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Markas Petuchauskas’s Book Price of Concord Presented in Berlin

Markas Petuchauskas’s Book Price of Concord Presented in Berlin

The Lithuanian embassy in Germany on May 15 hosted a presentation of Markas Petuchauskas’s memoires The Price of Concord now translated into German as Der Preis der Eintracht, published by the LIT Verlag publishing house in Germany. Mark Roduner translated the book which was originally published in English. The director Grigory von Leit, with Litvak roots, read excerpts from the book. A discussion with the author followed. The vent was organized by the embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to Germany in cooperation with the Lietis Academy and Archive and the Lithuanian Culture Institute.

This isn’t the first time the German translation of Litvak drama critic Markas Petuchauskas was presented in Germany. Back in March there were two presentations of the book at the Leipzig International Book Fair.

The Price of Concord is a compendium of more than five decades of conversation with a number of theater figures, artists and musicians in which keen observations and sudden realizations and correspondence with different well-known personalities turn into a seamless book, one of whose sections contains complex moments of a fairly diverse life. Petuchauskas goes beyond discussion of episodes remembered from childhood and loss of family members leading to the pain experienced during occupation, and recalls the goodness, understanding and help of so many people encountered in the course of life.

Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium Holds Bar/Bat Mitzva Cermemonies

Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium Holds Bar/Bat Mitzva Cermemonies

Fifty-six seventh graders from the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius celebrated their bar and bat mitzvas Monday. This coming-of-age ceremony is extremely important in Judaism. Following the ceremony a boy or girl is considered an adult. Whereas before his or her parents are responsible for the child following the traditions and laws of Judaism, after the ceremony the individual is himself or herself responsible and has the right to study Torah, follow its laws and is considered responsible for his or her actions.

Leron Blank celebrated his bar mitzva at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius. Before the ceremony Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky spoke about how significant this ceremony is for every Jewish boy, his family and his friends.

“This is a great joy–publicly, following all the rules–to celebrate bar mitzva! My bar mitzva was at home with the curtains closed… We were, after all, afraid… It was dangerous… So we really appreciate what we have,” Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium principal Miša Jakobas said at the ceremony. Leron read a passage from the Torah out in public, an essential part of the ceremony. His parents, teachers, relatives and friends watched with obvious emotion.

Irish Litvaks Celebrate Sabbath at Choral Synagogue

A delegation of 26 Jews from the Republic of Ireland visited Lithuania last week and attended a special Sabbath celebration held Friday for them at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius.

The tour was organized by the Irish Jewish Community with help from Irish ambassador to Lithuania David Noonan and his Lithuanian counterpart in Dublin, ambassador Egidijus Meilūnas. Most Irish Jews are descended from Litvaks with the major wave of immigration before World War I. Since then there has been little contact between Litvaks and Ireland and Litvaks in Lithuania. The Irish delegation is re-establishing contact while exploring their own roots, visiting their ancestral shtetls. Not all members of the delegation belong to the Irish Jewish Community, but all do share a connection with it.

Ambassador Noonan said: “I am very happy to see the visit taking place–the connection between the Jewish communities is one of the earliest connections between Ireland and Lithuania and deserves greater exploration. I was honoured to join the group on Friday for dinner and the Sabbath service; it was not my first time in the Synagogue but it was the first time I attended a service there. To attend with my fellow Irishmen and women made it a very special occasion indeed.”

Vilnius Jewish Religious Community chairman Simas Levinas said the Irish party had Sabbath dinner on the second floor of the synagogue and everyone was very satisfied with the event. Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said the Irish Jewish delegation were very religiously devout and did all the proper things to mark Sabbath. Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon also attended the Sabbath celebration.

Eurovision Viewing Party

Eurovision Viewing Party

For the first time ever the Lithuanian Jewish Community hosted a party to watch the Eurovision song contest on beanbags in the auditorium on the third floor. Attendees included LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, Goodwill Foundation director Indrė Rutkauskaitė, Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon, veteran Lithuanian gay-rights activist Vladimiras Simonko, LJC projects director Dovilė Rūkaitė, Bagel Shop Café top chef Riva Portnaya and others.

Ambassador Maimon spoke, recalling earlier Eurovision events, and lamented he wouldn’t be able to vote for Israel or Lithuania this time. He relayed he had just spoken by telephone with Lithuanian contestant Jurijus Veklenko in Tel Aviv and said the Lithuanian singer was very positive about his upcoming performance.

Faina Kukliansky said it would be a sad world if we were all the same and praised the mixed crowd at the viewing party, which included senior citizens, young Lithuanians and guests from abroad.

Eurovision at the Bagel Shop Café

Eurovision at the Bagel Shop Café

Come watch the semifinals in the Eurovision song contest at the Bagel Shop Café in the Lithuanian Jewish Community. We’re rooting for Jurijus Veklenko. This year the contest is being held in Israel and we’ll be watching live, with a bar and Israeli snacks.

The fun starts at 8:30 P.M. on May 16 at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

German Translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s Book at Lithuanian Embassy Berlin

German Translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s Book at Lithuanian Embassy Berlin

The German translation of Markas Petuchauskas’s book “The Price of Concord” (Der Preis der Eintracht) will be presented at the Lithuanian embassy in Berlin May 15. The event will be moderated by theater director Gregorij H. von Leitis who is known for his work presenting and promoting Jewish culture. Von Leitis has Litvak roots.

This is not the first presentation of Petuchauskas’s book in Germany. Back in March it made a splash at the Leipzig International Book Fair with well-known personalities leading a panel discussion about the Litvak drama critic’s main work published originally in English.

Musical Evening “The Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak”

Musical Evening “The Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak”

Time: 5:30 P.M., May 15, 2019
Place: Central Library of the City of Vilnius

The Dr. Janusz Korczak Center and the Central Library of the City of Vilnius are pleased to invite you to an evening of music entitled Sounds of Music and Janusz Korczak.

Markas Volynskij and Marija Duškina will perform Yiddish songs.

Dr. Janusz Korczak Center director I. Belienė will be master of ceremonies.

Janusz Korczak’s real name was Henrik Goldshmit and was also known as Stary Doktor (Old Doctor) and Pan Doktor (Mr. Doctor). He was born in Warsaw on July 22, 1878, and died in August of 1942 at Treblinka. He was a doctor, teacher, writer, publicist and Jewish public figure. He was the originator of children’s rights and the idea that children should enjoy equal rights.

The Central Library of the City of Vilnius is located at Žirmūnų street no. 6 in Vilnius.

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Commemorates Fallen Soldiers

Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community Commemorates Fallen Soldiers

The Šiauliai Reigional Jewish Community this year as in years past commemorated the soldiers who fell in World War II, laying bouquets of flowers and observing a moment of silence with bowed head at the military cemetery in Šiauliai in memory of all who died.

Community members came together to socialize and share memories and experiences of those dark times after the ceremony.

Small gifts were presented to survivors of the war and the Holocaust.

Rescuers Celebrated in Kaunas

Rescuers Celebrated in Kaunas

The Kaunas Jewish Community continued this year its spring tradition of commemorating those who rescued Jews from the Holocaust.

Rescuers and the rescued came together again in a warm celebration of friendship and humanity. Professor Saulius Kaušinis who spoke at this year’s event said it and the stories behind could serve as an example of peace and peaceful coexistence in today’s world troubled by conflict, hate and terrorism.

This year the commemoration coincided with Holocaust Day and six candles were lit in memory of the six million Jews murdered in Europe.

Tenth-grade Art Gymnasium student Patricija Pugžlytė performed a piece from Schindler’s List on cello. Actress Kristina Kazakevičiūtė, herself the daughter of a rescuer, helped create an atmosphere of reflection and at the same time joy, and after all the point of the ceremony was to celebrate life. The saxophonist Michail Javič also performed.

It was sad to note the dwindling ranks of both the rescuers and the rescued, but at the same time it was a great joy to see their children and grandchildren there who were eager to share their family stories.

Panevėžys Jewish Community Marks Victory Day

Panevėžys Jewish Community Marks Victory Day

The Panevėžys Jewish Community kicked off commemoration of Victory Day, the day Nazi Germany capitulated to the Allies, at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier at the Ramygala cemetery, then moved on to the monument on Krekanavos street in Panevėžys where veterans and the public gathered. Among the fallen soldiers there are thousands of Jewish surnames of infantry, sergeants and officers who sacrificed their lives during World War II in Lithuania.

Panevėžys Jewish Community members attended all of the events and laid wreaths. They held an additional ceremony at the monument marking the former gate of the ghetto in the city where they remembered Holocaust victims.

A group of religious Jews from South Africa (mainly Cape Town and Johannesburg) led by Rabbi Moshe Saltzman attended the latter. Many had relatives who died in the Holocaust in Lithuania. In the first year of WWII about 13,000 Jews were killed in Panevėžys. The South Africans are visiting cities and towns around Lithuania to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. Kaddish was performed and extracts from the local yizkor were read during the ceremony.

Why Does the Founder of an International Corporation Talk about a Small Lithuanian Town?

Why Does the Founder of an International Corporation Talk about a Small Lithuanian Town?

by Romas Sadauskas-Kvietkevičius, DELFI.lt

According to Felix Zandman, the founder of the famous semiconductors producer Vishay International, whenever a new company client asked what the name of the corporation means, he told them about his grandmother and the mass murder of the Jews of Veisiejai.

Vishay is the Jewish name of Veisiejai used from the 18th century to the Holocaust. Survivors scattered around the world carried with them memories of their town and local placenames. The large Jewish population of the small town migrated before the war as well, and by the end of the 19th century of the 1,540 local inhabitants, 974 were Jewish. The Jewish population was rounded up and shot with other Jews from the Lazdijai district at Katkiškė village. The town of Veisiejai was probably best known for Ludovik Zamenhof, or Dr. Esperanto, who lived there in 1886 and 1887.

Felix Zandman passed away in 2011. His company had turnover in earlier years of $2.6 billion and employed over 20,000 people, or about 10 times the population of Veisiejai today.

Full story in Lithuanian here.

Irena Vesaitė Awarded Polish Prize

Irena Vesaitė Awarded Polish Prize

Kauno diena

The Borders ethnic, cultural and art foundation in Sejny, Poland, awarded its “Person on the Edge” prize to Lithuanian professor Irena Vesaitė Thursday.

“Her intellectual courage and active community work has made Vesaitė a true moral authority in Lithuania and Europe. The path upon which she found meaning and her goal is the path of the teacher who understands life itself as art,” foundation director Krzysztof Czyżewski said in a press release from the Ministry of Culture.

The press release said the professor was awarded the prize for her practice of the ethos of the marginalized, her art and her philosophy of life which were an inspiration to all recipients of the prize and a pillar of support in moments of doubt.

Full story in Lithuanian here.

Victory Day at the LJC

Victory Day at the LJC

The world marks Victory Day, the end of World War II, on May 8 and 9, and every year the Lithuanian Jewish Community has honored the veterans and the fallen. This year Victory Day coincided with Israel’s national holidays to honor fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terrorism as well as the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This year Israeli veterans also attended the LJC ceremony.

As in prior years, veterans were singled out and congratulated and thanked, including this year Fania Brancovskaja, Riva Špiz, Tatjana Archipova Efros, Borisas Berinas and Aleksandras Asovsky.

LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky greeted veterans as did executive director Renaldas Vaisbrodas and Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon, himself a military veteran. Žana Skudovičienė moderated the ceremony.

Heritas: Special Focus on Litvak Heritage

Heritas: Special Focus on Litvak Heritage

The second Heritas International Exhibit on Heritage Recognition, Maintenance and Technologies held May 3 and 4 focused on Lithuanian Jewish or Litvak heritage.

In cooperation with the Lithuanian Jewish Community attendees had the unique opportunity to visit the Zavl synagogue currently undergoing restoration at Gėlių street no. 6 in Vilnius.

The seminar portion of the exhibit discussed a topic proposed by LJC heritage protection specialist Martynas Užpelkis, “Litvak Heritage: A Matter for the Jewish Community and/or Local Communities?”

Suicide Prevention Workshop safeTALK

Suicide Prevention Workshop safeTALK

The public health unit of the Vilnius municipality invites the public to attend a workshop called safeTALK on suicide prevention to teach people how to recognize the signs of someone in crisis and how to react appropriately to suicidal behavior.

The workshop will be held from 2 to 6:00 P.M. on May 23, 2019, at the Lithuanian Jewish Community located at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius. Speakers include Vaiva Juškevičiūtė and Giedrė Putelytė. Note the workshop will run for four hours with a break.

This is a Lithuanian adaptation of the safeTALK suicide prevention program created by the LivingWorks Education organization. It is constantly updated based on global academic studies and practical experience in the field of suicide prevention. The workshops are conducted by a team of specialists trained and certified by LivingWorks Education. For more information on the workshops, see http://www.vvsb.lt/mokymai-ir-renginiai/ in Lithuanian and https://www.livingworks.net/programs/safetalk/ in English.

The workshop is accredited by the Lithuanian Health Protection Ministry and is financed by the city of Vilnius. Those completing the workshop will be issued an international certificate. Prior registration is required and space is limited. Register here: http://www.vvsb.lt/savizudybiu-prevencija/

Ilan Club Invites Children to Another Animation Workshop

Ilan Club Invites Children to Another Animation Workshop

The Ilan Club invites children to another animation workshop this Sunday, May 12, at 1:30 P.M., at the Ilan Club on the second floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.

Registration is required. Send an email to sofja@lzb.lt or call 8 601 46656

We will create scenes for an animated film. We will draw, move and film and use this material to create animated characters. The children themselves will be the main characters in the cartoon.

Ceremony to Commemorate Ghetto Fighters and Murdered Ghetto Children

Ceremony to Commemorate Ghetto Fighters and Murdered Ghetto Children

Lithuanian Jewish Community members gathered at the Jewish cemetery on Sudervės road in Vilnius May 8 to commemorate those who fell fighting the Nazis and the victims of fascism.

They assembled at a monument to Vilnius ghetto FPO (Fareinikte partizaner organizatsye) leader Yitzhak Vitenberg and partisan Sheyna Madeisker.

LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky recalled the number of Jews living in Lithuania before the Nazi occupation and the horror and tragedy of the majority who were murdered. Jewish partisan Fania Brancovskaja spoke in Yiddish about the painful experience of the war and the loss of family. “Do not forget those who were murdered, they fought for your freedom,” she said.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Lays Wreath for Veterans on May 9

Lithuanian Jewish Community Lays Wreath for Veterans on May 9

The Lithuanian Jewish Community laid a wreath at the base of a memorial to the soldiers who died during World War II at the cemetery in the Vilnius neighborhood of Antakalnis on May 9, Victory Day in Russia, correspond to May 8, Victory Day in Europe, in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. It was just after midnight Moscow time on May 9,1945, that Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies. In Western Europe it was still May 8. About 500 people including veterans and their family members assembled at the cemetery this year to mark the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Israel Marks Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day

Israel Marks Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day

Israel began marking Israeli Memorial Day the night before with sirens Tuesday night, remembering the 23,741 Israeli soldiers who have fallen and the 3,150 victims of terrorism. Soldiers and all observers bowed their heads in a minute of silence for the victims.

President Reuven Rivlin recalled the horrific events being commemorated and the tension in Gaza. The Israeli president and chief of Israeli defense forces spoke at an official state event at the Wailing Wall.

Last year 95 soldiers were killed defending their country. The total figure of 23,741 includes 40 disabled veterans who died due to complications from injuries and wounds sustained during military service.

Memorial Day was marked during a time of increased tension following an attack by hundreds of rockets by Islamic militants in Gaza against Israel. The conflict escalated over the weekend when the Israeli military struck more than 350 targets in the Gaza Strip in response. According to the Israeli military Palestinians shot 700 rockets into Israel starting on the morning of May 4 and the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system shot down 240 of these. Four Israelis were killed and several more were severely wounded, with dozens more also wounded.

Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon published a piece on the Lithuanian news website 15min.lt in Lithuanian about the reality of living with a 15-second warning of impending missile attack. The article is here.