Learning

Columbia U Locks Jewish Professor Out

Columbia U Locks Jewish Professor Out

Outspoken Jewish professor barred from Columbia campus while administration turns blind eye to even bigger tent city springing up

New York, New York–A Columbia University professor who has been a vocal critic of the administration’s response to the ongoing anti-Israel student protests was barred from campus Monday after he tried to lead a pro-Jewish rally at the Ivy League college.

Israel-born Shai Davidai, an assistant professor at Columbia Business School and an outspoken supporter of the Jewish state, was told that his ID had been “deactivated,” even as a massive new tent city sprang up on the Morningside Heights campus with some 200 protesters–all of whom would have had to use their Columbia IDs to get in.

Davidai said he was locked out because he asked university staff at a meeting whether Hamas was a terrorist group or not. After deactivating his entrance card, security offered to escort the Jewish man to Columbia’s mathematics department, claiming they couldn’t insure his safety anywhere else on campus.

Story and pictures here.

Passover Greetings from Australian Opposition Leader

Passover Greetings from Australian Opposition Leader

Leader of the Liberal Party Peter Dutton sends Passover greetings to the Jewish community:

On behalf of the Coalition, my warmest wishes to Australia’s resilient Jewish community as you celebrate Passover.

A festival that acknowledges the importance of faith, fortitude and freedom, Passover is of profound significance for Jewish people around the world.

This year, the events of October 7–and the unprecedented level of anti-Semitism that has ensued–have cast a shadow over Passover celebrations.

The world must never forget what happened last year on that day of depravity. The monsters of Hamas acted with glee as they tormented their victims. They brutally murdered 1,200 people in what was the greatest loss of Jewish life on a single day since the Holocaust. And they vowed to repeat their savagery many times over until Israel is annihilated.

Passover Greetings from Faina Kukliansky

Passover Greetings from Faina Kukliansky

Dear reader,

Passover is one of the most important and most beautiful weeks on the Jewish calendar when we celebrate liberation from slavery and our becoming a free and proud people.

Every year we sit at the Passover table, eat the traditional foods, drink sweet wine, take joy in life and read the Haggadah and passages from the Song of Songs. The main thing is being together with family and that no one, whether rich or poor, be left unfed, if there is a way to invite him to our table. This is how it always has been, year after year and century after century.

Over the eight days of the holiday, we symbolically refrain from eating leavened food and we take joy in our freedom and in our historical homeland, Israel, which no one will ever be able to take away from us, not with rockets nor with drones.

We wish everyone freedom and dignity just as we wish these for the Jewish state, and we pray for the hostages still held in captivity.

Hag sameakh. Am Yisrael khai!

Plaque Commemorating Herman Perelstein to Be Unveiled in Kaunas

Plaque Commemorating Herman Perelstein to Be Unveiled in Kaunas

The Kaunas Jewish Community invites you to a ceremony to unveil a plaque commemorating Herman Perelstein this Wednesday.

Last year we celebrated the 100th birthday of the amazingly talented teacher and professor Herman Perelstein. His Ąžuoliukas boys and young men’s choir became and is a Lithuanian cultural phenomenon.

The plaque commemorating this Lithuanian musical legend was made by Gediminas Pašvenskas and will be located on the building where Perelstein lived, which now houses the Museum of the Amsterdam School, at Vytauto prospect no. 58 in Kaunas. The unveiling ceremony will include a performance by the Varpelis boys’ choir. Everyone is welcome.

Time: 12:00 noon, Wednesday, April 24
Place: Vytauto prospect no. 58, Kaunas

Condolences

We are sad to report the untimely death of Gediminas Kirkilas. Born in 1952, he was a politician, a social democrat, served as prime minister and was a true friend of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. At the heart of the government and in opposition he was instrumental in Lithuania’s efforts to address the enduring injustice of the Holocaust and in compensation payments for lost, destroyed and nationalized Jewish communal and religious property. Our deepest condolences to his many friends and family members.

Shabbat Hagadol

Shabbat Hagadol

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites everyone to Shabbat haGadol, the Great Sabbath, the last Sabbath before Passover, an evening full of tradition which will serve as preparation for the Passover celebration.

Over the course of the evening, under the tutelage of Viljamas Žitkauskas, we will go over the main parts of the seder, learn about keara, the Passover seder plate, read the Haggadah and enjoy the Sabbath meal in pleasant company.

Registration required by sending an email to zanas@sc.lzb.lt. The cost is 5 euros per person with children 3 and under free.

Time: 7:00 P.M., Friday, April 19
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius

Evening Dedicated to the Legendary Fania Lewando

Evening Dedicated to the Legendary Fania Lewando

Fania Lewando was a legend of interwar Vilnius, an exceptional personality, an innovator, an excellent cook and an entrepreneur, inspiring thousands of fans even after her death.. An event organized by the Polish Institute and the Lithuanian Jewish Community and held last week was dedicated to her.

A detailed account based on years of research by Magdalena Maślak, a cultural historian and the curator of the Pauline Museum of Jewish History in Poland, painted a vivid portrait of the unusually strong personality of Fania Lewando, and Alessia di Donato, a chef from Rome, an expert in Ashkenazi and Sephardic cuisine, prepared risotto with white wine according to one of Lewando’s recipes and revealed all the intricacies of her vegetarian cuisine.

“I am often asked why I became interested in Fania Lewando’s recipes. In fact, I admire not only her dishes, but also her personality. She was an extraordinary woman, brave, active, full of ideas ahead of her time,” says the Italian, who has been living and working in Poland for ten years.

Culinary Evening

Culinary Evening

You’re invited to attend an evening of discussion, demonstration and sampling of the recipes of interwar vegetarian restaurant owner and cook Fania Lewando. Lewando operated a restaurant in Vilnius with a cult following in the period between the two world wars. Artists and the city elite frequented her establishment. Chef Alessia di Donato originally from Rome will provide samples of dishes made according to the recipes Lewando left us in her cook book. Cultural anthropologist Magdalena Maślak from Poland will also tell stories about Lewando.

Registration is required by sending an email to info@lzb.lt. Everyone is invited to attend.

Time: 5:00 P.M., Thursday, April 11
Place: Bagel Shop Café, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

Makabi Shooting Comp

Makabi Shooting Comp

The Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club will hold a pistol shooting competition at the GSKA shooting range in Vilnius this Sunday.

Each competitor gets fifteen rounds with the first five shots as trial shots. The shooter’s score will consist of two scores: trial shots and those which are supposed to count. Although there isn’t any strict allotment of time for each participant, in order to use our time at the shooting range wisely we’ll ask each shooter to spend not more than 3 and a half minutes on the trial shoots and 10 minutes on official shots.

Registration is required by April 12 by sending an email to info.maccabilt@gmail.com. The cost per participant is 23 euros, of which the participant pays 11 euros with Makabi subsidizing the remaining 12 euros.

Time: 10:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M., Sunday, April 14
Place: GSKA shooting range, Mindaugo street no. 43, Vilnius. Entrance from Punsko street.

Lithuanian Makabi Rep at Future Leaders Conference

Lithuanian Makabi Rep at Future Leaders Conference

Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club member Alanas Rynkevičius participated at the Future Leaders forum in Paris from March 28 to 31, a gathering of youth leaders from the various Maccabi organizations throughout Europe.

The forum addressed the topic of anti-Semitism. Other topics, strategies and projects were discussed including the upcoming European Maccabi youth games in London.

Women’s Club to Meet Friday

Women’s Club to Meet Friday

Women are invited to the Women’s Club meeting this Friday where we’ll prepare for Passover which is coming soon. We’ll talk about traditions from over the millennia and from more recent times and we’ll learn how to make Litvak matzo kneydlakh and a huge matzo cake.

Time: 6:30 P.M., Friday, April 12
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius

Registration required. Send an email to zanas@lzb.lt or call (+370) 678 81514.

We hope to see you there.

International Romani Day

International Romani Day

March 8 is International Romani Day. According to wikipedia:

“The International Romani Day (April 8) is a day to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of the issues facing Romani people. The day was officially declared in 1990 in Serock, Poland, the site of the fourth World Romani Congress of the International Romani Union (IRU), in honour of the first major international meeting of Romani representatives, 7–12 April 1971 in Chelsfield near London.”

It is believed the Romani arrived from Poland in the Lithuanian Grand Duchy, including present-day Belarus, in the late 15th or early 16th century. They are officially recognized as one of Lithuania’s historical ethnic minorities. They were also targeted for extermination as an undesirable ethnic group by the Nazis.

Raimondas Savickas Retrospective

Raimondas Savickas Retrospective

The Savickas Picture Gallery at J. Tumo-Vaižganto street no. 5 in Vilnius will host an exhibit of Savickas’s works and will present a catalog of works called “Raimondas Savickas: A Metaphysical Interpretation of Reality” at 6:00 P.M. this Friday, April 5. This is a great opportunity to hear the artist speak and what other professionals and friends of the artist think about his work.

Remembering the Kinder Aktion in the Kaunas Ghetto

Remembering the Kinder Aktion in the Kaunas Ghetto

Wednesday evening the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Aktion in the Kaunas ghetto was marked in the Slobodka neighborhood of Kaunas where the ghetto gates once stood. Around 1,700 children and elderly were rounded up and murdered.

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said the records for prisoners in the Kaunas ghetto had been lost and it wasn’t known exactly how many people were imprisoned there and murdered.

Kaunas Jewish Community chairman Gercas Žakas recalled some children were smuggled out of the ghetto in bags of potatoes.

Quiz

Quiz

The “Kas? Kur? Kada?” [Who? What? Where?] quiz continues next Friday at 7:00 P.M., led by Irina Slutsker. The cost is 5 euros per participant with electronic transfer of funds made to Lithuanian Jewish Community at account no. LT 06 7044 0600 0575 7425 for the purpose of PROTMŪŠIS. Registration is required by Wednesday, April 3, by calling (+370) 678 81514 or writing zanas@sc.lzb.lt. The quiz will be conducted in Lithuanian.

Time: 7:00 P.M., April 5
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius

Purim in Panevėžys

Purim in Panevėžys

Members of the Panevėžys Jewish Community gathered to celebrate Purim, a happy holiday in the first month of spring.

“The holiday of Purim is full of fun, a sense of community and the belief in the Jewish people as a strong nation able to withstand all misfortunes,” Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman said. A letter from Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky and holiday greetings from friends of the local and national Community were also read.

There were the traditional Purim skits, carnival costumes and masks. Passages from the Book of Esther were dramatized, with Aleksandras Narevič playing Persian king Ahasuerus, Katrin Krasnačarova as Esther, Rolandas Paltinas as Mordechai and Timuras Jarovskis playing the evil Haman.

Tenth Yortsayt for Simon Alperovitch

Tenth Yortsayt for Simon Alperovitch

This week will mark the tenth anniversary of the death of long-serving chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community Simon Alperovitch. Come pay your respects, share your memories and take a look at the documentary film “Aš kažkaip laimingas žmogus” [Somehow I’m a Happy Man] made by Junona Berznicki and Gintarė Zakarauskaitė.

Time: 1:00 P.M., Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Place: Third floor, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius

For more information, contact Žana at (+370) 678 81514 or zanas@sc.lzb.lt.

Purim at the LJC

Purim at the LJC

There are many holidays throughout the year we celebrate at home with close family members, but Purim isn’t one of them. The point is to go out, celebrate, enjoy life and have fun. On Sunday the Lithuanian Jewish Community and Bnei Maskilim held a public Purim celebration in Vilnius with costume play, a reading from the Book of Esther, holiday treats and much sincere conversation.

LJC and Sholem Aleichem School Celebrate Purim

LJC and Sholem Aleichem School Celebrate Purim

An audience of more than 400 from the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium celebrated Purim at the Legendos music club in Vilnius Friday. The selection of costumes was fantastic and there was a program entertaining to young and old alike with song and dance by the students, a drumming concert which involved all assembled, imaginative tricks by master-of-ceremonies Michailas Frišmanas and delicious food.

Thank you to the entire student body and staff of Sholem, LJC executive director Michailas Segalas and everyone who sang, danced, beat drums, laughed and took part in this unforgettable evening of celebration.