The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to a Sabbath conducted by Rabbi Nathan Alfred and cantor Alan Brava at 7:00 P.M. this Friday, June 2, with kiddush at the Bagel Shop Café and prayer service at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. People 16 and under get in for free. To register, send an email to email@example.com or call +37067250699.
Community Celebrates Shavuot
The Lithuanian Jewish Community held three different events to celebrate Shavuot or Shavuos, the Feast of Weeks, last Sunday. At the riverside north of Vilnius parents and children played games and the children learned how to barbecue and roast marshmallows, and sampled some more traditional dishes. At the same time Julija Potašnik taught Israeli dance at Cvirka Park across the street from the Community. Later more than a 100 people attended a concert performed by Jewish song and dance ensemble Fayerlakh featuring the Community’s younger singers and dances. The concert was followed by holiday food and drink.
Lithuanian Jewish TV Program Features Faina Kukliansky’s Herring Appetizer Recipe
The Jewish program Menora on Lithuanian state television has included a segment on the popular Jewish appetizer made with minced herring. This particular herring appetizer is truly Litvak in nature. Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman put on a kitchen apron and shared her family recipe for making the snack with the Lithuanian television audience. The segment is included in the April 30 broadcast available in Lithuanian here.
Passover at the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community
The Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community began celebrating Passover April 5, beginning with the seder in the evening, the first one on the evening of April 5 led by Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky’s sons. On April 6 members of the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community gathered at the Žemaitis restaurant for the second evening’s seder. Community chairman Naum Gleizer greeted the celebrants who were served the traditional Passover dishes. Community member Vadimas Kamrazeris provided for the Jewish music at the restaurant, which led to sing-alongs and dancing.
Passover in Kaunas
The Kaunas Jewish Community sent in some snapshots from Passover celebrations in Lithuania’s second city. The holiday celebration there included the traditional dishes, a concert, dance music and even a quiz for people to test their knowledge of Passover.
Passover at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius
Passover is usually a family holiday where everyone sits down at the seder table, reads the Hagadah, samples the traditional dishes and has fun. What about those who don’t have families?
LJC programs director Žana Skudovičienė said: “Many of our Community’s elderly are alone. Their families have left and their friends are busy. We are their family, so we celebrate together.”
Professionals prepared the meals for the seniors at the seder and LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky greeted everyone with Passover.
Our younger members certainly don’t lack for attention from their families, but even so, Žana Skudovičienė organized a special seder for young people.
Results from Passover Drawing Contest
We are pleased to announce we received a number of drawings, water colors and works in other media in our Passover children’s drawing contest. A surprising number of young people in the Community responded, some sending in multiple entries. We were also pleasantly surprised by the talent demonstrated, and insights into the inner life of our children. Some of the entries reminded us of the work of Marc Chagall and Samuel Bak. It was simply too difficult to decide on any one winner, but all contestants will receive a package of chocolate-coated matzo. A big thank-you to all the parents who helped as well.
Why Are Thousands Flocking to a Small Town in Central Lithuania?
A special place in the center of Lithuania: why does “Jewish” mean “backwards,” and why are packed buses arriving in this small town?
The small town of Krakės in the Kėdainiai region of central Lithuania is a special place. When you get there, you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different world. The community’s café Svetainė [Parlor] looks like an ordinary café, but thousands of people from all over Lithuania come by every year. It’s the Jewish cuisine which draws these people to Krakės.
A small group of enthusiasts from the Lithuanian town came up with a Jewish culinary and cultural education program called “One hundred and fifty years in the Jewish neighborhood: why Jewish means backwards.”
Krakės community center director Daiva Dubinkienė said initially the idea was to establish a cozy café in town, but the idea immediately grew to include an educational program.
The Life section of 15min.lt interviewed community center director Daiva Dubinkienė and the cook Lina Gaučiene, who makes Jewish dishes.
Q. We are meeting at the Svetainė café. When you cross the threshold, it really seems as if you’ve entered a different reality. It’s a cozy spot.
Lesson on Passover
Natalja Cheifec will do a post-Passover wrap-up on zoom at 5:30 P.M. on April 17, touching on everything you need to know but might have been afraid to ask, including:
• How the Hebrews became slaves in Egypt
• How the Egyptians oppressed the Hebrews
• Moses, leader of the Hebrew people
• Reasons for the exodus
• How God punished the Egyptians, the 10 plagues
• Preparations for the holiday of Passover: why yeast and fermented goods must be dispensed with
• Components of Passover holiday celebration including matzo, the four cups of wine and other required components.
To register and receive zoom credentials, go to https://bit.ly/3K73kEE
Illustration: Seder Table by Lynne Feldman
History in Photographs: Passover
Above: Two girls eating matzo at Rothschild Center in Vienna, post-WWII. Yad Vashem archives.
Passover in Utena, Lithuania, before WWII. Yad Vashem.
Nancy Sasson Travels to Panevėžys Seeking Family Roots
Last week Nancy Sasson from the United States arrived in Panevėžys seeking genealogical information about her family. She believes her grandfather and perhaps great-grandfather lived in Panevėžys. She was accompanied by her old friend from Lithuania Vaida Zlatkutė and a guide who travelled from Israel to help.
Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman received them warmly and he and the Israeli guide gave the two women a tour of the city, pointing out significant Jewish locations and telling the Litvak story, the many important cultural contributions Litvaks made and the horrific end they suffered.
Nancy Sasson was visibly moved during the tour down the streets and sidewalks once traversed by her forebears.
Matzo on Sale
Matzo has arrived for Passover and is available in 450 gram for 5 euros and 1 kilogram boxes for 10 euros at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius, on workdays except Tuesday, from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Cvi Park Kiosk and Performance Space Ready for Spring
Spring is in the air and the Israeli street food kiosk and performance space Cvi Park at the former Cvirka square in Vilnius is getting ready for a new season of food and all kinds of music.
Music such as that performed by violinist Dalia Dėdinskaitė and cellist Gleb Pyšniak at Cvi Park in the past: http://shorturl.at/xGQZ6
Sunday Quiz: Why Is This Night Like No Other?
Next Sunday’s quiz at the Bagel Shop Café is called “What Is Passover?” As usual, accomplished circus clown and investigative journalist Arkadijus Vinokuras will lead the fun, and shut-ins will be able to at least watch on the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s facebook page. It all happens at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 2. Be there or be late to the table.
Purim Celebration at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius
Tuesday evening, March 7, Community members and friends gathered at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius to celebrate Purim. The Book of Esther was read, the congregation was in high spirits, everyone got the traditional hamentashen pastries and some not so traditional variations, and the children dazzled everyone with their amazing costumes.