Greetings

Congratulations to Ruth Reches on Becoming Principal of the Vilnius Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium

Congratulations to Ruth Reches on Becoming Principal of the Vilnius Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, school students, parents and staff congratulate Ruth Reches on her selection to become the next principal of the Sholem Aleichem school in Vilnius. She had acted as temporary principal following the retirement of Miša Jokubas last year.

The world ORT organization has also sent congratulations to the new principal of their affiliate school.

Ruth has been doing an outstanding job as acting principal and we wish her continued success at the multicultural school which has consistently placed in the top ten best schools in Vilnius and Lithuania.

Ruth Reches recently earned a PhD in clinical psychology at an Israeli university following her master’s work at Vilnius University in the same subject. She has long worked at the Sholem Aleichem school as a Hebrew teacher and psychologist. She earned her teaching certificate in Vilnius as well at the Vilnius Pedagogical University.

Happy Birthday to Žana Skudovičienė

Happy Birthday to Žana Skudovičienė

Dear Žana,

We wish you a happy birthday. May you be surrounded by smiles and many happy days follow. You have collected so much experience and wisdom in your heart.

We wish you health, that all your wishes come true, that your work always be successful, and we wish you patience and resolve, and that you celebrate many happy birthdays in the summers to come!

Mazl tov!

Happy Birthday to Roza Bloch

Happy Birthday to Roza Bloch

Dear Roza,

The Lithuanian Jewish Community greets you on your birthday and wishes you great health, happiness, joy, that you remain young at heart and that your future always be bright!

Mazl tov! Bis 120!

§§§

The following text was posted by the Kaunas European Capital for 2022 project’s Memory Bureau internet site:

MEMORY OFFICE: R. BLOCH

Roza Gapanavičiūtė Bloch, a Litvak born in Kaunas in 1930, talks about her family’s experience during the Second World War in Kaunas ghetto, and later – in the Stutthof concentration camp. The Holocaust took almost all her loved ones – mother Anna, father Markus, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins… Roza ran across her brother Boris in the empty Laisvės Alėja in Kaunas, where she returned to after the war.

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.

Happy Birthday to Viktoras Reizinas

Happy Birthday to Viktoras Reizinas

The Lithuanian Jewish Community greets Viktoras Reizinas on his 80th birthday. Happy birthday, Viktoras. We wish you the best of health, much happiness, warmth and love.

Mazl tov. Bis 120!

Yerushalayim shel Zahav

Yerushalayim shel Zahav

If you start to stand up when you hear the song Yerushalayim shel Zahav, or Jerusalem of Gold, to pay your respect to the Israeli national anthem, don’t feel silly. The song was actually in the running for a while. Naomi Shemer’s song released just before the Six Day War became the most popular Hebrew-language song in the world and got serious airplay on American radio.

Happy Jerusalem Day.

Happy Birthday to Abramas Saksonovas

Happy Birthday to Abramas Saksonovas

Abramas Saksonovas, a survivor of the Holocaust, is celebrating his 90th birthday. The Lithuanian Jewish Community would like to add our greetings to those of everyone else celebrating Abramas’s important milestone.

Dear Abramas, we wish you great health, much happiness and a happy and fun birthday! Mazl tov! Bis 120!

Happy Birthday to Rozeta Ramonienė

Happy Birthday to Rozeta Ramonienė

Rozeta Ramonienė, the chairwoman of the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, celebrated her birthday on May 1.

Happy birthday, dear Rozeta! As the fragrant buds of spring emerge, we wish you long life, a very happy birthday celebration, much happiness and many happy days to come!

Mazl tov! May you live to 120!

Musical Happy Birthday from the Kaunas Jewish Community

Musical Happy Birthday from the Kaunas Jewish Community

As spring finally arrives, the Kaunas Jewish Community sends birthday greetings to our beloved member Liuba Stulgaitienė.

Liuba is very active in Community events, a member of the Yiddish Club, a member of the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners and a woman who always radiates positivity, optimism and joy. She smiles at the whole world despite all injuries experienced and the world answers her the same way.

Dear Liuba, keep being so young at heart, so energetic, so thirsty for knowledge and someone who is able to say the years are not a burden, but a rich experience.

Mazl tov! May you live to 120!

Faina Kukliansky Interviewed by Lithuanian Media on Yom haAtzma’ut

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky was interviewed by Lithuanian publicist Donatas Puslys on Yom haAtzma’ut, Israeli independence day, and spoke about what the holiday means to Jews in Lithuania, to her personally and to Jews around the world. She also spoke about the Holocaust, Litvaks living in Israel, the promise Eretz Israel held out to Soviet Jews and the country’s progress over the last 72 years. The interview was conducted in Lithuanian but concludes with warm wishes in Yiddish.

Yom haAtzma’ut, Israeli Independence Day

Yom haAtzma’ut, Israeli Independence Day

Israelis began celebrating 72 years of statehood this year by greeting medical personnel. A torch-lighting ceremony began without an audience in honor of Israel’s doctors, nurses, care-givers, hospital staff and volunteers who have been fighting the Wuhan virus, with many fireworks displays and hospital fly-overs by the Israeli Air Force canceled.

Most Israelis marked Independence Day at home.

Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the nation in a video saying “We’ve never celebrated this kind of Independence Day. We are in a physical sense far from one another, but we’ve never been closer.” Praising hospital workers Netanyahu added “The day will come when embraces return… But we still can’t do this because the pandemic is still here.”

Knesset speaker Benny Gantz lit a torch on the eve of Independence Day and spoke of national unity, saying Israelis must prepare for even more difficult days, and called for creating “a new moral face of the country.”

Happy 100th Birthday to Eta Gurvčiūtė

Happy 100th Birthday to Eta Gurvčiūtė

Happy birthday to Eta Gurvčiūtė as she turns 100. Lithuanian Jewish Community member Eta Gurvčiūtė turned 100 April 27. Clear of mind, with no health complaints and her beautiful smile, she is busy receiving greetings and congratulations today. She was graduated from the Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium before World War II.

Many of our other seniors remember Eta because she volunteered at the medical center of the LJC for so many years, later becoming a client herself. She spends her time these days at the Social Care House for Seniors in Vilnius now.

To celebrate her milestone, the LJC is planning a Fayerlakh concert for everyone at her senior citizens’ home. ALthough she’s celebrating her birthday under strict quarantine at the senior center, the Lithuanian Jewish Center tried to send her a present anyway. We managed to have a vase of flowers and a card delivered.

Greetings from Lithuanian Parliament on Gaon’s 300th Birthday

Greetings from Lithuanian Parliament on Gaon’s 300th Birthday

Dear Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Mrs. Faina Kukliansky, dear Lithuanian Jewish Community,

We mark the 300th anniversary of that most exalted Litvak, Eliyahu ben Solomon Zalman, the Vilna Gaon. The parliament of the Republic of Lithuania named this year, 2020, the Year of the Vilna Gaon and Litvak History, to stress the priceless contribution the Jewish community, an inseparable part of our society for 700 years now, has made to Lithuania’s history, culture, learning and consolidation of statehood through your adherence to tradition and social activity.

In all times there have been people who do not conform to the canons of their era, who through their creativity and unconventional thinking have changed the world. The Jewish people have given so much to the world. One of them, the Gaon or Genius of Vilna, Eliyahu ben Solomon Zalman, was a scholar of Jewish texts and law and a Talmud interpreter and scholar. This was a brave challenge during his times but, happily, Eliyahu grew up in an intellectual environment and was supported by his family and appreciated by the community. Rumors about the young sage and his intellect spread far beyond the limits of Vilnius. The Vilna Gaon became the most renowned religious authority and he changed people’s life paths, thought and the concept of Litvak, and turned Vilnius into a Jewish spiritual center, the Jerusalem of Lithuania. This is a priceless historical, cultural and philosophical legacy of the Jews and Lithuanians of Vilnius and Lithuania and of the other peoples who live in Lithuania.

The Year of the Vilna Gaon and Litvak History is a great opportunity for all of us today, in the words of the Gaon, “to see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears and feel with our entire heart” what significant and rich heritage we have in creating the Lithuania of our future. Congratulations!

[signed]
Gediminas Kirkilas, deputy speaker, chairman of the European Affairs Committee
Lithuanian parliament

Jewish Confederation of Ukraine Sends Congratulations on 300th Birthday of Gaon

Jewish Confederation of Ukraine Sends Congratulations on 300th Birthday of Gaon

April 24, 2020

Dear friends!

The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine sincerely congratulates you on the 300th anniversary of the Vilna Gaon who is a symbol of wisdom and spirituality for Jews around the world.

The memory of the great leader of the best Jewish traditions and laws stands beyond the constraints of time and brings together generations of Jews.

May the brilliant heritage of the Vilnius Gaon help the Lithuanian Jewish Community to successfully develop and increase the traditions embodied in his philosophical teaching.

Jewish Confederation of Ukraine