The Sabbath begins at 9:35 P.M. on Friday, July 9, and concludes at 11:17 P.M. on Saturday.
On June 23, 1921, the first Jewish athletics league Makabi began operating, giving rise to the Jewish athletics movement in Šiauliai. In 2021 the Šiauliai Jewish sports association Makabi is celebrating its 100th birthday. To mark the milestone year, the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community, the Aušra Museum and the Gegužių pre-gymnasium in Šiauliai carried out a project in May and June of this year called “Sport: An Indivisible Part of Life of the Successful Person.”
On May 25 the young chess players from the area competed in a virtual chess championship, organized by the Community and local Makabi Club chairman Eduard Šer. Nine teams from eight local schools competed. Aušra Museum historian Antanas Jankūnas shared interesting facts about sports in Šiauliai before the matches began.
On June 9 a large gathering of local students attended a virtual event to celebrate Šiauliai Makabi’s 100th birthday. The students learned the story of athletics in Šiauliai from historian Antanas Jankūnas and took part in a quiz about sports.
The second “Common Language of the Peoples” festival of ethnic minority amateur song and dance groups has taken place in the city of Švenčionėliai, Lithuania, and the Fayerlakh Jewish song and dance collective directed by Larisa Vyšniauskienė participated.
The second annual festival took place June 23, supported by Lithuania’s Ethnic Minorities Department.
The Culture Center of the City of Švenčionėliai presented cakes and wreaths of wild flowers to all groups participating in the festival.
The representatives of different ethnic groups from Lithuania presented folk costumes and spoke about the characteristics of their ethnic group and their special foods.
The audience applauded every group heavily and the festival again demonstrated the need for more such ethnic community events.
The Road of Memory procession to mark the 80th anniversary of the extermination of the local Jewish community took place in Jurbarkas, Lithuania, on July 4. The event is one in a series of “Road of Memory 1941-2021” events by Lithuania’s International Commission to Assess the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania and the Tolerance Training Centers founded by this commission, and other partners.
Photographs by Ignas Skridla here:
The members and staff of the Lithuanian Jewish Community are pleased to congratulate Faina Kukliansky on her re-election as chairwoman of the LJC.
WJC president Ronald Lauder calls Polish legislation a “slap in the face” to what remains of Polish Jewry
World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder called on the Jewish community worldwide to rethink its relationship with the Polish government over the weekend after the country’s lower house of parliament passed a draft law which would severely limit any ability by Polish Jewish Holocaust victims to recover their stolen property.
“This law is a slap in the face to what remains of Polish Jewry and survivors of Nazi brutality everywhere. It also sets a terrible precedent throughout Europe as survivors and descendants continue to seek justice,” said Lauder, who’s WJC represents Jewish communities in 100 countries. “It pains me to say this, but I think that the time has come for the international Jewish community to reevaluate our relationship with a government that is behaving with unimaginable callousness and is emulating the worst traditions in Polish history rather than the best and most uplifting ones.”
While most post-Communist countries have sought to right historical wrongs and address the issue of stolen Holocaust-era Jewish property, Poland has lagged behind. The Sejm’s new legislation will make it impossible for Jewish claimants or their descendants to recover or be compensated for what was taken from them in Poland.
An Israeli street food kiosk called “Tzvi in the Park” opened on July 2 in the Petras Cvirka Square park across the street from the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. The food booth is offering humous, carrots with anise, chicken shwarma and other traditional foods with pita bread, with ingredients to order by the customer. The menu is planned to expand over time. While the food kiosk is the initiative of the culinary masterminds at the Bagel Shop Café across Pylimo street, the food booth will offer different dishes and hopes to inspire people to linger and talk.
“When we set up the Bagel Shop, we wanted to offer people delicious food, but also to offer them a way to have a good time, to hang around and talk about different things, even such sensitive and important topics as tolerance, human equality and so on. So this summer we want to create a space for city residents and visitors where they can spend some time in the green space of the park and learn about Israeli culinary culture,” LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky commented.
While the Bagel Shop offers more traditional Litvak fare, the food kiosk will present characteristically Mediterranean food, the new director of the Bagel Shop and of the Israeli food kiosk Aistė Košienė said. She said Israeli street food has distinct characteristics, but the main features are that it’s healthy and of good quality.
Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda held the traditional reception at the President’s Office to celebrate July 6, Coronation of King Mindaugas, with many honored guests invited.
Although the celebration was scheduled to being at 7:00 P.M., invited guests began gathering earlier outside the building. Attendees were dressed in their finest and displayed a festive mood. Snapshots from the event are available here.
The Sabbath begins at 9:39 P.M. on Friday, July 2, and concludes at 11:26 P.M. on Saturday.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Bagel Shop Café are pleased to announce a kiosk serving authentic Israeli street fare will operate in the center of the park across the street from the LJC and café in central Vilnius, next to the Petras Cvirka statue. The plan is for it to keep serving the public until autumn. Stay tuned for more information.
The 80th anniversary of the Lietūkis Garage massacre, one of the most brutal mass murders in Lithuanian Holocaust history, was marked in what is now an athletics pitch in the courtyard of two schools in Kaunas. The court in the yard shared by the Startas athletics school and the Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas Gymnasium was locked Monday symbolically. Athletes including basketball players and swimmers neither warmed up nor played. Instead Lithuanian actress Kristina Kazakevičiūtė recited a poem by Aleksandras Bosas about the site of the mass murder.
Warsaw Sunday reported they had summoned the Israeli ambassador for discussion following Tel Aviv’s statement a law adopted by the Polish parliament on restitution to Holocaust victims was “immoral.” Experts say the new law would basically halt the restitution of property to Jews and others.
Polish foreign minister Pawel Jablonski said Warsaw sought to clarify the situation regarding the new law. Israeli embassy chargé d’affaires Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon “was summoned and we explained to her clearly and based on facts about all of this,” Jablonski told Polish broadcaster TV Polonia about the meeting on Monday. “We believe, unfortunately, they we have come upon a situation where some Israeli politicians seek to exploit this for domestic political gain,” he said.
On Wednesday [June 23, 2021] the old name of Tricolor Alley–Škirpa Alley–was pasted over the street sign there.
A video recording made around noon Wednesday appears to show a man creasing the wrinkles out of a sticker and then seems to give a thumbs-up to friends standing below him.
This has happened before and the city of Vilnius has removed the sticker. They say they will again.
“We’ll do as we’ve done the previous times, we’ll take it off,” advisor to the mayor of Vilnius Karolis Vaitkevičius told 15min.lt. In early January of last year the same thing happened and the municipality said then they had written two complaints to the prosecutor’s office.
The street sign hangs from a corner of the Museum of Applied Art at the intersection of Tricolor Alley and Arsenalo street in central Vilnius. The city of Vilnius resolved to change the name from the controversial [Lithuanian Nazi leader] Kazys Škirpa to Tricolor Alley in late July, 2019, citing Škirpa’s “anti-Semitic statements” as the reason behind the move.
The Sabbath begins at 9:41 P.M. on Friday, June 25, and concludes at 11:32 P.M. on Saturday.
The first procession in this year’s series of “Path of Memory” commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust was held in Gargždai, Lithuania, on June 23. The Lithuanian prime minister, Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman and the chairmen of the Klaipėda and Palanga Jewish Communities attended and spoke at the event.
“We lost many of our fellow Jewish citizens during the Holocaust and we can only imagine what Lithuania’s academic, cultural and economic life might have been if not for the Holocaust,” Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė told reporters the day before the event.
The commemoration took the form of a march from the site of a former synagogue to the Jewish mass murder site where a ceremony was held and speakers spoke. Some attendees carried stones with the names of murdered Jews on them, in keeping with the Jewish tradition of placing stones at a grave.
Here are some photos from the first “Path of Memory 1941-2021” commemoration held in Gargždai.
Photographs by Laima Penek, the Chancellery of the Government of Lithuania and others.
We all need to remember all of our innocent people who were murdered and will never return.
The Panevėžys Jewish Community has asked the Panevėžys regional administration to renew inscriptions on monuments and memorial plaques commemorating Jewish victims murdered in World War II. The inscription on the Ghetto Gates monument has already been renewed.
The Panevėžys Jewish Community is carrying out a project called “Let’s Maintain the Mass Murder Sites” to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust in Lithuania. We plan to visit all the mass murder sites in the Panevėžys district.
Through our work and contribution not only do we seek to remember the tragedy which began 80 years ago, but also to set an example for regional administration employees charged with maintaining Jewish mass murder sites and Jewish cemeteries under Lithuanian law. The area around the Kurganava mass murder site has been put in order this year, but saplings still need to be cut and the fence repaired.
The Panevėžys Jewish Community is grateful to our volunteers and staff, including Albertas and Virginija Savinčiai, Jurijus Grafmanas, Timūras Jerovickis, Borisas Marijampolskis, Ona Juospaitienė and others, for taking part in this project.
We are planning repair and upkeep next month as well, with Panevėžys Jewish Community members travelling to Žalioji forest, Ramygala, Raguva and other mass murder sites.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Palanga municipality and the Klaipėda and Palanga Jewish Communities held a ceremony to commemorate Holocaust victims at the stone monument to Holocaust victims in the Botanical Garden in Palanga Tuesday, June 22, 2021.