:00 P.M. Tashlikh (prayer at the river, Bokšto street no. 19, Vilnius)

6:00 P.M. Rosh Hashanah celebration: blowing of shofarhorn, presentation of new Jewish calendar, treats, special Rosh Hashanah souvenir

7:51 P.M. Maariv prayer

Tuesday, October 1

9:30 A.M. Shakharit
12:00 noon Blowing of shofar
6:30 P.M. Blowing of shofar horn (at Bokšto street no. 19 with entrance from Kazimiero street no. 12)

Traditions of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

Traditions of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year


The most iconic image of the Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Year celebration is the blowing of the shofar horn. It is a ram’s horn and it is difficult to blow it correctly. The shofar reminds believers of the coming Day of Judgment. Jews gather at synagogue and read prayers for two days during the holiday.

An important Rosh Hashanah tradition is to take clothing to a body of water and shake the pockets out, symbolically ridding oneself of remaining sin. A special prayer is read for this. The ritual is called tashlikh (Hebrew “cast off”).

The main holiday treat on Rosh Hashanah is the pomegranate. This is replaced by apples and honey in Lithuania where the fruit doesn’t grow to maturity. The honey is intended to make the coming year sweet. In fact the salutation “sweet year” is a requisite part of the well-wishing involved in the holiday.

Often guests are served fish and it must have a head, because Rosh Hashanah literally translates as “head of the year.” A round loaf of challa bread is baked for the dinner table symbolizing the cyclicity of the year. On Rosh Hashanah G_d decides a person’s destiny for the coming year, in this case 5780. There is a Rosh Hashanah greeting, “khatima tova,” which is a wish for success you will be written into the Book of Life.

The tenth day of Rosh Hashanah is Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The Torah tells us not to do anything on that except reflect on our actions over the preceding year. It is the time when a final decision will be made regarding the destiny of the individual over the coming year. Jews wish one another “gmar khatima tova,” good luck with the final inscription.

The Vilnius Jewish Religious Community, the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Goodwill Foundation greet you with “shana tova u’metuka,” or “sweet new year,” and hope to see you at synagogue!

Simas Levinas, chairman
Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

Attention Eleventh and Twelfth Graders: English Lessons

Attention Eleventh and Twelfth Graders: English Lessons

Attention all eleventh and twelfth graders: there will be additional English lessons for 11th and 12th graders beginning in October. The goal is to help students prepare for exams, both the state exam and IELTS, and to increase general English facility in areas such as grammar, speaking and reading.

The major gaps in knowledge are usually found in the field of grammar and we will spend most of the class time on English grammar, including theory, practice and activities. Children and young people will get to know English grammar structures and will have the chance to use them.

The maximum class size per group is limited to 12 students. There will be two lessons every week. The teacher is Viačeslav Mlynkovskij, an English teacher at the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius. Classes will be held at the Lithuanian Jewish Community located at Pylimo street no. 4 with easy access by foot and mass transit.


Monday, 6:30 P.M.
Wednesday, 6:30 P.M.

The cost is 48 euros per month (comprising 8 lessons). Individual lessons cost 7 euros apiece. To register call 8 652 05992 or write

Rosh Hashanah on September 29

Rosh Hashanah on September 29

Israeli ambassador Yossi Levy, LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky and designer and architect Victoria Sideraitë-Alon hold up the new Jewish calendar for 5780.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community has published a new Jewish calendar for 5780 as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This year’s calendar features Lithuanian synagogues past and present.

The year 5780/2020 contains some anniversaries of global significance to Jews, including the 300th birthday of the Vilna Gaon and the 580th anniversary of the building of the Great Synagogue in Vilnius.

LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky calls for everyone to come together for a noble cause, to work together to protect the small surviving inheritance of Litvak culture for our grandchildren and the future.

Sunday School Activities for Children at the LJC

Activities include:

English lessons from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. with Viačeslav Mlynkovskij, a teacher at the Sholem Aleichem school, in the Ilan Club room.

Hebrew lessons from 11:15 A.M. to 12 noon in the conference hall on the second floor.

Traditions from 12 noon to 12:45 P.M. in the conference hall on the second floor.

For more information and to register, contact teacher Ruth Reches,

Exhibit on Tadeusz Romer and Jewish Refugees in Far East

Exhibit on Tadeusz Romer and Jewish Refugees in Far East

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.

Hebrew Classes for Beginning and Advanced Levels

Hebrew Classes for Beginning and Advanced Levels

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

Everyone is welcome.