Condolences

Condolences

Edmundas Ruvinas Zeligmanas passed away March 22. He was born February 25, 1931. He was a member of the Vilnius Jewish Community and the Union of Concentration Camp and Ghetto Prisoners. Our deepest condolences to his widow Janina, his daughter and all his many friends and family.

Zeligmanas was the sole survivor of the mass murder of the Jews of Šilalė. He was 10 when war broke out in Lithuania. He came from a religious family; his father was a cantor and studied at the Telzh yeshiva. Zeligmanas attended a religious school at the synagogue as a child. After losing his entire family in the Holocaust, he went on to study physics, taught physics, worked as an engineer at a counting machine factory and taught electronics at the Construction Technicum. He lived to have great-grandchildren. A frequent face at the synagogue in Vilnius while his health allowed, he was a regular member of the minyan there. May he rest in peace.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community expresses our deepest condolences to Tobijas Jafetas, former member of the board of the LJC and former chairman of the Union of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, on the loss of his beloved wife Elena Zagorskaitė, with whom he lived for 60 years, had children and took pride in their grandchildren. We are deeply saddened and wish the family strength in their loss of their beloved wife, mother and grandmother.

Condolences

With deep sadness we report Oleksandra Toizer passed away on March 10. She was born January 9, 1925. A long-time member of the Vilnius Jewish Community, she was a volunteer doctor. Our condolences to her daughter Larisa Filatova.

Condolences

Vilnius Jewish Community member Mere Leja Zagin passed away March 5. She was born May 29, 1927. Our condolences to her husband Chaim and son Levas.

Condolences

Klaipėda Jewish Community member Vera Dveira Štok passed away March 8. She was born on April 6, 1925. Our deepest condolences to her daughter Genia.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends deepest condolences to Social Programs Department director Michailis Segalis who just lost his beloved grandfather.

Condolences

Lipmanas Orlovičius, a member of the Klaipėda Jewish Community, passed away on March 10. He was born June 9, 1939.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to his widow Ema and their children.

Condolences

Our deepest condolences on the death of Elena Zagorskaitė, mother, grandmother and wife to former LJC board member Tobijas Jafetas. We are filled with sorrow and wish the entire family strength in this difficult time.

Condolences

With deep sadness we announce the passing of Sima Sturonienė of Tauragė on January 31. She was born December 25, 1939. Our condolences to her family and friends.

Condolences

Užuojauta, netekus Pasaulio Teisuolės Lilijanos Binkytės

Righteous gentile Lilijana Binkytė has passed away. Our sincere condolences to her entire family and to daughter Sofija Ligija “Iga” Makutėnienė. The Binka family name will be forever associated with bravery and the triumph human decency.

Rabbi Aharon Shteinman Has Died

Litvak Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman passed away December 12, 2017. He was a famous Orthodox rabbi and the greatest legal and spiritual authority among religious Litvaks. He was 104.

Aharon Shteinman was born in Brest-Litovsk in 1913. He fled to Switzerland during World War II where he taught at yeshiva.

Ponevezh Yeshiva Rabbi Kaanman asked Rabbi Shteinman to lead the Ponevezh Yeshiva for Young Men in Israel in 1955, where he was director to the end of his life. He also opened other yeshivot, Gaon Jaakov and Orkhot Torah.

The rabbi’s students published a collection of their teacher’s commentaries on Torah and Talmud.

In 1988 Rabbi Shteinman was a member of the Degel haTorah Torah sages’ executive board.

He was recognized in 2001 as one of the leaders of Litvak Judaism, and in 2012 Rabbi Shteinman became the leader of the Degel haTorah party.

Forbes magazine in 2012 reported Rabbi Shteinman was among the top three most-influential rabbis in Israel. Thousands flooded the streets for his funeral on December 12.

Thank You

November 28, 2017

Dear members of the Lithuanian Jewish Community,

I would like to thank the entire Lithuanian Jewish Community for the outpouring of love and support that has been extended to my family following the passing of my mother, Chasia Shpanerflig. I consider myself truly blessed to have the love and support of this amazing community.

Those who knew my mother knew her as a strong-willed and resilient woman. In ninety-six years, my mother was presented with some of life’s most difficult challenges–war, genocide, the loss of family, oppression; the list goes on and on. It is in the face of adversity where my mother, guided by her deep-rooted morals and values, distinguished herself as a human being. Circumstances that may have given others reason to abandon hope were the times that my mother was strongest and most resilient. Her selflessness and commitment to the well-being of her family and friends: exemplary; her will and her beliefs: unwavering; and her love for her community and family: unparalleled. It is these basic ideals that distinguished my mother and that she will be remembered for.

During the latter portion of her life, my mother was recognized her as an active member of the Jewish community in Vilnius. During times where she still had her youth and was physically capable, she actively participated in, and contributed to, all causes that promoted the well-being of her fellow community members. She took great pride in her level of involvement with the community, most notably in her tenure as an officer in the Veterans Division (secretary)–it gave her an unbelievable sense of purpose and brought her tremendous joy.

In the very late stages of my mother’s life, as her health deteriorated, the community which she gave so much of herself to was right there to return the good favor. The Social Services and the Ghetto divisions in particular, worked tirelessly to make sure she received all of the proper care and support when she wasn’t able to provide for herself. Being thousands of miles away, these times were incredibly difficult for me. Throughout this entire time, both divisions were right there by my family’s side, ensuring that my mother received the best possible care and that the lines of communication were constantly open for my own comfort and peace of mind. It is to them, and their leadership, that I am eternally grateful and would like to extend my deepest appreciation.

There is a popular saying that “time heals all wounds.” While her death has been difficult for my family and me, my mother lived a long and dignified life. The Lithuanian Jewish Community was a significant piece of her identity and she considered its members her family. I would like to thank everyone in the community for the lifetime of support they provided her and for being there for my family and me in these tough times.

Sofia Kats

Condolences

Borekh Yudel Katz passed away November 12. He was born September 26, 1931. Our deepest condolences to his wife Mania and son Yevgeny.

Khasia Shpanerflig Has Died

Khasia Shpanerflig (Chasia Španerflig) has died at the age of 97. She was a long-standing member of the Community and formerly a student at the Tarbut Gymnasium as well as a Jewish partisan under the Vytautas the Great Trakai brigade. As long as health permitted she devoted herself to the activities of the Union of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, the Lithuanian Jewish Community and Holocaust education.

Our condolences to her son Volodia and daughter Sofiya and all her family and friends.

Commemorating Lithuanian Day of Holocaust Remembrance

At 1:00 P.M. on September 26 the public gathered at the main monument at the Ponar Memorial Complex to mark the Lithuanian Day of Remembrance of Jewish Victims of Genocide. The day is marked on September 23, the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto, but the 23rd fell on a Saturday this year.

Boris Traub began the commemoration with a violin solo, followed by several young girls who read heart-wrenching Holocaust poetry in Lithuanian. Next Lithuanian prime minister Saulius Skvernelis spoke, pledging the Lithuanian people would never forget the Holocaust. This was followed by the laying of wreaths, first using an honor guard in the name of Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė. The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture also laid a wreath, as did Vilnius mayor Remigijus Šimašius and by Ronaldas Račinskas personally, the executive director of the International Commission to Assess the Crimes of the Soviet and Nazi Occupational Regimes in Lithuania. Foreign embassies and the Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and others also laid wreaths at the base of the monument in Ponar. The medium-sized parking lot at the memorial complex was almost filled with automobiles bearing diplomatic license plates. Some sported national flags, including those of Estonia, the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation.

Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon spoke with a very soft musical accompaniment in the background and reiterated the victims had names, and are not a statistic.

Condolences

Our deepest condolences to Markas Buslovič and his family and friends on the loss of his beloved wife.

Union of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners and Lithuanian Jewish Community

Condolences

Moisejus Benderskis has died. He was born April 8, 1937, and passed away on August 11, 2017. He won many chess championships and prizes over the years. The Lithuanian Jewish Community mourns his passing with the Kaunas Jewish Community, where he was a member.

Genovaitė Gustaitė Has Died

Following sudden illness noted historian, long-time editor at the Mokslas publishing house and biographer of historical Lithuanian figures Genovaitė Gustaitė passed away on Tuesday, August 15.

Over the last several decades Genovaitė Gustaitė has dedicated her work to the life and deeds of beatified Roman Catholic priest Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulevičius who served as the bishop of Vilnius from late 1918 till his resignation in 1925 and who rescued Jews from the Holocaust.

Genovaitė Gustaitė helped prepare commemorations of Matulaitis and his work at the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Community held the highest opinion of her work. We are deeply saddened by her passing and extend out condolences to her many friends and family members. She was a sincere and profound person and an outstandingly good and wise woman.

Rest in peace, Genovaitė.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community has lost an outstanding member and long-time friend. Boris Olšanickij was born September 16, 1937 and passed away July 16, 2017. He in earlier times was the director of the LJC’s Social Center. He passed way before we could thank him for all his service on his 80th birthday, just two months away.

Our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, former colleagues and friends.