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Condolences

With deep sadness we announce the death of Nina Dubrovskaja on January 18. She was born in 1932. We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Liudmila.

Community Hanukkah Events

Community Hanukkah Events

In addition to all the other events already announced, the Lithuanian Jewish Community is offering a walking tour of Jewish Vilna with guide Viljamas Žitkauskas and an Israeli dance marathon with Rikudim.

The tour begins at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 17, meeting at the bell tower at the Arch-Cathedral in Vilnius. Program: Tour, avdala ceremony, dinner at the Bagel Shop Café, performance by the children’s section of the Fayerlakh Jewish song and dance ensemble. Registration required. Send an email to zanas@sc.lzb.lt or call +37067881514 on weekdays between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.

The Rikudim Israeli dance marathon will be held in the Jascha Heifetz Hall at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 18. To register send an email to Julija at Juliradv@gmail.com.

Clubs Celebrate Hanukkah

Clubs Celebrate Hanukkah

The various clubs at the Lithuanian Jewish Community are planning Hanukkah celebrations of their own.

The Yiddish-language Mameloshen Club is holding a Yiddish Hanukkah for members on December 18, call *37067881514 to register and for more information.

Knaifaim Club for adolescents aged 13 to 17 plans to hold a Hanukkah celebration at a special location at 8:00 P.M. on Friday, December 16. Contact Mark at margaris146@gmail.com or Elanas at Elan.Chackelevic@gmail.com.

Ilan Club for children aged 7 to 12 will hold a Hanukkah celebration at 12:00 noon on December !8. Contact Mark at margaris146@gmail.com or Elanas at Elan.Chackelevic@gmail.com.

Dubi Club for chilren from 4 to 6 will also hold a Hanukkah celebration at 12:00 noon on December !8. Register by contacting Margarita at +37061800577.

Dubi Mishpoha Club for children from 0 to 3 will hold a Hanukkah celebration at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, December 21. Register by contacting Aleksandra at +37067250599.

Children and the Internet: From Appropriate Use to Pathology

Children and the Internet: From Appropriate Use to Pathology

by Asta Katutė

Today digital technology, the internet and social media have become an indivisible part of the life of children as well as adults.

The ever-increasing use of digital technology by adolescents over the past decade reached a peak during the corona virus pandemic when even the educational process took place as distance learning on the internet. This made clear the negative influence too intense use of information technologies has on the physical and mental health of children.

The Lithuanian Health Ministry says there was increased depression and anxiety disorders during the pandemic and there was also a significant worsening of the emotional health of students in general. Dr. Giedrė Širvinskienė, the director of the Psychological Health Cathedral under the Social Health Faculty at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences spoke to us in depth on this topic.

Q.: What factors have a causal influence on the worsening emotional health of children? Is the problem the large amounts of time children spend on the internet? Are there other causes?

World Jewish Restitution Organization Welcomes Lithuanian PM’s Proposal for Holocaust-Era Property Restitution

World Jewish Restitution Organization Welcomes Lithuanian PM’s Proposal for Holocaust-Era Property Restitution

The proposed legislation provides €37 million as symbolic compensation for private property expropriated during the Holocaust and addresses heirless Jewish property.

New York, NY, November 20, 2022–The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) welcomes legislation introduced by Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė addressing restitution claims of Holocaust victims. The new legislation being proposed by the government would provide €37 million as symbolic compensation to private claimants and to the Lithuanian Goodwill Foundation with respect to heirless Jewish property.

Prime minister Šimonytė’s proposal is an important step to providing a measure of justice to Lithuanian Holocaust survivors and their families for the horrors they suffered during World War II and its aftermath. We look forward to the opportunity to review this new legislation which would continue the process of property restitution and support Jewish life in Lithuania.

Over a decade ago following intensive negotiations with the Lithuanian Jewish Community and WJRO, the Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, passed legislation to pay €37 million in compensation for former Jewish communal property. This payment represented only a partial value of the properties, but it provided much needed funds to support Jewish communal life in Lithuania, restored several Jewish heritage sites and offered modest payments to needy survivors.

Happy Birthday to Boris Gelpern

Happy Birthday to Boris Gelpern

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wish Boris Gelpern a very happy birthday. We wish you fantastic health and happiness. May our wishes for your longevity echo out and repeat forever. Mazl tov. Bis 120!

Condolences

Jefim Grafman passed away on November 17. He was born in 1938. He was a member of the Panevėžys Jewish Community for many years and more recently a client of the social department there. He died unexpectedly while visiting his daughters in Germany. Those wishing to bid him farewell may attend the wake from November 26 to 27 at the Grauduva funeral home in Panevėžys. We extend our deepest condolences to his daughters and their families as well as all the other members of the family and the entire Panevėžys Jewish Community.

Condolences

Bela Tontak passed away November 9. She was born in 1946. Our deepest condolences to her son Eduard and her other friends and family members.

Jewish Scout Meeting

Jewish Scout Meeting

The Lithuanian Jewish Community will host a Litvak scouting meet at 3:30 P.M. on Thursday, November 10 at the Ilan Club room at the Community building at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius under the direction of scout leader Adomas Kofman. We will continue to learn about the scouting movement and engage in edifying and fun activities. All young people aged 6 to 18 are invited. For more information, write skautai@lzb.lt.

Knafaim Youth Club Re-Opens for New Season

Knafaim Youth Club Re-Opens for New Season

The Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Knafaim Club for young people is starting a new season and invites everyone to come and get involved. We’ll be meeting every Friday at 6:00 P.M. at the Ilan Club on the second floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. For more information, contact club coordinators Elan Chackelevič at elan.chackelevic@gmail.com or Mark Garas at margaris146@gmail.com.

Dubi Mišpacha Club

Dubi Mišpacha Club

The Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Dubi Mišpacha Club invites children aged 0-3 and their parents to come take part in club activities at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesdays. For more information contact Alexandra Žitkauskienė-Khenkin by calling +370 672 50599.

Commemorating Holocaust Victims in Švenčionys

Commemorating Holocaust Victims in Švenčionys

On October 3 a ceremony was held in the Švenčionys city park to mark the anniversary of the onset of the mass murder of Jews in the region in the first week of October, 1941. In total over the course of the Holocaust approximately 8,000 Jews from the city and surround district were murdered.

Kristina Sizonova moderated the event. Speakers at the ceremony included Lithuanian Jewish Community executive board member Ela Gurina who is the chairwoman of the Holocaust Victims Commission, Švenčionys Jewish Community chairman Moshe Shapiro, Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium principal Ruth Reches, Polish ambassador to Lithuania Urszula Doroszewska, deputy mayor of the Švenčionys district Violeta Čepukova, Pabradė’s Rytas Gymnasium history teacher Danguolė Grincevičienė and others.

First Litvak Scouting Jamboree

First Litvak Scouting Jamboree

Following a pause in activities, the first general meeting or jamboree of Litvak scouting groups will take place at 2:30 P.M. on October 6 at the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius. For more information, please write skautai@lzb.lt.

Recent Workshops and Events

Recent Workshops and Events

We are pleased to share some snapshots from the dance class held on the last Sabbath of summer at the Cvirka Park space next to our Israeli street food kiosk. Julia Patašnik led the dance group. Also, we have snapshots from the gefilte fish workshop and the opening of seniors’ club Abi Men Zit Zich’s 25th season.

Snapshots from European Days of Jewish Culture Events in Vilnius

Snapshots from European Days of Jewish Culture Events in Vilnius

Our annual series of events to mark the European Days of Jewish Culture saw a good turnout all day Sunday, which turned out to be sunny but framed by clouds. There was cantorial song at synagogue, a tour of Jewish Vilna, a panel discussion on echoes of Jewish culture in modern Lithuania’s cultural scene, we baked challa and slowly cooked the legendary floimen tsimes and there was singing, playing and dancing for all. For some snapshots from different events, concerts, workshops and lectures, see below.

New Israeli Ambassador Visits LJC

New Israeli Ambassador Visits LJC

Newly-appointed Israeli ambassador Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein visited the Lithuanian Jewish Community where chairwoman Faina Kukliansky and the Jewish community in Lithuania wished and wish her meaningful work and creative joint initiatives with the LJC. Chairwoman Kukliansky also introduced the new ambassador to Rozeta Ramonienė, the director of the Former Ghetto Prisoners Welfare and Support Fund.

News from the Panevėžys Jewish Community

News from the Panevėžys Jewish Community

Every month the Panevėžys Jewish Community celebrates its members’ birthdays and anniversaries. In July and August we congratulated Diana Narevič and Rimantas Rimkus and Jurijus and Svetlana Grafman on their anniversaries.

We also provided and provide material support to our members.

Despite summer vacations, cultural and athletic events are being held and members are participating in Panevėžys regional events and scouting activities.

In the summer we usually have a large number of guests who care about their family histories. They often talk about their families over a cup of tea at the Panevėžys Jewish Community. One of the newer stories is about a family who emigrated to South Africa, then later between 1900 and 1910 they went their separate ways to Canada, China, England and Israel. They came back to Lithuania to learn about the former shtetl where their forebears once lived.

Thank You to Faina Kukliansky

Dear chairwoman,

I am sincerely grateful to be part of the program “Support for Rescuers of Jews during World War II.” I would like to give a big thank you to senior coordinator Ema Jakobienė, social programs department director Michail Segal and to your entire wonderful collective, thanks to whom I am receiving material and financial support.

My parents, Stasė and Pranas Karalevičiai, rescued 19 citizens of Jewish ethnicity during the war. As a six-year-old I also contributed to this honorable activity to the extent that I could. I was awarded the Life-Saver’s Cross which was presented by president Valdas Adamkus.

Respectfully,

Elena Čepanonienė
Semeliškės, Lithuania

Condolences

Jelena Levina passed away July 19 at the age of 94. She was born in 1927. She was a long-standing member and volunteer. She will be missed by all of us.