Social center

Lithuanian TV Program Crossroads of Cultures: Menora Asks How Lithuanian Jewish Community Is Doing under Quarantine

Lithuanian TV Program Crossroads of Cultures: Menora Asks How Lithuanian Jewish Community Is Doing under Quarantine

Following the state of emergency announced in Lithuania, the daily life of the Lithuanian Jewish Community has changed. All events have been canceled, entry to visitors is restricted and some staff are working from home. The work of the Community’s Social Center hasn’t stopped, though.

To view the program in Lithuanian, click below.

Kultūrų kryžkelė. Menora. Kaip žydų bendruomenė laikosi karantino laikotarpiu?

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Thank You for Helping LJC Seniors

Thank You for Helping LJC Seniors

Lithuanian Jewish Community administrative secretary Liuba Šerienė would like to send a big thank-you to Social Department director Michailas Segalas and staff members Ema Jakobienė, Ninel Skudovičiūtė, Rokas Dobrovolskis and Neringa Stankevičienė and colleagues, and to Michailas Tarasovas, Aušra, Snieguolė, Danutė Lena, Žana and Sonia for their great work helping our Social Department clients and senior citizens. Thank you so very much.

We Can’t Give Up Hope Now

We Can’t Give Up Hope Now

Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky. Photo: Blanka Weber

by Blanka Weber

The country’s Jewish community is watching the time of pandemic with alarm

Faina Kukliansky is currently managing her life and that of her members from her home office in Vilnius. “This is a time that demands everything from us,” the 65-year-old chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community says.

This is a time when preparations for Passover would be underway normally. The Bagel Shop next to the Community building on Pylimo street is now only open for a few hours and only accepts cards for payment. Cash is forbidden. There are strict rules here, too. Matzo will be distributed to Community members here and should be delivered in the next few days.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Prepares for Passover Despite Quarantine, Slander

Lithuanian Jewish Community Prepares for Passover Despite Quarantine, Slander

Three teams of volunteers have been busy daily delivering kosher matzo to LJC senior citizens and Social Center clients for several days now, but today the LJC received reports unnamed characters have been calling Community members telling them not to accept the matzo deliveries because the matzo bread is allegedly old. This isn’t true and it seems aimed at creating additional difficulties during an already difficult time for our seniors.

There are consequences for slander.

We would like to warn all Community members that during this health emergency there are scam artists and con men who might call your telephone spreading misinformation and seeking money from you. Please be careful and vigilant.

The LJC is not asking for any money or fees at this time from Social Center clients and seniors. The matzo boxes we are delivering bear the date of manufacture so you can check the freshness for yourself. We have made available an internet ordering scheme on this web page for those wishing to purchase matzo for home delivery with details for making prior payment exclusively by bank card.

Please note we received shipments of matzo in March and that we stored these boxes under strict quarantine. Your health and safety is our primary concern and we find it extremely regretful unnamed people are spreading disinformation about us and our activities.

Let’s Talk: LJC Chairwoman Delivers Video Address to Members

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky has posted a video address to members. She said the following:

“Good day. I am addressing members of our Jewish community. Unfortunately, I can’t speak with you in person. Under these conditions I must speak with the aid of technology, but I would say the exact same thing if we were speaking in person.

“A certain time has come which is not pleasant and not favorable to anyone. Somehow we must live through this period with the hope that this period overall will end sometime. I believe that very much, and I hope it will end very soon.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Operations under Quarantine

Lithuanian Jewish Community Operations under Quarantine

Although public life has ground to a halt following the introduction of health quarantine measures in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Jewish Community continues to care for the elderly, to provide services and will send Social Center workers on home visits to prepare food and shop for groceries and medicine. The Community building in Vilnius is closed to visitors for now, the Choral Synagogue remains closed for at least two weeks and all scheduled events have been canceled.

All questions related to home care by the Social Center should be directed to Snieguolė Zalepūgienė by telephone at 8 672 65615.

For permission to conduct burials, call LJC secretary Liuba Šerienė by telephone at 8 685 06900. Please have document copies ready, including death certificates, birth certificates for the deceased and documents proving blood relations with the deceased. You should also have digital copies of these same documents prepared. Questions on documents and drafting formal written requests for burial should be directed to Liuba.

For the time being newspapers will not be distributed to Social Center clients. The plan is to distribute matzo next week.

Stay tuned to this page for further announcements and information.

Matzo Deliveries to LJC Seniors

Matzo Deliveries to LJC Seniors

Dear Community members,

The Social Programs Department of the Lithuanian Jewish Community has traditionally distributed matzo free of charge to our clients throughout Lithuania, usually coming to about 1,200 one-kilogram boxes of matzo. Our seniors are in the main risk group for corona virus infect, including about 300 are Holocaust survivors. The LJC has made deliveries of matzo to all the regional communities. These organizations are deciding on the method for distribution in their regions. We are doing all we can to insure this important symbol of Passover reach every seder table even in the most remote parts of Lithuania.

In Vilnius we have accepted the challenge of delivering a box of matzo to every Social Center client. That’s more than 900 boxes.

You might be able to help. If you’ve been in self-quarantine for 14 days with no symptoms, if you haven’t come in contact with large groups of people and haven’t recently travelled abroad, and want to help deliver matzo to seniors, fill out the volunteer form at https://forms.gle/ByKBXckyRZFhVzbCA

For more information contact Sofja by telephone at 8 672 57 540 or write sofja@lzb.lt

LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky Makes Special Plea to All Members

LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky Makes Special Plea to All Members

Dear members,

We are living through a time of quarantine and every day we hear how the number of infected is growing, and we hear calls not to leave the house and to preserve our health. Despite the warnings, we are finding out not all LJC members understand the rules must be followed.

Our dear members, I beg you, do not go to the store if you don’t have to. Don’t leave the house, especially if you are elderly and in the main risk group. The LJC’s Social Center is taking care of you daily, our home-care workers are visiting clients and bringing food to homes. Masks have been ordered and all clients will be supplied with them. Passover is coming and matzo will be provided traditionally as a gift to all seniors. Some have already received theirs, others will receive matzo before seder. Please, protect yourself and your family, and be healthy.

Work at the LJC under Quarantine

Work at the LJC under Quarantine

The epidemiological situation appears to have normalized somewhat, so here’s what the Lithuanian Jewish Community is doing at headquarters in Vilnius. All Social Center programs are operating at full speed except for programs aimed at getting clients out of the house and socializing.

Happy Birthday to LJC Members

Happy Birthday to LJC Members

Multiple happy-birthdays to Lithuanian Jewish Community members Svetlana Aronova, Eti Tsens and Riva Spits!

On March 20 long-time LJC volunteer Svetlana celebrates a milestone birthday, Eti Tsens celebrates her birthday the same day and Riva hers. We wish all of them good health, much happiness and love! Mazl tov! May you live to 120!

LJC Social Center Caring for Elderly

LJC Social Center Caring for Elderly

All LJC Social Center clients are at risk for the viral epidemic not just because of age but also because of illness. The media have reported the mortality rate for the ill and elderly continues to grow.

Doctor Ela Gurina is a member of the LJC Social Center Commission and the chairwoman of the committee for advising Holocaust survivors. She wants to remind walk-in care staff of the Social Center how to act during the epidemic.

What work are LJC Social Center employees engaged in currently?

Employees have to take care of their clients as well as possible. To isolate them from the environment so they don’t enter public spaces. They can only walk around in places where there aren’t other people and not to engage in conversation with people they encounter. When they get home they must wash their hands for at least two minutes with soap and water, and use a special disinfectant which destroys viruses. The Community is supplying the necessary disinfectant.

Changes in LJC Operations after State of Emergency

Changes in LJC Operations after State of Emergency

Dear Community members,

Following the announcement of a state of emergency in Lithuania, the daily operations of the Lithuanian Jewish Community has changed as well. We must postpone all planned events and restrict admission of visitors, and some employees are now working from home.

We thank you for your understanding and patience. We are always ready to help you and to answer any questions, and we hope you will take into consideration this unusual situation and that we will overcome these difficult challenges together.

Please note:

• ALL Community events have been canceled, both at the Community building and elsewhere;
• we strongly request that visits to the Community building at Pylimo street no. 4 only be made if there is a serious need to do so;
• if you want to meet a specific LJC employee, please agree on the meeting with that person by telephone beforehand;
• for permission for burials, please call secretary Liuba Šerienė at +37068506900.

IMPORTANT: prepare copies beforehand of death certificates and documents showing family ties, and digital documents are preferred.

Continue to follow the LJC web page where we will announce all changes in the operations of the LJC administration and LJC Social Center.

Art Workshops

Art Workshops

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Savickas Art School invite those who want to experience the joy of creativity to attend a series of art activities. The program includes painting, drawing, the basics of art history, classical color schemes, composition and sketching using pastels, acrylics and oil paints. Classes will also cover still-life, landscape and portrait styles. Raimondas Savickas will teach and classes begin March 8, 2020, staggered in two groups. Meetings will take place on Sundays at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. The cost is 10 euros per workshop or 20 euros advance payment for all four classes. For more information call 867881514 on workdays from 10:00 A.M. till 5:00 P.M. To register, send an e-mail to zanas@sc.lzb.lt

Children Invited to Purim Carnival

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Sababa Jewish youth club and the song and dance group Fayerlakh invite children to the “Party of Ahasuerus” Purim carnival. The program includes Purim plays, a costume parade, traditional foods and shalahmones, or Purim baskets. Queen Esther requests children come dressed in costume or at least wearing a mask. Registration is required before March 6 by calling Sofja at 8 601 46656 or sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt The event will begin at 3:00 P.M. on March 8 on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius.

LJC and Gesher Club Invite You to a Purim Celebration

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Gesher Club invite you to a special Sabbath just before the Purim holiday on Friday, March 6, where violin virtuoso Ana Agre will perform. The event starts at 7:00 P.M. in the Heifetz Hall of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. For information and to reserve a table, call 867881514 or write zanas@sc.lzb.lt

Creative Children’s Workshop for Purim

Creative Children’s Workshop for Purim

The Ilan Club of the Lithuanian Jewish Community invites children to attend a creative workshop to celebrate the holiday of Purim. The children will listen to and themselves tell the miraculous Purim story and make colorful masks for the Purim carnival. The workshop will begin at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, March 1, at the Ilan Club at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius. Please call 860246656 or write sofja@lzb.lt for more information.

New US Ambassador Visits LJC

New US Ambassador Visits LJC

Robert Gilchrist, a career diplomat appointed by president Trump to serve as the United States’ ambassador to Lithuania and confirmed by the Senate in late December, made an informal visit to the Lithuanian Jewish Community February 19.

During the visit he met chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, received a tour of the Community building from her, chatted with senior citizens and learned about their club and met Holocaust survivors, including Jewish partisan Fania Brancovskaja.

He also visited the Bagel Shop Café and met children engaged in LJC activities during their winter break from school.

Chairwoman Kukliansky also showed the new ambassador an exhibit on display at the Community on the Righteous Gentiles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust in Lithuania.

Appointed by US president Donald Trump in July, Gilchrist was only confirmed by the Senate in late December after heated questioning about his position on Russia. During his confirmation he called Lithuania one of America’s most loyal allies and said becoming the US ambassador to Lithuania was the honor of his life.

Hanukkah for Children

Hanukkah for Children

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Salvija kindergarten are holding a Hanukkah celebration for the youngest members of the community at 5:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 19 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community. The Fayerlakh ensemble and children from Salvija will perform and there will be Hanukkah games, doughnuts and gifts. To find out more or to register, call 8 678 81 514.

Kids: Come Watch the Nutcracker for Hanukkah

Kids: Come Watch the Nutcracker for Hanukkah

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Ilan Club for children aged 7 to 12 invite children to come watch the Nutcracker ballet for Hanukkah at noon on December 15 at the Opera and Ballet Theater in Vilnius. Tickets cost 10 euros. Register and pay before December 12, please, by contacting Sofja at sofja@lzb.lt or by calling 8 601 46656.

Photos from the Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot Celebration at the LJC

Photos from the Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot Celebration at the LJC

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invited members and members of the Gesher, Kavaret and Rikudey Am Clubs as well as students from the Raimondas Savickas Art Studio and from the Community’s Hebrew classes to come celebrate two holidays–Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot–at once on October 10. Žana Skudovičienė organized and conducted the festivities, delivering a thank-you speech at the beginning to the heads of the clubs, studio and classes. Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky gave holiday greetings to all participants and spoke about the preceding year, 5779, saying the Community had a lot to be proud of but that there is always room for improvement. The performance by the Fayerlakh group enhanced the evening and made it complete.