We wish a very happy birthday to Algirdas Macas, the chairman of the Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community. While we wish him the traditional things, happiness and health, we also wish him the energy and fire he harbors in his heart and has shown in his leadership of the Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community, and we wish him many friends and happy days on his road of life. Mazl tov. Bis 120!
On June 23, 1921, the first Jewish athletics league Makabi began operating, giving rise to the Jewish athletics movement in Šiauliai. In 2021 the Šiauliai Jewish sports association Makabi is celebrating its 100th birthday. To mark the milestone year, the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community, the Aušra Museum and the Gegužių pre-gymnasium in Šiauliai carried out a project in May and June of this year called “Sport: An Indivisible Part of Life of the Successful Person.”
On May 25 the young chess players from the area competed in a virtual chess championship, organized by the Community and local Makabi Club chairman Eduard Šer. Nine teams from eight local schools competed. Aušra Museum historian Antanas Jankūnas shared interesting facts about sports in Šiauliai before the matches began.
On June 9 a large gathering of local students attended a virtual event to celebrate Šiauliai Makabi’s 100th birthday. The students learned the story of athletics in Šiauliai from historian Antanas Jankūnas and took part in a quiz about sports.
The members and staff of the Lithuanian Jewish Community are pleased to congratulate Faina Kukliansky on her re-election as chairwoman of the LJC.
Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda held the traditional reception at the President’s Office to celebrate July 6, Coronation of King Mindaugas, with many honored guests invited.
Although the celebration was scheduled to being at 7:00 P.M., invited guests began gathering earlier outside the building. Attendees were dressed in their finest and displayed a festive mood. Snapshots from the event are available here.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes Aleksandras Asovskis a very happy birthday this milestone year. Mazl tov. Bis 120!
The Lithuanian Jewish Community congratulates Rūta Ribinskaitė for successfully defending and taking first place among final works for earning a bachelor’s degree at the International Relations and Political Science Institute of Vilnius University. Her work was titled “(Un)Fading Stereotypical Images of Jews: A Qualitative Analysis of the Internet News Site Delfi.lt.”
She told us: “Thank you for the opportunity to connect with the Jewish community, to acquire a lot of information, to gain experience and get to know members of the community, which led to my successful completion of studies.”
Way to go, Rūta.
Happy birthday to Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Yossi Avni-Levy. Here are some archive pictures of his first visit to LJC headquarters.
Happy birthday to Fania Brantsovskaya, our living link with former Lithuania before the Holocaust. A Jewish partisan, she kept fighting after the war, educating generations about the truth of what happened. Most of us at a certain age in adulthood begin to slow down, to rise more slowly from our chairs, to walk more cautiously. Fania never did. She still walks with a spring in her step as if she were a teenager, with a smile for everyone and ready to talk to anyone without regard for social status. Happy birthday, Fania. Mazl tov! Bis 120!
As Jews prepare for the Sabbath this Friday, blessing the wine and the end of the week with prayer, we would like to bless Israel with a more peaceful situation as a cease-fire comes into effect after 11 days of thousands of rockets raining down from the Gaza Strip. We will light candles and say a blessing for Israelis to hold peace and a peaceful life dear. Shabat shalom!
“What we are depends on what the Sabbath is to us. The law of the Sabbath day is in the life of the spirit what the law of gravitation is in nature” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) writes on page 89 in his book “The Sabbath” (1951).
On Fridays Jews in Israel always wish one another “shabat shalom,” the peace of the Sabbath, and Lithuanian Jews wish the Jews in Israel and everywhere the same thing. Shabat shalom!
Illustration: Shavuot: The Harvest by Harry Lieberman, c. 1934
Greetings on Shavuos (Shavuot) or the Feast of Weeks with an educational video in Lithuanian about the holiday.
Members of the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community remembered the victims of World War II on May 9. Thank you to all the heroes who fought the Nazis from 1939 to 1945 for the sake of freedom and peace, for our future and for the opportunity given us today to take joy in each new day.
On May 9, Israel will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim. Tell us more about this day and its significance.
Prior to the founding of the State of Israel, Jerusalem had different rulers, but it was always part of the prayer and the identity of the Jewish people. We have always called Jerusalem our eternal capital.
All the synagogues of the world are built in such a way that the prayers are directed towards Jerusalem, and during our two most important festivals–Pesach and Yom Kipur—we wish to meet each other in Jerusalem next year. Today, Jerusalem is also mentioned in our anthem: “The Land of Zion and Jerusalem” (in Hebrew, Zion is used as a synonym for the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel).
On June 27, 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War and regained its historic capital, Jerusalem, which was later recognized as the official capital of Israel by the country’s parliament. Twenty years later, on the 28th day of the month of Iyar in 1998, Yom Yerushalayim was declared a public holiday.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky personally visited World War II veterans in their homes to congratulate them on Victory Day. There are only six such veterans known to be resident in Vilnius. Warm wishes and congratulations to RIva Spiz, Aleksandr Asovski, Boris Lipnicki, Fania Brantsovksaya, Eliziejus Rimanas and Tatyana Arkhipova-Efros.
Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalaim, will be celebrated on May 9 and 10 this year in Israel. Vilnius, the Jerusalem of Lithuania, is also celebrating the day. The Israeli embassy in conjunction with the Lithuanian Theater, Music and Cinema Museum is staging an exhibit of contemporary international photography featuring the holy city called “Jerusalem as a City of Culture.” From May 6 to 9 beginning at 9:00 P.M. each evening the exhibit will be projected on the wall of the Salomėja Nėris Gymnaisum on Vilniaus street in the Vilnius Old Town. The exhibit features works by artists from around the world featuring the city of Jerusalem, its charm and spirit.
This project by Israeli artist Adi Yekutieli is part of the My Jerusalem project and will be demonstrated in cities around the world this year. It includes photography by Lithuania’s Giedrė Mikalauskaitė called “Spiritual Light of Jerusalem.”
We wish Adasa Skliutauskaitė a happy birthday this milestone year and have sent her a bouquet of flowers in the name of the Community.
We sincerely congratulate the accomplished painter, graphic artist and puppeteer and wish her many warm moments in daily life, wonderful pictures and that she continue to enchant us with her extraordinary enthusiasm and colors. May the passage of the years never change the warmth of your eyes and heart. We wish you a long and beautiful life.
Be healthy and happy.
Mazl tov. Bis 120!
Lag ba’Omer is a minor Jewish holiday celebrated with bonfires and an occasion for weddings and cutting children’s hair. It happens approximately one month after Passover, and the name means the 33rd day of the of the Omer count, on the 18th day of the Jewish month of Iyar, which is about the midpoint in time between Passover and Shavuot.
Lag ba’Omer, according to tradition, was the day on which the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples stopped (Yebamoth, 62:72). For this reason it is customary to cease mourning customs of the Omer period, which include prohibition of marriages, cutting hair, and public expressions of joy such as singing and dancing. Some traditions hold that the period of mourning ends at Lag ba’Omer and others end it three days before the holiday of Shavuot.
We congratulate you on your energy and vitality. The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes you good health and warmth every year. You turned 100 last year and received greetings from the city in the name of all residents of Vilnius. This year you have enchanted us all and inspired everyone with your smile, sincerity, clear memory and unfading sense of humor. You are an example to all of us.
Mazl tov! Bis 120!
Vilnius marked Israel’s 73rd independence day by illuminating three main bridges in the colors of the Israeli flag, blue and white, for the duration of the 24-hour period.
Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Yossi Avni-Levy and Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky on the White Bridge in Vilnius April 14, 2021.