Announcements

Eurovision at the Bagel Shop Café

Eurovision at the Bagel Shop Café

Come watch the semifinals in the Eurovision song contest at the Bagel Shop Café in the Lithuanian Jewish Community. We’re rooting for Jurijus Veklenko. This year the contest is being held in Israel and we’ll be watching live, with a bar and Israeli snacks.

The fun starts at 8:30 P.M. on May 16 at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

German Translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s Book at Lithuanian Embassy Berlin

German Translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s Book at Lithuanian Embassy Berlin

The German translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s book “The Price of Concord” (Der Preis der Eintracht) will be presented at the Lithuanian embassy in Berlin May 15. The event will be moderated by theater director Gregorij H. von Leitis who is known for his work presenting and promoting Jewish culture. Von Leitis has Litvak roots.

This is not the first presentation of Petuchauskas’s book in Germany. Back in March it made a splash at the Leipzig International Book Fair with well-known personalities leading a panel discussion about the Litvak drama critic’s main work published originally in English.

Musical Evening “The Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak”

Musical Evening “The Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak”

Time: 5:30 P.M., May 15, 2019
Place: Central Library of the City of Vilnius

The Dr. Janusz Korczak Center and the Central Library of the City of Vilnius are pleased to invite you to an evening of music entitled Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak.

Markas Volynskij and Marija Duškina will perform Yiddish songs.

Dr. Janusz Korczak Center director I. Belienė will be master of ceremonies.

Janusz Korczak’s real name was Henrik Goldshmit and was also known as Stary Doktor (Old Doctor) and Pan Doktor (Mr. Doctor). He was born in Warsaw on July 22, 1878, and died in August of 1942 at Treblinka. He was a doctor, teacher, writer, publicist and Jewish public figure. He was the originator of children’s rights and the idea that children should enjoy equal rights.

The Central Library of the City of Vilnius is located at Žirmūnų street no. 6 in Vilnius.

Suicide Prevention Workshop safeTALK

Suicide Prevention Workshop safeTALK

The public health unit of the Vilnius municipality invites the public to attend a workshop called safeTALK on suicide prevention to teach people how to recognize the signs of someone in crisis and how to react appropriately to suicidal behavior.

The workshop will be held from 2 to 6:00 P.M. on May 23, 2019, at the Lithuanian Jewish Community located at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius. Speakers include Vaiva Juškevičiūtė and Giedrė Putelytė. Note the workshop will run for four hours with a break.

This is a Lithuanian adaptation of the safeTALK suicide prevention program created by the LivingWorks Education organization. It is constantly updated based on global academic studies and practical experience in the field of suicide prevention. The workshops are conducted by a team of specialists trained and certified by LivingWorks Education. For more information on the workshops, see http://www.vvsb.lt/mokymai-ir-renginiai/ in Lithuanian and https://www.livingworks.net/programs/safetalk/ in English.

The workshop is accredited by the Lithuanian Health Protection Ministry and is financed by the city of Vilnius. Those completing the workshop will be issued an international certificate. Prior registration is required and space is limited. Register here: http://www.vvsb.lt/savizudybiu-prevencija/

Ilan Club Invites Children to Another Animation Workshop

Ilan Club Invites Children to Another Animation Workshop

The Ilan Club invites children to another animation workshop this Sunday, May 12, at 1:30 P.M., at the Ilan Club on the second floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

Registration is required. Send an email to sofja@lzb.lt or call 8 601 46656

We will create scenes for an animated film. We will draw, move and film and use this material to create animated characters. The children themselves will be the main characters in the cartoon.

Hebrew and English Summer Day Camp for Children

Hebrew and English Summer Day Camp for Children

The Hebrew and English summer day camp in Vilnius is a summer camp for younger children where they will receive fun lessons and get a chance to use their knowledge of the Hebrew and English languages, to play with people their own age and dive into the wonderful and enthralling world of learning.

It is for children aged 6 to 11. The camp will run from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. from June 10 to 14.

Children will engage in four academic hours of Hebrew and English activities in the morning. According to age and level of proficiency, language group activities will work on all four aspects of language acquisition: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Activities and excursions in the afternoon are oriented towards fostering creativity and learning about the social and cultural environment. Children will be guided by camp leaders at the creative workshops in carrying out creative tasks.

Snacks, lunch and excursions are included in the cost for the camp.

For more information and to register, contact Ruth at +37068689530.

Public Announcement of Convocation of Lithuanian Jewish Community Reporting and Elections Conference

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, corporation code 190722117, will hold a reporting and elections conference at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius, at 12 noon on May 28, 2019.

Agenda:

1. Election of LJC conference chair and secretary;
2. Adoption and confirmation of independent audit of LJC and financial report for 2018;
3. Confirmation of report on LJC activities for 2018;
4. Election of LJC executive board.

Representatives (delegates) of LJC association members are invited to attend the conference. More detailed material on the planned conference is available for viewing at the LJC at Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius.

For more information write info@lzb.lt or call (8 5) 261 3003.

LJC Statement on Adolfas Ramanauskas

LJC Statement on Adolfas Ramanauskas

The Lithuanian Jewish Community in response to a difference of opinion regarding a monument commemorating Adolfas “Vanagas” Ramanauskas unveiled in Chicago underlines our support for the struggle by the Lithuanian nation for an independent Lithuanian state. The LJC does not question making monuments to honor those who fought for Lithuanian freedom so long as the facts don’t testify to more controversial facts implicating such fighters as Holocaust perpetrators. In the cases of Jonas Noreika, Krištaponis and Kazys Škirpa such facts are known. At the present time the LJC has no reliable information implicating Lithuanian partisan leader Adolfas Ramanauskas in Holocaust crimes.

Yom haShoah May 2

Yom haShoah May 2

For members who want to attend the Yom haShoah Holocaust commemoration on Thursday, May 2, in Ponar, a bus will leave the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 11:00 A.M. Registration is not required but there are only 45 seats.

Everyone is invited to attend a memorial concert at 6:00 P.M. at the LJC. Julija Sadaunykaitė on paino and Paulius Gefenas on flute will perform works by Ravel, Šenderovas, Mendelssohn, Debussy and Ibert.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Chairwoman Visits South African Litvak Community

Lithuanian Jewish Community Chairwoman Visits South African Litvak Community

Photo: Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky visits the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky is currently visiting the largest Litvak community in exile, the South African Jewish community, from April 8 to 13.

Although the Community and chairwoman Kukliansky have long maintained close ties with Litvaks in the Republic of South Africa, this is the first official visit by the LJC.

In meetings with South African Litvaks scheduled for the morning of April 10 at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, Kukliansky planned to discuss issues surrounding historical justice, restoration of Lithuanian citizenship and possible joint projects to celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and Jewish History in Lithuania.

Sacred Texts: The Story of the Talmud

Sacred Texts: The Story of the Talmud

Time: 6:00 P.M., April 4, 2019
Location: atrium, 5th floor, Lithuanian National Martynas Mažvydas Library, Gedimino prospect no. 51, Vilnius

The Sacred Texts of the World lecture series by the Philosophy Faculty of Vilnius University continues with a seventh lecture on the Talmud by Dr. Aušra Pažėraitė.

She will attempt to answer the questions of who the Talmudic sages were/are, what the structure of the Talmud is and what the special features of Talmudic discourse consist of.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Saying Goodbye to Anatolijus Šenderovas

Saying Goodbye to Anatolijus Šenderovas

Lithuanian composer and conductor Anatolijus Šenderovas passed away in the US on March 25. His funeral will be held in Vilnius on Friday, March 29.

The funeral begins at 10:00 A.M. in the Jewish section of the Sudervės road cemetery in Vilnius, with speeches and burials starting at 11:30 A.M. (procession with seven stops according to Jewish tradition). A bus will be made available to ferry mourners to the cemetery leaving from Pylimo street no. 4 at 9:30 A.M.

Who Sanctioned Institutional Anti-Semitism in Lithuania? (updated)

Who Sanctioned Institutional Anti-Semitism in Lithuania? (updated)

The Lithuanian Jewish Community was shocked by an unsigned “explanation” published by the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania (hereinafter Center) on March 27, the day before the anniversary of the horrific Children’s Aktion (mass murder operation) in the Kaunas ghetto, a text which, apparently seeking to avoid responsibility, not only seeks to justify actions by Jonas Noreika during World War II but also contains features which are crimes under the Lithuanian criminal code, namely, denial or gross belittlement of the Holocaust. Note that article 170(2) of the Lithuanian criminal code (public approval of crimes against humanity and crimes by committed by the USSR and Nazi Germany against Lithuania or her residents, their denial or grossly diminishing their scope) also applies to corporate entities.

It is unacceptable to the LJC that there might be a collective condemnation of ethnic Lithuanians or any other ethnic group for perpetrating the Holocaust, and therefore it is equally incomprehensible to us on what basis the Center tried to convince Lithuanians, writing in the name of all Lithuanians, of Holocaust revisionist ideas.

This “explanation” is full of factual and logical errors, for example, one sentence claims “the Lithuanians worked operated against the will of the Germans” while another says “Germany was seen as an ally.” Also, based on a single source, the claim is made that the number of Lithuanians who shot Jews was “lower than in other nations.” The text fails to explain why the greatest percentage of Jews were murdered in Lithuania when compared to the other states of Europe, including Germany, and thus clearly seeks to diminish the fact of Lithuanians’ contribution to the murder of the Jews. The Center text claims “the residents of occupied Lithuania in 1941 didn’t understand ghettos as part of the Holocaust,” not just heaping scorn on the pain of ghetto inmates but also belittling those Lithuanian heroes who rescued Jews at the risk of their own lives and those of their families. The Center’s Noreika apologetica is based on the testimony of his fellow Lithuanian Activists Front members. Note the LAF call to free Lithuania by ridding the country of “the yoke of Jewry” in 1941.

It is the LJC’s opinion that the Center as a state institution founded in law by distorting historical facts, grossly diminishing the scope of the Holocaust and creating a fictional narrative of history is incompetent to fulfill its main task as defined in Lithuanian law, namely, the restoration of historical truth and justice.

Therefore, the LJC asks:

-representatives of the Lithuanian executive and legislative branches to respond appropriately and in a timely manner by condemning this incident of institutional anti-Semitism;

-that the Center take responsibility and retract publicly the above-discussed text, apologize to the LJC for the gross belittlement of the scope of the Holocaust and apologize to the Lithuanian public for misinforming the public.

If within a reasonable time an amicable solution is not found, the LJC, in defense of its interest protected by law but now violated, reserves the right to make sue of the defensive measures and remedies provided in Lithuanian law.

Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman
Lithuanian Jewish Community

Opening of Exhibit Nostalgia for Eternity

Opening of Exhibit Nostalgia for Eternity

You’re kindly invited to the opening of Leonid Plotkin’s photography exhibit “Nostalgia for Eternity: The Indian Subcontinent: Religion, History and Myth”. The opening reception is to take place at the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Naugarduko street no. 10/2, Vilnius, at 5.30 P.M. on March 28, 2019.

New Mobile Museum Exhibit Features Lithuania’s Righteous Gentiles

New Mobile Museum Exhibit Features Lithuania’s Righteous Gentiles

A new mobile exhibit from the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum has begun its rounds with an opening in Kaunas on March 5. “When You Save a Life, You Save a World” debuted at Vytautas Magnus University to a large audience, including Kaunas Jewish Community chairman Gercas Žakas and members of the Community, relatives of rescuers and those rescued, city residents and guests from other locations.

Vytautas Magnus professor Juozas Augutis gave a word of welcome and said he was proud of the exhibit opening and the light shed by the Righteous Gentiles. He said the children lost to the Holocaust were a great loss to everyone: “Kaunas’s pain is the pain of all of Lithuania.”

Dr. Kamilė Rupeikaitė–then deputy director of the museum but last week becoming its new director, replacing longtime director Markas Zingeris–emphasized the museum’s long-term commitment to and work on researching the stories of rescuers of Jews. Danutė Selčinskaja, the curator of the exhibit and of the accompanying catalog and the director of the museum’s department for commemorating rescuers of Jews, presented the overall concept of the exhibition with an emphasis on stories from Kaunas. Fruma Vitkinaitė-Kučinskienė, a Holocaust survivor rescued by gentiles, said the Righteous Gentiles were the gift of fate to whom she is still grateful, and she said she was so happy today to be able to talk to members of the families who rescued her. “I think there are many who will agree that those days when Jewish children were rescued were the most beautiful days in the Lithuania of that time,” Juozas Vocelka said. He is the son of Righteous Gentile Pranas Vocelka who dedicated his life to saving Jews.

Kaunas Ghetto Children’s Aktion Commemoration

Kaunas Ghetto Children’s Aktion Commemoration

On March 28, 2019, the Kaunas Jewish Community will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Children’s Aktion in the Kaunas ghetto during which, over one day, about 1,700 children and elderly were rounded up and murdered.

The commemoration begins at 4:00 P.M. at the “Children’s Torah” statue at E. Ožeškienės street no. 13 in Kaunas. The commemoration continues at 5:00 P.M. in the concert hall of the J. Gruodžio conservatory at J. Gruodžio street no. 6, Kaunas. The program includes a performance of “The Jewish Girl and Her Three Mothers” by the drama theater of the Aušra Gymnasium (directed by N. Žilinskienė) and a concert by the J. Gruodžio conservatory’s string orchestra (conducted by K. Domarkienė). Aleksandras Rubinovas will serve as MC.