The Lithuanian Jewish Community placed a candle in the window of our headquarters on the morning of January 13 to remember the defenders of freedom. #AtmintisGyvaNesLiudija

Sabbath on Last Day of Hanukkah on Zoom

Sabbath on Last Day of Hanukkah on Zoom

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Ilan Club invite all children to log on and keep the tradition of celebrating the Sabbath together this Friday, December 18, at 4:00 P.M. on the last day of Hanukkah. We will wish one another well and real Jewish nakhes! Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium Jewish traditions teacher Algirdas Davidavičius will lead the Sabbath celebration. The virtual meeting will take place on Zoom. Please register by sending an email to or by calling +370 601 46656

Hanukkah Greetings from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Hanukkah Greetings from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Happy Chanukah to all of you in Israel and around the world.

At Chanukah, we celebrate the victory of the Maccabees.

We remember the miracles of that time. We come together as a family and we light together the Menorah. We sing together Maoz Tzur (מַעוֹז צוּר). Each verse reminds us of the enemies our people has faced, over our long history, and our strength as a community as a people. I have celebrated many Chanukhas and I remember nearly all of them; I love all of them; but this Chanukah is for sure a little different.

This has been a year with all kinds of challenges we have all been dealing with the corona virus pandemic. We have lost loved ones; our schools, synagogues, and community centers have been closed; and we still face great uncertainty about the future. The virus has forced us to stay apart, although in our hearts we feel closer than ever.

Chanukah shows us that united we stand together, we are strong.

May the lights of Chanuka give us all strength and bring light to all Jewish people, wherever they are.

Happy Chanukah and Shalom from Jerusalem.

Two Jewish Holidays Aren’t Mentioned in the Torah

Two Jewish Holidays Aren’t Mentioned in the Torah

All the important Jewish holidays are described in the Torah except for two: Purim and Hanukkah. These two holidays celebrate the victory of the Jews over their enslavers and persecutors. They are celebrated because our sages have decided so, both of them following the revelation of the Torah to the Jews.

Hellenistic rulers ruled the land of Israel from 198 B.C.E. onward. They destroyed Jewish traditions, forbade the reading of the Torah and banned celebrating the Sabbath. They weren’t anti-Semites per se, they didn’t seek the physical destruction of the Jews, they more pressed for the spiritual destruction of Judaism.

After the victory of the Maccabees and the liberation of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Most High apparently emphasized the importance of this event. The vessel of oil intended for the purification of the Temple miraculously lasted eight days instead of one. That was the time needed for making more ritual oil.

Dear colleagues and friends, I greet you on this wonderful, bright and memorable holiday! It is not celebrated by military parades, but by candlelight, with doughnuts and traditional games.

Hag Hanukkah sameakh!

Simas Levinas, chairman
Vilnius Jewish Religious Community

Hanukkah Lighting Ceremony Live

The Lithuanian Jewish Community announces the start of Hanukkah, the festival of lights.

Watch live from 5:00 P.M. (UTC+2) December 10.

Hanukkah begins December 10 and ends December 18 this year.

The holiday begins in Lithuania with the lighting of the first Hanukkah light at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius at 4:00 P.M. At 5:00 a light show begins at the LJC building in Vilnius.

The video above will feature a live streamcast. For more information see our facebook page as well at

Lithuanian Jewish Community Presents Year of Vilna Gaon and Litvak History Commemorative Medallion to Lithuanian President

Lithuanian Jewish Community Presents Year of Vilna Gaon and Litvak History Commemorative Medallion to Lithuanian President

December 4, 2020

As Lithuania’s Year of the Vilna Gaon and Litvak History draws to a close, Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda met via internet with Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky and discussed current issues of concern to the Community.

“Lithuanian Jews are an inseparable part of our society and have been since the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For centuries we built our country together, strengthening our learning, culture, business and security. Lithuanian Jews living in their homeland and abroad publicize Lithuania’s name,” the president said.

The Litvak contribution was celebrated around the country and the world as Lithuania marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great Lithuanian rabbi and Talmudist Elyahu ben Solomon Zalman, better known as the Vilna Gaon, and the 700th anniversary of Jewish history in Lithuania. The World Litvak Congress scheduled to meet in Vilnius and Israeli president Reuven Rivlin’s planned visit to Lithuania were postponed because of corona virus fears.

Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky presented the Lithuanian president a medallion commemorating the Year of the Vilna Gaon and Litvak History in the name of the entire Lithuanian Jewish Community. The medallion and commemorative coin issued by the Bank of Lithuania bears a symbol composed of the Jewish Menorah and the Post of Gediminas, an early symbol of Lithuanian statehood and power. The medallion also bears an inscription in Lithuanian from Moshe Kulbak’s poem Vilne: “You are a dark cameo set in Lithuania…”

In their discussion the president said the state is solving and will solve issues involving historical memory and will maintain a policy course of intolerance towards expressions of xenophobia.

The head of state thanked the Jewish community for its active role in society and wished the community light and peace as the holiday of Hanukkah approaches.

Communications group of the Office of President

Happy Birthday, Liuba

Happy Birthday, Liuba

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes Liuba Šerienė a very happy birthday. Liuba is an integral part of Community operations, fielding phone calls and distributing information to Community members every day. We wish you always remain the Liuba we know and love! Mazl tov! Bis 120!

Lithuanian Jewish Community Invites You to Come Together and Help Others

Lithuanian Jewish Community Invites You to Come Together and Help Others

Dear Community members,

In this time of difficulties and challenges for us all, as the CoViD-19 pandemic runs amok, when many are forced to stay home, when we cannot meet with our children and grandchildren who live separately, when events can’t be held at the Community, we all miss meeting and talking.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to come together and help one another.

If you are a professional in your field, if you have a passion for some activity or an interesting hobby and you want to share your knowledge with Community members on the ZOOM platform or the LJC webpage, contact, telephone +370 6788 1514.

The most important task for us now is to remain healthy and to survive this complicated period. Let’s stick together!

Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman
Lithuanian Jewish Community

Honored on International Day of Tolerance

Honored on International Day of Tolerance

Information from the Ethnic Minorities Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania

The Ethnic Minorities Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania assembled an awards commission for their annual award November 18. Nominations were accepted from chairpeople of ethnic community organizations, minority NGOs, social organizations and cultural center directors for whom to award as part of the Department’s celebration of the International Day of Tolerance. The awards commission received 36 requests and recommendations for award recipients.

Alvida Gedaminskienė, the director of the social organization the Ethnic Communities Center, was chosen to receive the grand prize version of the award “For Merit.”

The next highest award was the golden award of respect “For Merit” and was awarded to Aldona Kodytė, a member of the Lithuanian Association of Belarussian Schools; Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky and to Kęstutis Zenonas Šafranavičius, the chairman of the Kaunas Regional Tartar Community.

Happy Birthday to Eugenijus Bunka

Happy Birthday to Eugenijus Bunka

We wish Eugenijus Bunka a happy 70th birthday. He created the Litvak Memorial Garden in the Žemaitijan National Park, is a great journalist, ethnographer and public figure.

Bunka was awarded the title of Tolerant Person of the Year for 2019. The award is made annually by the Chiune Sugihara/Diplomats for Life Foundation to Lithuanian citizens who stand up against xenophobia, anti-Semitism, radicalism and expressions of violence in Lithuanian public life by their words and deed.

Eugenijus has long led his father and sculptor Jakov Bunka’s fund, civic initiatives and restoring Jewish memory of Plungė, Žemaitija and Lithuania locally and around the world.

We wish you excellent health and may your life also be illuminated by happiness and joyful moments.

Mazl tov! Bis 120!

Happy Birthday,  Holem Shapsai

Happy Birthday, Holem Shapsai

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes a very happy birthday to Holem Shapsai, former ghetto prisoner, he survived the Holocaust until his liberation at the Dachau concentration camp complex. We wish him great health, strength and many more years to come. We know and love his wonderful sense of humor, his sincerity and his great knowledge.

Mazl tov! Bis 120!

Dr. Moshe Kantor Re-Elected President of the EJC

Dr. Moshe Kantor Re-Elected President of the EJC

Dr. Moshe Kantor has been re-elected the president of the European Jewish Congress by representatives of European Jewish communities. A press release from the EJC said there were no election violations and voting was safe and credible in the vote of confidence.

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was re-elected head of the EJC’s executive committee.

“I am honored and I feel the support shown by the Jewish leaders and communities across the entire Continent,” Dr. Kantor said. “European Jews are a powerful force in the Jewish world; we have remained in the forefront in fighting anti-Semitism, defending Jewish traditions and reviving Jewish communities and institutions.”

In recent months the EJC under Kantor’s leadership has undertaken new action helping provide support to Jewish communities and institutions, including schools, community centers and other organizations vitally important to European Jews facing the complex challenge of the corona virus epidemic.

Happy Birthday, Libė Britanskina

Happy Birthday, Libė Britanskina

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends heartfelt congratulations to Libė Britanskina on her milestone birthday and we wish you a happy birthday, great health and much joy!

Libė is said to the be the only Jew left from Utena and is an active member of the Community and our seniors club.

Mazl tov! May you live to 120!