Mirjam Abelovičienė has died at the age of 70. She was born in 1954. A member in long standing of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, she formerly worked at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish History Museum. Our deepest condolences to her son Jakovas and her many friends and relatives.
Spiritual Leader of Lithuanian Haredim Dies at 100
Netanyahu mourns the loss of “a great scholar and leader” ahead of what is expected to be one of Israel’s largest funerals ever.
Israeli spiritual leader Rabbi Gershon Edelstein died Tuesday at the age of 100 in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak.
He was the head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, where a funeral procession was scheduled to depart in the afternoon. Hundreds of thousands are expected to participate.
Edelstein became the leader of the Lithuanian stream of Ashkenazi Orthodox Judaism following the passing of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Bnei Brak on March 18, 2022. He was also president of the Council of Yeshivas, an organization that supports Lithuanian-style yeshivas in Eastern Europe, and the president of the Council of Torah Elders of the Ashkenazi haredi political party Degel HaTorah.
Former Lithuanian first lady Alma Adamkienė passed away Sunday, May 21. She was born in 1927. Our deepest condolences to her widower Valdas and many friends and admirers throughout Lithuania and around the world.
Long-time Community member Izrailis Šifrinas passed away May 18. He was born in 1938. Our deepest condolences to his widow, children and many friends.
Musia Gleizer passed away May 15. She was born in 1938 and was a long-time member of the Šiauliai Jewish Community. Our deep condolences to her children Natalja and Edikas, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many other friends and family members.
Vladimir Shevtsov passed away May 5. He was born in 1936. He is mourned by Moshe Shapiro, director of the Švenčionys Jewish Community to which he belonged, and the entire Lithuanian Jewish Community. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Vladimir.
Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community member, teacher and translator Aleksandras Federas has passed away. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and many friends.
With deep sadness we report the death of Markas Zingeris at the age of 76. He had struggled with heart problems for several years. The author of numerous novels, poet, long-time director of the Vilna Gaon Museum and a life-long promoter of Litvak culture, he is survived by his brother Emanuelis Zingeris. We extend our deepest condolences to his colleagues, many friends and family.
Lithuanian-Born Yiddish Poet Rivka Basman Ben-Haim Dead at 98
Yiddish poet Rivka Basman Ben-Haim died last week at the age of 98, the Jerusalem Post reports. She was the last living Yiddish poet of her generation.
She refused to call herself a Holocaust survivor. The person who entered the Nazi camps, she explained, did not survive, but died, and a different person emerged. Rivka found comfort in their new families, friendships and in love.
She was born in Wilkomir [Ukmergė], Lithuania. Her father and brother were murdered. She spent around two years in the Vilna ghetto and was then sent to the Kaiserwald concentration camp in Riga.
Full Jerusalem Post story here.
More information about Basman’s Litvak origins and life here.
Semion “Sam” Yossman, born in Vilnius, former host of the Vatican’s Lithuanian-language radio service, BBC Russian-language department staff and radio host, author of an extensive book about the Cold War and Litvak, passed away last week, according to sources in London. Our deepest condolences to his many friends and family members.
More information about this outstanding man can be found here.
Antanas Terleckas passed away at the age of 96 during the night of February 16. He was a former dissident and political prisoner, a staunch supporter of Lithuanian independence, a human rights advocate and the founder of the Lithuanian Freedom League. The Lithuanian Jewish Community extends our condolences to his friends and family members.
Leader of Antakya Jewish Community Still Missing, Wife Found Dead
Antakya Jewish community leader Saul Cenudioglu remains missing but the body of his wife has been found, according to the newspaper Haaretz. Days of major earthquakes have rendered much of the area around Syrian-Turkish border including the small town of Antakya an urban wasteland. The number of known dead is now approaching 20,000.
World Jewish Congress vice-president Maramas Stern and Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky express their deepest condolences in the face of this indescribable tragedy. The WJC is in contact with the Jewish community in Antakya and is attempted to send aid to the earthquake victims there.
“In these difficult times we extend our deepest condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost family members, with those experiencing trauma and who have lost their homes,” WJC executive vice-president Maramas Stern wrote in a letter circulating among Jewish communities around the world.
“We grieve together with the family members of those who have perished and we are praying for all victims and those missing. We wish you strength in this difficult moment,” LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky wrote.
Roza Bieliauskienė has died. She was born in 1956 in Vilnius to Holocaust survivors from a shtetl just outside the city. She grew up speaking Yiddish at home and hearing it on the street. Trained as an engineer, she eventually immersed herself in research, writing and teaching about the Holocaust, Yiddish and Jewish topics. She worked at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Community from its inception for 20 years and taught at the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius. She worked on the translation of the Grigori Shur Holocaust diary, numerous other books published by the Vilna Gaon Museum, translated a number of children’s books, translated genealogies in Yiddish and was working on a book about the Jewish history of Lithuania at the time of her death. Our deepest condolences to her many friends, colleagues and family members.
Lithuanian Prime Minister on the Death of Grigoriy Kanovich
Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė expressed her condolences on the death of the writer, dramaturg and translator Grigoriy Kanovich.
“Grigoriy Kanovich’s work gave a voice to entire generations of Litvaks who died and raised the curtain for the painful 20th century for a view into the profound, rich culture fostered for centuries in Lithuania, and at the same time, by presenting the agonies society experienced from the Holocaust, he formed the modern reader’s understanding and sympathy. Grigoriy Kanovich will remain in our memories as a person who carried the light through his works and through his always penetrating, respectful and hope-filled way of seeing. We have lost one of the great writers who was just as concerned with the present as with the past, with being able to live in harmony, in the emergent commonality, in what is shared rather than the categorical. I extend my sincere condolences to Grigoriy Kanovich’s loved ones during this difficult time of loss,” the Lithuanian prime minister wrote in her letter of condolence.
Full statement in Lithuanian here.
Silvija Sondeckienė passed away Saturday morning at the age of 80. She was a cellist, a professor and a friend of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Her father-in-law was the Righteous Gentile Jackus Sondeckis and her late husband the renowned conductor Saulius Sondeckis was also a great friend of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. We extend our deepest condolences to her sons and their families.
The writer Grigoriy Kanovich has passed away at the age of 93. Our deepest condolences to his sons Sergejus and Dmitrijus, wife Olga and his many friends and fans around the world. He served as chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community from 1989 to 1993, when he moved to Israel.