Jewish Cuisine

Interview with LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky

Interview with LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky

“As the chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, I see my greatest assignment as not letting others forget we are Jews, and not letting Jews forget they are Jews,” LJC chairwoman and attorney Faina Kukliansky said in an interview Arkadijus Vinokuras conducted in Lithuanian for the Jewish discussion club #ŽydiškiPašnekesiai he founded and leads.

In the interview they discussed Community activities, money, protection of wooden and other synagogues, relations with ethnic Lithuanians, Holocaust and Righteous Gentile commemoration policies and the lack thereof, care for senior citizens including Holocaust survivors, cemetery maintenance, relations between the regional Jewish communities in Lithuania, a new kosher food outlet in Vilnius, anti-Semitism in the EU and Lithuania as well as the Lithuanian bureaucracy, the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum’s new Litvak identity museum and the future. The full interview in Lithuanian can be found below. Duration: 54:20.

Tu b’Shvat Celebration

Tu b’Shvat Celebration

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and Bnei Maskilim invite you to come celebrate the greenest of Jewish holidays, Tu b’Shvat, on Wednesday, January 24, starting at 6:30 P.M. at the LJC in Vilnius, located at Pylimo street no. 4. The cost is 5 euros per person. Registration is required by sending an email to viljamas@lzb.lt or by calling (+370) 67250699. Everyone is welcome.

Tu b’Shvat

Tu b’Shvat

This Thursday, January 25, is the Jewish holiday of Tu b’Shvat, the 15th day of the month of Shvat, the New Year for trees also known as Israeli Arbor Day. It is traditional to eat of the shvat ha’minim (seven species endemic to the Land of Israel): wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Hag sameakh!

LJC Rejects Jonava Cultural Center’s Anti-Semitic Activities

LJC Rejects Jonava Cultural Center’s Anti-Semitic Activities

The Regional History Museum of the Jonava Cultural Center in Jonava, Lithuania, posted an invitation on January 18 for the public to attend an arts workshop in the run-up to the Lithuanian holiday Užgavėnės, or Shrovetide:

“We invite you to a creative workshop for adults this January 22 at 2:00 P.M. called “Making Užgavėnės Masks!” We’ll use papier-mâché on wooden frames! … The function of having fun is the basis of this holiday, it’s essence and core! This is a day when social conventions are ignored, rules are broken and ethical and moral principles are transgressed! You can do anything, but only during this time!”

Unfortunately traditional masks made and worn on Užgavėnės include grotesque stereotypes of Jews and Roma.

Litvak Identity Museum Opening

Litvak Identity Museum Opening

Yesterday evening the Litvak Culture and Identity Museum opened next door to the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky spoke at the opening ceremony, saying the long-awaited exhibits would finally be made public and should be very interesting. She said the history of the Litvaks didn’t begin and end with the Holocaust, that we have a rich history which hasn’t gone away and that the new museum will offer the public a view of that history.

“We are neighbors, the Lithuanian Jewish Community is based right here, on the other side of the wall, in the same building, the former Tarbut gymnasium. We are alive and are celebrating our Jewish identity, and everyone who learns something here at the museum, we invite them to stop by the Community as well, to try our bagels, listen to music and participate in our events. Food, culture and other Community activities of which we are proud–these are all part of the Litvak identity,” Kukliansky said.

Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Hadas Wittenberg-Silverstein also spoke at the opening.

Lecture: The Miracle of Hanukkah

Lecture: The Miracle of Hanukkah

You’re invited to a lecture by Natalja Cheifec called The Miracle of Hanukkah this Wednesday at 5:30 P.M. via the zoom internet platform. You’ll learn:

-about Hanukkah as a holiday preserving tradition
-what the Most High does during Hanukkah
-why Jews gaze at candle flames during Hanukkah
-about Hanukkah doughnuts and Hanukkah gelt

Register and receive log-in credentials here: https://bit.ly/3K73kEE

Big Hanukkah Finale

Big Hanukkah Finale

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Vilnius Religious Jewish Community and the Shalom Aleichem ORT Gymnasium invite you to a big event to mark the eighth and final day of Hanukkah on Friday, December 15. It all happens at the Litexpo exhibit and concert center in Vilnius starting at 7:00 P.M. Students will perform a play called “Hanukkah: The Festival of Light,” the musical group Yes Duet will perform, the dance troupe Simcha will appear and Arkadijus Vinokuras will be there with another quiz/game show, along with more singing, dancing and dinner. Michailas Frišmanas will serve as master of ceremonies and madrichs will be on hand to provide child-care and children’s holiday activities.

The cost is €20 for adults and €10 for children under 13. Payment can be made by bank transfer to the LJC’s account LT067044060005757425 with purpose of payment indicated as Hanukkah and the names of the people for whom payment is being made. Registration must be made before December 13 by filling out the internet form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfR6VpFNmGPs9k_1z42Jwt20x563ULujZoIFInjcJuLi1VuDQ/viewform

For more information, call (+370) 659 52604.

Hope to see you there!

Light the First Hanukkah Light with Us

Light the First Hanukkah Light with Us

Hanukkah begins this Thursday, an eight-day winter holiday symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to attend the lighting of the first Hanukkah light with Rabbi Aharon Baskin at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius at 5:00 P.M. this Thursday, December 7. There will be wine, the traditional doughnuts and many new friends.

Challa Workshop

Challa Workshop

You’re invited to come to another challa-making workshop. This time we’ll make buns in the form of the star of David, and the workshop is dedicated to paying honor to the courageous soldiers defending our historical homeland, Israel, and to all the people of Israel caught up in the storm of war.

Time: 6:30 P.M., Friday, November 17
Place: Bagel Shop Café, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

Registration is required by writing zanas@sc.lzb.lt or calling +370 678 81514.

Am Yisrael khai.

Darna Festival to Celebrate International Day of Tolerance

Darna Festival to Celebrate International Day of Tolerance

The Lithuanian Jewish Community in concert with the Cvi Park enterprise again invite you to the Darna Festival of live music, poetry and photographic exhibits to celebrate UNESCO’s International Day of Tolerance.

The program includes an exhibit of photographs by Antanas Sutkus, Bartosz Frątczak and Andrey Kezzyn, snacks and drinks with live music at the Cvi Parkas kiosk in Petras Cvirka Square across the street from the LJC, a performance by students from the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium, a performance by Australian vocalist and musician Skye Magnus, Algis Davidavičius speaking on the topic of tolerance, poetry by Indrė Valantinaitė, piano music by Darius Mažintas and Duettissimo with Glebas Pyšniakas playing cello and Dalia Dedinskaitė on violin.

Cvi Parkas will serve vegetable dishes and desserts, natural wine and craft beer for customers. The event itself is free and open to the public. It starts around 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 16, on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

Schedule of Commemorative Events for the 80th Anniversary of the Anti-Nazi Resistance and Liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto

Schedule of Commemorative Events for the 80th Anniversary of the Anti-Nazi Resistance and Liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto

European Days of Jewish Culture

Time: Starts at 10:00 A.M. on September 3, 2023
Location: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius; Choral Synagogue, Pylimo street no. 39, Cvi Park (Petras Cvirka Square across the street from the Lithuanian Jewish Community).

Exhibit “Ghetto Children Tell Their Story to Contemporary Children”
Time: September 4 to September 30, 2023
Location: Adomas Mickevičius Public Library, Trakų street no. 10, Vilnius.

Special Concert to Remember Victims of the Holocaust
Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė, patroness
Time: September 6, 2023
Location: Lėlė Theater, Arklių street no. 5, Vilnius.
by invitation only

Panevėžys Jewish Community Celebrates New Year

Panevėžys Jewish Community Celebrates New Year

Rosh Hashana is one of the most important Jewish holidays. The new year 5784 has begun. A small picnic took place in the courtyard of the Panevėžys Jewish Community on September 17 with apples and honey and challa bread, and warm wishes were expressed for Jews around the world.

This year for the first time this century Lithuanian Jewish scouts from Vilnius visited the Panevėžys Jewish Community. They were returning from the Žalioji Forest where they had camped for two days with scouts from Panevėžys. The Panevėžys Jewish Community treated them to a tour of the town including stories about the Jews of Panevėžys and the Holocaust.

After a brief rest at the Community, the scouts joined Community members for a holiday meal including the traditional dishes which according to custom should be sampled in greeting the Jewish New Year.

European Days of Jewish Culture in Prienai

European Days of Jewish Culture in Prienai

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and Bagel Shop Café were invited to participate at the European Days of Jewish Culture in Prienai, Lithuania, on the eve of Rosh Hashana, where around 40% of the population was Jewish before the Holocaust. The local organizers of the event there demonstrated a keen interest in the Jewish past of their town and in what was until now exotic Jewish cuisine.

The event kicked off at the synagogue, one of two and the only one left standing, in the early afternoon with a planting of crocus bulbs outside the synagogue. Participants walked from there to the Vėlyvė café which used to house a famous restaurant belonging to the Milstein family. Litvak snacks, challa bread and humous were served with fresh bagels. Local genealogist Janina Paplauskaitė-Leonavičienė then told the story of the synagogue and the restaurant which belonged to the Milstein family.

Let’s Celebrate Rosh Hashana Together

Let’s Celebrate Rosh Hashana Together

The Lithuanian Jewish Community greets you on the occasion of the upcoming Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, 5784, and invites you and your entire family to come celebrate with us starting at 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 16, at the newly renovated Hotel Conti located at Raugyklos no. 7 in Vilnius.

The program includes greetings, a performance by the Fayerlakh Jewish song and dance ensemble, holiday meal (you can choose a meat or fish dish during registration, another concert called Zingen Mir a Lidele in Yiddish with the sololists Rita Alterman, Mariya Dushkina, Michailas Jablonsky and Leonardas Zenkevičius, plus much more.

Tickets are 25 euros for adults and 10 euros for children aged 13 and under. To register or receive more information, send an email to zanas@sc.lzb.lt or call (+370) 678 81514 between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. on weekdays.

European Days of Jewish Culture in Palanga

European Days of Jewish Culture in Palanga

On Thursday last week the Palanga Jewish Community invited the public and visitors to Lithuania’s main seaside resort town to a tour of Jewish sites there and a discussion of memory. The streets of the quaint town hold many stories and the old town synagogue there was a popular place for couples to get married, with brides and grooms arriving from all over Europe.

The walking tour demonstrated material heritage, and afterwards participants were treated to the Litvak culinary heritage in the form of the dish floimen tzimmes.

Pictures tell the full story.

Historical Drama in Klaipėda

Historical Drama in Klaipėda

Klaipėda residents were treated to fictional historical plays in situ and Rosh Hashana treats as part of European Days of Jewish Culture events in the Lithuanian port city September 10. A series of skits were performed in the Old Town by the Šatil theater troupe depicting Jewish experience, daily life, triumphs and misfortunes in the interwar period. This was followed by a presentation of Jewish folklore at the Puppet Theater in Klaipėda, formerly known as Memel under East Prussian rule.

Last Israeli Dance Workshop for Now

Last Israeli Dance Workshop for Now

Julija Patašnik is planning to hold her final Israeli dance lesson of the summer season at the Israeli street food kiosk in Petras Cvirka Square this Friday with beginners at 5:00 P.M. and more advanced dancers at 6:00 P.M. The food kiosk is closing for fall this Sunday evening. Stay tuned for more classes and workshops with Julija at other locations.

Panevėžys Jewish Community Invites You to Celebrate Rosh Hashana

Panevėžys Jewish Community Invites You to Celebrate Rosh Hashana

The Panevėžys Jewish Community is proposing a picnic in the Community’s courtyard as part of celebrations of the Jewish New Year, 5784, located at Ramygalos street no. 18 in Panevėžys. The plan is to meet at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 17, at the Panevėžys Jewish Community. If the weather is good the picnic will take place outside with holiday treats, food, gifts for children and Jewish calendars for members. If the weather isn’t good events will move inside. The event is free and open to the general public.

Live Music at Cvirka Park with Erica Jennings and Petras Geniušas

Live Music at Cvirka Park with Erica Jennings and Petras Geniušas

The Israeli street food kiosk at Petras Cvirka Park in Vilnius is opening the fall season with the start of a new series of Blue Mondays live music events. Tonight, Monday, September 4, vocalist Erica Jennings and piano virtuoso Petras Geniušas will share the stage. After the duet, guitarist Kopcevas will delight the audience with his enchanting airs. Entry is free and open to the public. It all starts at 7:30 P.M. at Petras Cvirka Park across the street from the Lithuanian Jewish Community located at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.