Announcements

You Are Invited to the European Days of Jewish Culture in Vilnius

You Are Invited to the European Days of Jewish Culture in Vilnius

The Lithuanian Jewish Community is continuing the tradition of marking the annual event European Days of Jewish Culture, this time for the fifth year, with a program of events in Vilnius scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2020.

All parts of the event program are free and open to the public. The number of participants has been limited this year due to health concerns so please register as soon as possible.

For cooking lessons, register by sending an email to kavine@lzb.lt
For the Jerulita tour, register by sending an email to travel@jerulita.lt

To register by internet, click here.

Bid for Righteous Gentile Monument Announced

Bid for Righteous Gentile Monument Announced

A public tender has been announced for a conceptual sculptural and architectural project to erect a monument to Lithuanian residents who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

The Vilnius city municipality and the Lithuanian Culture Ministry said the project is to be guided by principles of historical justice for honoring, commemorating and recalling at a national and international level Lithuanian residents who saved Jews during the Nazi occupation, for creating a respectful and socially effective solution in continuance of traditions of respecting the Jewish people, for representing appropriately the content and foundation of the site commemorating Righteous Gentiles, and for contributing to the education of the general public regarding history and the world.

Criteria for judging projects submitted include context, social efficacy, aesthetics, the quality of the space created, cost and financial soundness. The site selected for the monument is on Ona Šimaitė street near Maironis street in Vilnius where a commemorative stele stands announcing this as the location for a future monument to Righteous Gentiles, those who rescued Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club Invites Members to Mini-Maccabiah

Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club Invites Members to Mini-Maccabiah

Dear members of the Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club,

We will hold a mini-Maccabiah to commemorate the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the 30th anniversary of Lithuanian Makabi between 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, August 30, at the Tauras School of Athletics located at Žygio street no. 46 in Vilnius. Your local teams are invited to participate in the following competitions:

1. Indoor soccer (7 players plus trainer)
2. Basketball (5 players and a trainer)
3. Volleyball (8 players plus trainer)
4. Ping-pong (men’s, women’s)
5. Badminton (men’s, women’s)
6. Swimming (men’s, women’s)
7. Chess (men’s, women’s)

Our school has good soccer players and we encourage children who play soccer or who are interested in it to register as soon as possible. Our gymnasium’s soccer team might get new uniforms as well. Makabi is preparing a surprise here.

Rules and regulations will be determined when the exact number of teams and players becomes clear. Please contact tautvilija@gamail.com or call 865746071 to register and for more information.

Also, the Makabi Club is holding our annual fun-run starting in Vingio park in Vilnius on Saturday, September 5, so stay tuned for the exact schedule for that.

Evening of Poetry and Music with Sergei Kanovich and Boris Kizner

Evening of Poetry and Music with Sergei Kanovich and Boris Kizner

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invite you to a attend an evening of poetry and music with writer Sergei Kanovich and violinist Boris Kizner at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius. Sergei Kanovich will read passages from his poems and prose and Boris Kizner will perform works from his repertoire on violin. It begins at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 11, at the Choral Synagogue located at Pylimo street no. 39 in Vilnius. Entry is free to the public and no RSVP is required. Visitors will be required to wear face masks and the event will be filmed.

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av which begins this evening, July 29, is the Jewish day for mourning the loss of both Temples in Jerusalem, the first in 586 BC and the second in AD 70, and other tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people through history. Jews mourn, fast and read from Eicha (Lamentations) and the Kinnot (dirges from the Bible and later) during Tisha B’Av.

Jews mark Tisha B’Av today as the world is undergoing rapid changes: a global pandemic with no clear end in sight and closed national borders, economic crises and civil unrest. We know the Second Temple fell because of disagreements between Jews. Tisha B’Av today resonates deep sadness for the Temple and for the reality in which find ourselves now. Not just the pandemic, but the deep, incomprehensible division of society.

This new kind of physical and moral division of the people compels us to mourn even more the loss of unity and common goals.

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Invites You to “Sholom, Akmenė” Events July 24

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Invites You to “Sholom, Akmenė” Events July 24

The Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community invites everyone to participate in “Sholom, Akmenė” events at the Akmenė Cultural Center (Sodo street no. 1, Akmenė, Lithuania) on July 24.

12:00 Conference “Memories of the Shtetl in Our Hearts”

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community members Frida Šteinienė and Josifas Buršteinas will share their childhood memories, young participants at a creative workshop will speak about digitization efforts to record and preserve the Jewish cemeteries in the Akmenė region and Daumantas Todesas will share the secrets of making Sabbath treats. Also, Rita Ringienė will read excerpts from Indrė Daščioraitė’s work in 2001 recording the memories of Augustina Rušinaitė (1922-2007).

2:00 Jewish market (outside the Cultural Center)

The conference will be followed by a Jewish market set up by the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community showcasing traditional Litvak treats on offer, with haggling required. The organizers are promising a lot of fun at the market.

6:00 Sabbath concert

The Jewish music concert, already a tradition at the Akmenė Days celebrations, will be performed by students from the music schools in the Akmenė region and from the Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium in Vilnius. The concert will teach traditions of the Sabbath evening in artistic form.

All events are free and open to the public. Organizers are asking participants to adhere to the authorities’ current recommendations for preventing corona virus infection. The events will be filmed and photographed.

Teachers Invited to International Centropa and ESJF Seminar

Centropa, the Central European research and documentation center, and ESJF, the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, are pleased to announce registration is open to a teacher training seminar called “Teaching Jewish Heritage: How to Include Jewish Cemeteries in the Education Process” to be held in Kaunas on August 25 and 26.

The series of seminars will be directed by specialists in the fields of Jewish cemetery studies and Jewish history education. Participants will be given the resources necessary for presenting Jewish heritage meaningfully and in an interesting way in the classroom.

Lithuanian teachers and NGO representatives are invited to participate. The conference will be held in Lithuanian and English with synchronous translation.

Please register by July 22 at this address: https://bit.ly/2Cx6Zxo

Raimondas Savickas Outdoor Painting Workshop July 27-31

Raimondas Savickas Outdoor Painting Workshop July 27-31

Dear Community members,

Those with a penchant for painting and a love of art, the great outdoors and good company will surely not be disappointed by this year’s sixth annual plein air outdoor painting workshop. This year’s workshop will consist of 5 days and 4 nights at a scenic natural location with the noted painters Raimondas Savickas and Ramunė Savickaitė.

Participants will spend 4 nights at the Karvio Dvaras farm next to Lake Karvys in Paežeriai village in the Maišagala aldermanship in the Vilnius region (http://www.karviodvaras.lt/kontaktai) with three daily meals provided, and will attend practical activities with personal consultation with teachers, along with an educational and recreational program.

The fee is 190 euros per person. To register by July 15 and for further information, please write zanas@sc.lzb.lt or call +370 678 81 514 during working hours. Places are limited.

Kaunas Jewish Community Invites You to Remember Victims of Lietūkis Garage Massacre

Kaunas Jewish Community Invites You to Remember Victims of Lietūkis Garage Massacre

The Kaunas Jewish Community will hold a commemoration of the victims of the Lietūkis garage massacre at Miško street no. 3 at 4:00 P.M. on June 26. Joris Rubinovas will perform Maurice Ravel’s Kaddish and Gabrielė Jocaitė will perform a song in member of the victims. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Following the ceremony we will move to the Slobodka (Vilijampolė) Jewish cemetery on Kalnų street and then the Žaliakalnis Jewish cemetery on the Radvilėnų highway.

Stop European Holocaust Denial, Focus on Lithuania

Stop European Holocaust Denial, Focus on Lithuania

Please join us for a special online town hall event Stop European Holocaust Denial Focus: Lithuania co-hosted by ICAN and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ).

Tuesday, June 23, at 8 PM EDT | 5 pm PDT

Watch live!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICANAction/videos/285276522660390/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v6KNnjikfs

Please join us for a special live event, a virtual town hall featuring Grant Gochin and Silvia Foti speaking about state-sponsored Holocaust denial in Lithuania. Grant Gochin asked the question: “Who actually murdered my family during the Holocaust?” and discovered the fact that the murderer is a current national hero of Lithuania. Silvia Foti was asked by her mother to write the biography of her national hero grandfather, only to discover that he was one of the worst genocidal murderers of Jews during the Holocaust. Silvia Foti’s grandfather murdered Grant Gochin’s family. They have come together to tell the awful truth of how their families have been connected for the past 100 years, and how the Lithuanian government has engaged in a massive cover-up to implement the tenth stage of genocide: denial. In this town hall meeting, we will discuss with Gochin and Foti their paths to discovery of this cover-up, and how it impacts the real world today.

Jewish Culture Week in Krakės: Let’s Learn about the Krakės Jewish Community

Jewish Culture Week in Krakės: Let’s Learn about the Krakės Jewish Community

Photo: Krakės Jewish cemetery

The Jewish Culture Week in Krakės: Let’s Learn about the Krakės Jewish Community project will take place from June 16 to 18 in Krakės in the Kėdainiai district of Lithuania. More information is available here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2751960485049357

Robertas Dubinka, director
Krakės Cultural Center

Laisvės alley no. 1, LT – 58242, Krakės, Kėdainiai region
tel. 8 347 38274, mob. 8 615 85084
email: krakiukc@gmail.com

Amehaye Club Hiring

Amehaye Club Hiring

The Amehaye Club at the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Social Programs Department is looking for a medical doctor, a program director and camp counselors (including volunteer counselors). The professional positions require a teaching certificate, sound knowledge of Jewish traditions and history and experience working at Jewish children’s camps, specifically for the upcoming Amehaye camp this summer from July 13 to 24. Applicants should be members of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and affiliate member organizations. The most important qualification love of working with children and a calling to teach.

Please send your motivational letter and résumé/CV by email to karjera2020@lzb.lt before June 16. We will contact each selected applicant.

Lithuanian Post Office to Issue Stamp Commemorating 300th Birthday of Gaon Friday

Lithuanian Post Office to Issue Stamp Commemorating 300th Birthday of Gaon Friday

The Lithuanian Post Office will issue a special stamp commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon on Friday, June 5. The nominal value of the stamp is 81 euro cents, meaning it will be valid for sending letters abroad.

The stamps have a print-run of 20,000. The issue will also feature a first-day release envelope for sale. Post-marking stamps on the first day of issuance will take place at the Central Post Office in Vilnius, located at Gedimino prospect no. 7, on Friday.

The JUDVI & AŠ design group (Victoria Sideraitė-Alon, Jūratė Juozėnienė and Albinas Šimanauskas) designed the postal stamp celebrating the Vilna Gaon.

The letter shin (ש) appears near the top of the postage stamp with a stylized crown atop the final branch symbolizing the spiritual authority of the Vilna Gaon. According the gematria the value of this letter is 300, as Lithuania celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Gaon this year. Underneath is a stylized Torah scroll along with an open book, an allusion to the Decalogue, the two slabs of stone Moses received on Sinai inscribed by God with His Commandments, and at the same time representing the tradition of a pair of windows on the façade of the synagogue. The coloring of the symbols and characters and the graphic design was based on the stylization of the decor of ancient Jewish writings.

Shavuot Begins May 28

Shavuot Begins May 28

Shavuot is the holiday which celebrates the receiving of the Torah. This marks the day the Jewish people received the Law. It is celebrated on the 6th day of Sivan on the Jewish calendar. This is a state holiday in Israel.

Shavuot means “weeks” in Hebrew. It is the seventh week from the second day of Passover. It marks the day when Moses received the Ten Commandments of G_d on Mount Sinai. They were written on two stone slabs. These are known in Hebrew as “Aseret haDvarim” and in Greek as the Decalogue.

Choral Synagogue Reopens

Choral Synagogue Reopens

The Choral Synagogue in Vilnius reopened for morning prayers on Monday, May 25, following the quarantine. Special measures in place include mandatory wearing of face masks and gloves, taking the temperature of those attending and disinfectant for hands.

The faithful had to rediscover their seats, now marked, at a safe 2 meters distance from one another.

Agreement was reached with the congregation on how to behave during Torah reading. We agreed to abbreviate the number of prayers temporarily, they will now take place during the day during Torah readings on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. This will be changed according to traditional holidays.

NCSEJ Webinar with Lithuanian, Latvian Jewish Community Leaders May 14

NCSEJ Webinar with Lithuanian, Latvian Jewish Community Leaders May 14

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Please join us for a webinar Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 11:00 A.M. ET with Dmitry Krupnikov, deputy chairman of the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities and Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community

They will discuss the impact of the corona virus on the Jewish communities in Latvia and Lithuania and other issues affecting the Baltic region.

About the Speakers:

Dmitry Krupnikov is deputy chairman of the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities and Chairman of the Latvian Jewish Community Restitution Fund (LEKOREF), which was set up by the Council after restitution to the Community by Latvia of five religious and communal properties in 2016. All restituted properties were transferred to LEKOREF, which is now in charge of maintaining and managing the properties.

Faina Kukliansky is chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. She has also served as chairwoman of the Vilnius Jewish Community. In May, 2017 she was re-elected chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. She is the co-chair of the Foundation for the Disposal of Good Will Compensation for the Immovable Property of Jewish Religious Communities (Goodwill Foundation).

Register here.

Note: ZOOM has numerous significant security flaws. Use it at your own risk.

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community: Life under Quarantine

It’s no secret the quarantine has altered the rhythms and habits of our lives. It had been customary in the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community to celebrate all sorts of holidays and birthdays and to attend different events, educational activities and tours we organized, and simply to gather and talk at the Community building… Today that building stands quiet and empty…

Jews around the world were celebrating Passover when the quarantine began here in Lithuania. The Jews of Šiauliai were not able as we were in past years to come together and celebrate happily to the sound of Jewish melodies this beautiful spring holiday. This year each of celebrated separately at home. The Lithuanian Jewish Community provided home deliveries of matzo to all the regional Communities, so as the quarantine got under way the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community had to insure every member had the requisite matzo for the Passover seder table. Every member of the Community did receive safe delivery of boxes of matzo before the holiday began.

Despite disruption to the rhythm and conventions of daily life, we continue to provide crucial care to our seniors who were victims of the Nazis. Home-care workers continue to visit them and help them with their daily needs, insuring the safety of our elderly during these days so difficult for all of us.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Statement on May 9 Incident

Lithuanian Jewish Community Statement on May 9 Incident

The Lithuanian Jewish Community has asked the Lithuanian Office of Prosecutor General and the commissar general of the Lithuanian Police Department to investigate a so-called action held by motorcyclists in Vilnius on May 9, 2020, during which Nazi symbols and other attributes were used.

The media report the bikers dressed in Wehrmacht uniforms rode through the Vilnius OId Town playing march music from the Third Reich and rode in circles around the embassy of the Russian Federation on Latvių street.

“As you know, the distribution and demonstration of Nazi and Soviet symbols are banned by law in Lithuania and involve criminal accountability. We would like to emphasize the marches mentioned have painful associations for Jews because it was this sort of music which was played during selections at concentration camps during World War II,” the statement from the LJC reads.

Although the participants in the action did wear Nazi uniforms, it appears the police took no actions and didn’t stop the ride.

The LJC has received a report an LJC member who saw the motorcyclists near the Old Town Hall in Vilnius reported it to a police patrol nearby. The officers gave assurances the bikers would be punished, but Lithuanian Police Department representative Ramūnas Matonis told reporters there were no arrests for sowing ethnic discord anywhere in Lithuania on May 9.

The LJC therefore is now requesting:

1. an internal investigation and determination of the identities of the officers who were on duty in the police patrol at the Old Town Hall and an explanation on why the bikers were not cited.

2. determination of the identities of the people who rode around Vilnius dressed in Nazi uniforms and played Third Reich march music loudly.

3. an explanation on what instructions police street patrol officers receive and whether they are trained to recognize hate crimes and expressions of anti-Semitism.

4. to tell us whether the May 9 incident will be addressed in a future meeting of the special working group formed by the Lithuanian interior minister for fighting hate crimes and hate speech in Lithuania.

Visual material presented by the media shows this public violation was known at the time of its commission (URL: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/pergales-diena-vilniuje-aplink-rusijos-ambasada-vazinejo-i-nacistines-vokietijos-karius-panasus-motociklininkai.d?id=84241879 )

Virtual Lectures: Escape from Ponar and Jacques Lipchitz’s Memories of Lithuania

Virtual Lectures: Escape from Ponar and Jacques Lipchitz’s Memories of Lithuania

Please note: the ZOOM platform used for the virtual lectures below is widely known to be unsafe and is considered spyware by competent observers, deployed most likely by China. It can usurp control of cameras and microphones on your computer and telephone. Its use is banned by the U.S. military and U.S. government organizations. The Lithuanian Jewish Community takes no responsibility for those infected by clicking the links below.

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The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum is sponsoring two virtual lectures called “Story of Escape from Ponar” and “Lithuania in Jacques Lipchitz’s Reminiscences.”

“I am a sculptor from Lithuania,” Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) used to say to introduce himself at openings of his works in museums and galleries around the world, even though Lithuania had disappeared from the world map when these shows took place. Sculpture and memorial heritage researcher Aušra Rožankevičiūtė talks about Lipchitz’s image of Lithuania and his contacts with Lithuanian artists and thinkers.