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Children’s Event on Sunday

Children’s Event on Sunday

Dear children,

We invite you to come meet medical expert Arina Kaganovič who will tell you all about the monster called Corona. We’ll meet at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 28 on the internet. Register and receive URL by sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt

Purim at the Ilan Club

Purim at the Ilan Club

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Ilan Club invite parents and children to spend Sunday morning with culinary chef Andžejus Žukovskis. We’ll bake hamentashen, the traditional Purim treat, together. It all begins at 12 noon on Sunday, February 21, via Zoom. To register send an email to sofja@lzb.lt and together with the Zoom code we’ll send you a list of ingredients needed. For more information you may also call Sofja at +370 601 46656.

Minsk and Vilnius Jewish Communities Celebrate Sabbath Together via Internet

Minsk and Vilnius Jewish Communities Celebrate Sabbath Together via Internet

Belarussian progressive Jewish Community Beit Simha’s Rabbi Grigoriy Abromovich created an international project to link up cities in Lithuania, Belarus and Israel and Lithuanian Jewish Community social programs director Žana Skudovičienė was an important part of the project on the evening of Friday, February 6, when more than 40 families celebrated Sabbath together via internet.

“We know and love the Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community and we love visiting there [Vilnius]. New technology allows us to be closer together despite distance in time and space,” Rabbi Abromovich said.

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said we all miss communication and support because of the difficult period of the viral pandemic, and the Sabbath has the unique ability to bring us all together.

Michailis Segalis, LJC executive director, said: “During Passover we say to one another: next year in Jerusalem. Today I’d like to rephrase that wish and say to all our virtual Sabbath participants: next year in Minsk, Vilnius and, perhaps, we will all celebrate Sabbath in Jerusalem.”

A big thank you to all who made the virtual Sabbath possible and participated. Thank you for your kind words and smiles.

Ilan Club to Teach Sabbath History

Ilan Club to Teach Sabbath History

The Ilan Club and the Lithuanian Jewish Community are inviting children to come together and celebrate the Sabbath this January 15 at 5:00 P.M. on Zoom. We will read the history of the Sabbath together with the children. Please register by sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt or by calling +370 601 46656.

Primary School Students and Parents Invited to Emotional Literacy Workshop

Primary School Students and Parents Invited to Emotional Literacy Workshop

Primary school students and their parents are invited to attend an emotional literacy workshop at 1:30 P.M. on Sunday, January 17. This time we’ll use reading therapy which connects literature with psychology to talk about self-confidence, fun and boredom. Parents are also invited to spend quality time together and to get to know one another better. The workshop will be held on Zoom. Please register by sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt or by calling *370 601 46656.

Condolences

Michail Špiz passed away December 30. He was born in 1955. We extend our deepest condolences to LJC board member Ela Gurina on the loss of her brother, to his mother and to his son as well as his many friends and relatives.

Interview with Simas Levinas, First Principal of the First Post-War Jewish School, Chairman of Lithuanian Jewish Religious Community

Interview with Simas Levinas, First Principal of the First Post-War Jewish School, Chairman of Lithuanian Jewish Religious Community

by Ilona Rūkienė

The entire Lithuanian Jewish community knows Simas Levinas as the head of the Lithuanian Jewish Religious Community, which includes two Jewish religious communities in Kaunas and the Klaipėda and Vilnius Jewish Religious Communities. Mr. Levinas was the first principal at the post-war Jewish school in Vilnius and has also served as the head of the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Social Center.

Vilnius has only one working synagogue [excluding Chabad Lubavitch House], the Choral Synagogue on Pylimo street. How are prayer services conducted there?

Prayer services are held three times daily. There are sufficient numbers of those who come to pray. Judaism is complicated, people come to prayer in the morning, afternoon and evening. Life is structured by coming and going to synagogue. They only come once during Sabbath. There are a lot of people in attendance during the summer and famous rabbis come, the followers of the Vilna Gaon. People are frequently proud of their Lithuanian roots, because being Litvak means the continuation of the Gaon’s school, meaning that their parents or ancestors came from the Lithuanian Grand Duchy, many of them from [the smaller ethnically-defined nation-state of] Lithuania. They dedicate an entire day to prayer, then travel on to Volozhin, where Chaim of Volozhin [1749-1821], a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, taught the Gaon’s method of textual analysis at the yehsiva he [Chaim] established especially for that purpose. During the Jewish holy days the synagogue is packed, at least before the pandemic, and it’s not just Jews who come, many Lithuanian guests do as well. Ambassadors from many countries resident in Vilnius also participate.

Condolences

Ilja Cenz passed away December 13. He was born in 1929. We will always remember Ilja’s friendliness, energy and wonderful sense of humor. Our deepest condolences to his wife, children, grandchildren and many friends and relatives.

Sabbath on Last Day of Hanukkah on Zoom

Sabbath on Last Day of Hanukkah on Zoom

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Ilan Club invite all children to log on and keep the tradition of celebrating the Sabbath together this Friday, December 18, at 4:00 P.M. on the last day of Hanukkah. We will wish one another well and real Jewish nakhes! Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium Jewish traditions teacher Algirdas Davidavičius will lead the Sabbath celebration. The virtual meeting will take place on Zoom. Please register by sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt or by calling +370 601 46656

Ilan Children’s Club Offers Emotional Literacy Class

Ilan Children’s Club Offers Emotional Literacy Class

The Ilan Children’s Club at the Lithuanian Jewish Community invites children aged 7 to 11 and their parents to spend some time together attending a lesson on emotional literacy from Kamila Gold, a therapeutic education expert and child and young adult mentor. Children who attend will receive an emotional-literacy workbook and parents will receive an autographed copy of the book “Drąsa būti savimi” [Courage to Be Oneself].

Number of participants is limited. The event will be held on Zoom at 1:00 P.M. on December 20. Please register by sending an email to sofja@lzb.lt or by calling +370 601 46656.

With One Hand the State Comforts Jews, With the Other It Points Them to the Street

With One Hand the State Comforts Jews, With the Other It Points Them to the Street

by Vytautas Bruveris, lrytas.lt

The country is marking the end of the ceremoniously declared Year of the Vilna Gaon and Litvak History, while the Lithuanian Jewish Community is looking at its front door and thinking it might have to leave its home. Because disagreements with state institutions are driving the Community from its longtime building in the center of the Lithuanian capital, located near the remains of Jewish Vilna and the city’s working synagogue.

Bailiffs and bricklayers in broad daylight have walled off one of the corridors in the building housing the LJC. This is the grotesque turn of events these days resulting from continuing disagreements between the LJC and the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum along with the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture. And even before this there were also episodes which seem rather odd, for example, letters from the museum to the members of the executive board of the LJC with accusations against the latter’s leadership, attempting to put political pressure directly upon the ethnic community/

With the new wall built, the LJC is now deciding on its future course: whether to dive headlong into legal battles, or simply pack its bags and hit the street. So why is all this happening? Because of disputes on how to share the courtyard which both the museum and the LJC, housed in the same building, claim. Instead of trying to act as moderator and as a moderating force, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture has done the opposite. The neighbors are there next to each other, but separate.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Invites You to Come Together and Help Others

Lithuanian Jewish Community Invites You to Come Together and Help Others

Dear Community members,

In this time of difficulties and challenges for us all, as the CoViD-19 pandemic runs amok, when many are forced to stay home, when we cannot meet with our children and grandchildren who live separately, when events can’t be held at the Community, we all miss meeting and talking.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to come together and help one another.

If you are a professional in your field, if you have a passion for some activity or an interesting hobby and you want to share your knowledge with Community members on the ZOOM platform or the LJC webpage, contact zanas@sc.lzb.lt, telephone +370 6788 1514.

The most important task for us now is to remain healthy and to survive this complicated period. Let’s stick together!

Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman
Lithuanian Jewish Community

Happy Birthday,  Holem Shapsai

Happy Birthday, Holem Shapsai

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes a very happy birthday to Holem Shapsai, former ghetto prisoner, he survived the Holocaust until his liberation at the Dachau concentration camp complex. We wish him great health, strength and many more years to come. We know and love his wonderful sense of humor, his sincerity and his great knowledge.

Mazl tov! Bis 120!

Day Camp at LJC Canceled Due to New Virus Levels

The earlier-announced children’s day club which would have been held at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius has been canceled because of increasing levels of corona virus infections in the general population. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Ilan Club to Celebrate Simchat Torah

Ilan Club to Celebrate Simchat Torah

The LJC and the Ilan Club invite children aged 7 to 13 to a fun Simchat Torah celebration at the Karvys manor. We’re meeting at the Lithuanian Jewish Community at 11:00 A.M. on October 11. Places are limited. Please register by October 9 by sending an e-mail to sofja@lzb.lt or for more information call +370 601 46656.

Kaunas Jewish Community Holds Training for Home-Care Workers

Kaunas Jewish Community Holds Training for Home-Care Workers

Elderly Kaunas Jewish Community members and their children always welcome the help provide by home-care workers.

Staff at the Social Programs Department of the Lithuanian Jewish Community coordinate this activity for every regional community, who face new challenges because of the virus.

LJC Social Commission member and epidemiologist Dr. Ela Gurina and Social Programs Department coordinator Snieguolė Zalepūgienė held special training classes for home-care providers in Kaunas, focusing on the corona virus, the correct use of personal protection and how to work under these extreme conditions.

Amehaye 2020

The Amehaye summer camp has been holding camps for children for two weeks in the summer for several years now. The program was just as rich and interesting this year and the children failed to grow bored over two weeks of learning and friendship. Special attention is giver to Jewish traditions at the camp. In summer the main and most fun events take place in nature and everyone seemed to enjoy the games and sports. Educational discussions were also held in nature.

The program included a lesson on Israel and how to make humus. Some of the boys celebrated their mar mitzvahs at camp. The young campers also learned how to prepare other Jewish dishes from matzoh and how to make challa for Sabbath. They also celebrated Sabbath with the traditional rituals, prayer and lighting of candles.

A children’s psychologist visited the camp and delivered an interesting lesson. Campers also entered the chemistry laboratory and took part in incredible experiments. Two excursions also took place: one to the Safari Park in Anykščiai, Lithuania, and the other to Druskininkai, Lithuania, where the young people learned to make the Lithuanian pastry šakotis.

A bubble party was held the last day of camp and the official closing ceremony included releasing balloons into the sky after making a wish, followed by the Sabbath celebration.

Raimondas Savickas Outdoor Painting Workshop July 27-31

Raimondas Savickas Outdoor Painting Workshop July 27-31

Dear Community members,

Those with a penchant for painting and a love of art, the great outdoors and good company will surely not be disappointed by this year’s sixth annual plein air outdoor painting workshop. This year’s workshop will consist of 5 days and 4 nights at a scenic natural location with the noted painters Raimondas Savickas and Ramunė Savickaitė.

Participants will spend 4 nights at the Karvio Dvaras farm next to Lake Karvys in Paežeriai village in the Maišagala aldermanship in the Vilnius region (http://www.karviodvaras.lt/kontaktai) with three daily meals provided, and will attend practical activities with personal consultation with teachers, along with an educational and recreational program.

The fee is 190 euros per person. To register by July 15 and for further information, please write zanas@sc.lzb.lt or call +370 678 81 514 during working hours. Places are limited.