Learning

WJC Hanukkah Greetings

WJC Hanukkah Greetings

Dear Friends,

The Festival of Lights will soon be upon us, but it is a dark time for the Jewish people. We recently witnessed the horrific scenes of the slaughter perpetrated by Hamas in Israel and the abduction of children, women and men. This vile hatred has spread like a malignant cancer and has led to an exponential rise in anti-Semitism around the world.

When the Maccabees stood up to those who sought to suppress Jewish life and traditions and found the Temple in ruins, they persevered. With only enough oil to light the Menorah for one night, they didn’t lose faith. Tragically, the story of Hanukkah takes on greater relevance and urgency this year.

We are all encouraged some points of light have been able to penetrate the darkness with the release of dozens of individuals who had been held captive, and we pray for the speedy release of all the remaining hostages.

It is my fervent hope that you are fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Hanukkah with your loved ones, and that the light of the Menorah will illuminate a path toward better days ahead for us all.

With warmest wishes to you this Hanukkah,

Ronald S. Lauder, president
World Jewish Congress

Hanukkah Celebration for Seniors

Hanukkah Celebration for Seniors

The Saul Kagan Welfare Center of the Lithuanian Jewish Community greets you all on Hanukkah and invites our clients to come celebrate Hanukkah at 1:00 P.M. on December 13 on the third floor of the LJC in Vilnius. Registration is required by calling (+370) 678 81514. Please register before 3:00 P.M. on Monday, December 11.

Hag sameakh!

Let’s Make a Hanukkah Miracle Happen

Let’s Make a Hanukkah Miracle Happen

Hanukkah begins today at sundown. The eight-day holiday symbolizes the miracle of the victory of light over darkness. Today Sandra Cohen from Lithuania and her two sons Liam and Dylan need that kind of miracle.

Sandra, a Lithuanian citizen, lived peacefully with her three children in the Be’eri kibbutz until October 7, when Hamas attacked.

The terrorists entered Sandra’s home. Her husband Oher was brutally murdered and her son Liam was wounded by ricochet fragments. Her 10-month-old daughter Mila was shot in her mother’s arms. The bullet passed through the baby and wounded Mila. Her three-year-old son Dylan survived but experienced extreme trauma. Everything took place in front of the family.

Sandra has been recovering at Ikhilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for two months now. She still needs surgery to remove the bullet from her body. Liam is also recovering from his wounds, and all three surviving family members still need a good deal of time to return to some semblance of normal life.

They have no home to which to return. The terrorists burnt their home and those of others on the kibbutz to the ground. Everything they had and treasures was lost–photographs, children’s drawings, toys… Only one photo survived, that of Mila, on her Lithuanian passport, which Sandra still hadn’t received on October 7.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites everyone to help make a Hanukkah miracle happen by helping Sandra’s family. Even the smallest donation is very welcome for helping Sandra and her children.

In Lithuania donations can be made by addressing a bank transfer to “Lietuvos žydų (litvakų) bendruomenė” at the bank account LT167044060000907924 for Sandra Cohen.

In other countries address your donation to Sandra Cohen at Bank Hapoalim B.M., IBAN number IL84-0126-3400-0000-0168-502, SWIFT code POALILIT.

Thank you.

Maria Krupoves Lecture and Concert

Maria Krupoves Lecture and Concert

Eastern European folklore and folk-song expert and performer Maria Krupoves-Berg will present a lecture and concert at the Lithuanian National Library’s Hall of Statehood at 6:00 P.M. on December 14. The event is free and open to the public.

The event called “The Sounds of Eastern European Jewish History and Music” sponsored by the National Library’s Judaica Studies Center will talk about and demonstrate genres of Yiddish song and how some songs became a kind of national anthem, accompanying Ashkenazi and especially Litvaks at crucial points in history, reflecting yidishe neshama, Jewish identity. Krupoves will perform with Boris Kizner on violin. The scheduled duration is one and a half hours.

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!

Annual Makabi Doubles Tennis Championship

Annual Makabi Doubles Tennis Championship

The Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club held their annual doubles tennis championship at Vilnius’s SEB Arena November 19, where new players as well as veterans made a very good showing.

Players competed in Light and Hard categories for newcomers and old hands.

Among the promising newer players were the brothers Danielis and Emilis Čeliadinas. Accomplished player Alisa Gaivaronskytė didn’t disappoint, and neither did the brothers Kęstutis and Norbertas Faktarovičius. Alisa with teammate Danielius Merkinas took first place, followed by the Faktarovičius duo, with Marius Zimanas and Donaldas Andziulis placing third. Danielis and Emilis took a very respectable fourth place.

In the veterans’ group Makabi’s Valentina Finkelštein with Aniceta Zamalaitienė came in first, followed by Ingrida and Raimondas Sklenys in second, Eduardas Gurvičius with Makabi’s Diana Zimanienė placed third and Ilja Bereznickas and Tatjana Podkolzina taking fourth place.

Amehaye Winter Day Camps 2023

Amehaye Winter Day Camps 2023

The Lithuanian Jewish Community is pleased to announce Amehaye weekend day camps on December 8 through 10 and December 15 through 17 for children 17 and under. The camp is free for children of members.

Seven to 17-year olds will be provided day camps on December 8-10 and December 15-17, and should register with Viljamas Žitkauskas at viljamas@lzb.lt or by telephone at (+370) 67816741, and parents can contact him for more information.

Four to 6-year-olds will have weekend day camps on December 9-10 and December 16-17, and those interested should contact Margarita Koževatova at margarita.kozevatova@gmail.com or by telephone at (+370) 61800577. Registration closes at midnight December 6.

Concert in Remembrance of Grigoriy Kanovitch

Concert in Remembrance of Grigoriy Kanovitch

The Šalom, Akmenė! project with the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum are holding a concert to remember the late novelist Grigoriy Kanovitch. It is to include students from art schools in the Akmenė and Joniškis regions and students from the Song Cathedral of the Music Academy of Vytautas Magnus University. The program includes songs in Yiddish.

Time: 3:00 P.M., Sunday, December 3
Place: Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Museum, Naugarduko street no. 10, Vilnius

The concert is free and open to the public.

Condolences

With deep sadness we report the death of Henry Kissinger. He was born May 27, 1933, to a German Jewish family and went on to serve as secretary of state and national security advisor under US presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and remained the main voice of American foreign policy under president Jimmy Carter. He was the architect of US foreign policy who engineered the withdrawal of US troops from South Viet Nam “with dignity” (for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973), Nixon’s overture to Red China, NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Yugoslavia–calling for the “Finlandization” of the constituent break-away republics–and of policy surrounding the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the emergent Russian Federation. An outstanding proponent of the State of Israel, although he refused to take up the cause of Soviet refuseniks as antithetical to US interests–and he seemed to have a personal antipathy towards Soviet Jews–, in more recent times he was an outspoken proponent for peace in the Ukraine, calling upon NATO to take Russia’s security concerns seriously and for the parties involved to develop a real post-Cold War security architecture for Europe which would take Russia’s legitimate security interests into account. He died aged 100. Our deepest condolences to his many friends and family members.

Special Guest from Israel to Perform Concert for Vilnius Audience

Special Guest from Israel to Perform Concert for Vilnius Audience

Professor David Shemer is a professor at the at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, the founder, director, art director and conductor of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and a world-renowned harpsichord player as well as the organizer of different musical projects and festivals in Israel.

On November 30 David presents an extraordinary musical program for chamber orchestra and harpsichord to the Vilnius audience. Many of the works will be played for the first time ever in Lithuania. The program includes classical music performed by the professor and the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra from Vilnius. This is the cultural event of the month in Vilnius.

Time: 7:00 P.M., Thursday, November 30
Place: St. Kotryna Church, Vilniaus street no. 30, Vilnius

Kabalat Shabat

Kabalat Shabat

Maria Dubrovsky, founder of Moishe House WithOut Walls (MH-WOW) in Israel, invites you to a Kabalat Shabat celebration at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius this Friday.

“During these difficult times it is more important than ever to come together, to feel the sense of home, the warmth of tradition and our common history,” Maria said, inviting everyone to come light a candle, perform kaddish, sing the Sabbath hymns and share bread.

Registration is required due to increased security concerns. Please register at https://forms.gle/YyUyu3zSUNtG3A7S7.

Time: 4:30 P.M., Friday, November 24
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

More information available via facebook here.

Eightieth Anniversary of Liquidation and Uprising of Vilnius Ghetto: International Conference “Ideologies of Hate and Hope in Modern Jewish History”

Eightieth Anniversary of Liquidation and Uprising of Vilnius Ghetto: International Conference “Ideologies of Hate and Hope in Modern Jewish History”

You’re invited to the final event in our commemoration of the 80th anniversary of liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto this year, the international conference “Ideologies of Hate and Hope in Modern Jewish History” in Constitution Hall in Building 1 at the Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

Participants must register by internet before 3:00 P.M. on Monday, November 27, here: https://bit.ly/40NAUZ3

The conference will be conducted in Lithuanian and English with translations. It is being held through the efforts of the Polish Jewish History Institute, YIVO and the Lithuanian Jewish Community. It will be streamed on the LJC’s facebook page.

Program:

Scout Hike

Scout Hike

Scouts and parents are invited to a fall hike Sunday, November 26. The hike is a free event and open to all children and their parents. Please register by internet before midnight, November 24, by clicking here: https://forms.gle/fbDdB1HDhBUQKw976

For more information, contact hike leader Adelina Kofman by telephone at 860581922 or write skautai@lzb.lt.

Ilja Bereznickas Exhibit

Ilja Bereznickas Exhibit

The Jewish Culture and Information Center in Vilnius is hosting an exhibit this week till November 26 of works by Ilja Bereznickas, the Lithuanian animator, caricaturist, author and filmmaker. The exhibit celebrates Ilja’s 75th birthday. The Jewish Culture and Information Center is located at Mėsinių street no. 3a/5 in the Vilnius Old Town.

Standing with Israel in Pakruojis

Standing with Israel in Pakruojis

The Pakruojis wooden synagogue hosted an event yesterday to support Israel, organized by the Šiauliai Jewish Religious Community.

Before the Holocaust the wooden synagogue–one of only a handful still standing in Europe–was the center of Jewish life and religion.

The one-day photography exhibit there was actually two related exhibits: 22 photographs out of the 724 victims to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Aktion or children’s mass murder operation in the Šiauliai ghetto collected and arranged by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Authority in Israel and the Šiauliai Jewish Religious Community, and pictures of the 242 hostages taken by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including babies, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Solidarity Bracelets

Solidarity Bracelets

The World Zionist Organization has embarked on a project to distribute commemorative prayer and spirit-strengthening bracelets, which combine the feelings of cohesion, unity, and victory.

The bracelets consist of three values:

In their memory – Dedicated to the memory of the civilians and martyrs who were murdered and fell since the beginning of the war. “And I have cleansed their blood I have not cleansed, and the Lord dwells in Zion” (Joel 4:21)

For their safe return – represents the hope and prayer for the return home of the abductees; those who were cruelly separated from their families, who are experiencing hell, and were taken captive by bloodthirsty enemies. “And I took you from the nations and gathered you from all the countries and brought you to your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24)

For victory – represents the aspiration and confidence in the eternity of the people of Israel, in the victory of its soldiers, in the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. “Blessed are you, Israel, who is like you, a people saved by God, He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword, your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights” (Deuteronomy, 33: 29)

We invite you to take part in the project, receive the bracelets free of charge, wear them, and spread this message widely, as an expression of support and partnership in the fate of the people of Israel.

To receive a bracelet, please click here: https://www.wzo.org.il/department/haravotbarzel/spirit-strengthening-bracelets/en

Sincerely,
Or Cohen