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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling *370 601 46656.
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.
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.
After a short break, the Bagel Shop Newsletter has returned with a new and much-anticipated end-of-2020 issue. The magazine has shifted to a newsprint folded edition, so the layout is slightly different from earlier issues. We hope you enjoy.Beigelių krautuvėlė-EN-internet
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.
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 email@example.com or by calling +370 601 46656
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +370 601 46656.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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
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!
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.
The Amehaye day camp for 2020 begins October 26 and runs till October 30 for children aged 7 to 13 at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. Registration is open till October 22 and space is limited. To register, click this link:
For more information and questions about registration, call +370 601 46656 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com or for more information call +370 601 46656.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +370 678 81 514 during working hours. Places are limited.
We wish you a happy birthday. May you be surrounded by smiles and many happy days follow. You have collected so much experience and wisdom in your heart.
We wish you health, that all your wishes come true, that your work always be successful, and we wish you patience and resolve, and that you celebrate many happy birthdays in the summers to come!
The Amehaye Club at the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Social Programs Department is looking for a medical doctor, a program director and camp counselors (including volunteer counselors). The professional positions require a teaching certificate, sound knowledge of Jewish traditions and history and experience working at Jewish children’s camps, specifically for the upcoming Amehaye camp this summer from July 13 to 24. Applicants should be members of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and affiliate member organizations. The most important qualification love of working with children and a calling to teach.
Please send your motivational letter and résumé/CV by email to email@example.com before June 16. We will contact each selected applicant.
It’s no secret the quarantine has altered the rhythms and habits of our lives. It had been customary in the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community to celebrate all sorts of holidays and birthdays and to attend different events, educational activities and tours we organized, and simply to gather and talk at the Community building… Today that building stands quiet and empty…
Jews around the world were celebrating Passover when the quarantine began here in Lithuania. The Jews of Šiauliai were not able as we were in past years to come together and celebrate happily to the sound of Jewish melodies this beautiful spring holiday. This year each of celebrated separately at home. The Lithuanian Jewish Community provided home deliveries of matzo to all the regional Communities, so as the quarantine got under way the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community had to insure every member had the requisite matzo for the Passover seder table. Every member of the Community did receive safe delivery of boxes of matzo before the holiday began.
Despite disruption to the rhythm and conventions of daily life, we continue to provide crucial care to our seniors who were victims of the Nazis. Home-care workers continue to visit them and help them with their daily needs, insuring the safety of our elderly during these days so difficult for all of us.
Happy birthday to Eta Gurvčiūtė as she turns 100. Lithuanian Jewish Community member Eta Gurvčiūtė turned 100 April 27. Clear of mind, with no health complaints and her beautiful smile, she is busy receiving greetings and congratulations today. She was graduated from the Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium before World War II.
Many of our other seniors remember Eta because she volunteered at the medical center of the LJC for so many years, later becoming a client herself. She spends her time these days at the Social Care House for Seniors in Vilnius now.
To celebrate her milestone, the LJC is planning a Fayerlakh concert for everyone at her senior citizens’ home. ALthough she’s celebrating her birthday under strict quarantine at the senior center, the Lithuanian Jewish Center tried to send her a present anyway. We managed to have a vase of flowers and a card delivered.