A chess tournament was held at the Lithuanian Jewish Community on Sunday to commemorate Boris Rositsan, FIDE master and long-time president of the Rositsan and Maccabi chess club. His widow and friends shared their memories and remembered his extraordinary sense of humor, love of food, love for his family, for chess and for life.
The Sabbath begins at 6:19 P.M. on Friday, October 1, and concludes at 7:28 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.
by Ginas Dabašinskas, Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community
And over those nine decades I never happened to meet theater expert, art historian and professor Markas Petuchauskas, I’ll allow myself to say in a bit of fun.
But I always knew Markas Petuchauskas is, first of all, the constellation of the publication “Literatūra ir menas,” where my student contact with theater studies, more precisely theater criticism, began. He is among the ranks of the other great lights–Irena Veisaitė, Egmontas Jansonas, Irena Aleksaitė and Dovydas Judelevičius, all of whom, unfortunately, have passed on.
Eight months ago, or maybe nine, I received a passage from a book about to go to press from Markas Petuchauskas. The passage was called “Fiddler on the Roof of Vilnius” and was dedicated to the memory of Vilnius-born violinist Jascha Heifetz.
The author only had one condition: not to change anything.
A very happy 90th birthday to theater critic, thinker and author Markas Petuchauskas from the Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community and the entire LJC. Mazl tov. Bis 120!
The Biržai Jewish Culture and History Association in Biržai, Lithuania, commemorated the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust in Lithuania on October 3. The Prabudimo orkestras organization co-sponsored the event, and members of the Panevėžys Jewish Community were invited to attend the commemoration and concert held at the Palace of Culture in Biržai.
Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman attended, spoke and thanked the hosts. He said there was a large Jewish community in Biržai before the war which included doctors, teachers, merchants and artisans who helped create Lithuania’s future.
Judita Leitaitė, teacher at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, will perform a concert with her singing students Aija Jermoloviča, Jūratė Minelgaitė, Greta Rimšaitė, Gabija Žvinklytė, Natalija Dmuchovska, Skirmantė Vaičiūtė, Giedrius Gečys and Joris Gudelevičius at 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 12, on the third floor of the Lithuanian Jewish Community located at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius.
The hour of music is dedicated to commemorating the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust in Lithuania. Admission free, proof of vaccination required.
Locals and visitors gathered October 3 at the Menorah statue marking the territory of the former ghetto in Švenčionys to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust there. Švenčionys Jewish Community chairman Moisėj Šapiro, Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris, Švenčionys regional administration mayor Rimantas Klipčius, Polish ambassador to Lithuania Urszula Doroszewska, Ela Gurina, high school history teacher Danguolė Grincevičienė and others attended and spoke.
At 7:00 P.M. on Friday, October 8, the Kaunas Jewish Community and the organization Prabudimo orkestras will hold a concert at the Kaunas Cultural Center to mark the 80th anniversary of the so-called grosse aktion in the Kaunas ghetto. The cultural center is located at Vytauto street no. 79 in Kaunas.
This will a repeat performance of the Symphony from the Jerusalem of the North by Jievaras Jasinskis. Entry is free to the public but registration is required.
More information here.
Brussels, October 1, 2021–The European Jewish Congress expresses its profound regret at the decision of Belgium’s Constitutional Court to uphold a ban on the Jewish method of slaughter of animals for meat, known as shechita.
The Court upheld two decrees adopted in 2017 which banned shechita in the Flemish and Walloon regions of Belgium in 2017, ruling that these did not violate religious freedoms according to the Belgian constitution.
This follows a 2020 decision by the European Court of Justice that ruled that Belgium was allowed to impose stricter rules on the slaughter of animals than those prescribed by the EU.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky attended an event by the Lithuanian embassy to Canada and the Canadian-Lithuanian community held Saturday at the Anapilis Hall set up by Canadian-Lithuanians generations ago in Toronto.
Kukliansky welcomed attendees at the event which was intended to issue Lithuanian state awards and letters of thanks from the ambassador to members of the Toronto Lithuanian community for support rendered to the Lithuanian state. It included a presentation of virtual Canadian Lithuanian Museum and archive exhibits and a musical performance by Litvak opera soloist Rafailas Karpis accompanied by. D. Mažintas. After the event participants visited the St. John’s Church cemetery adjacent to the venue and laid a wreath for those who fought for Lithuanian independence. Attendees also visit the Canadian Lithuanian Museum there.
Faina Kukliansky visited the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto Sunday, which included “A Letter from the Past: Yiddish Songs” performed by Karpis and Mažintas. Lithuanian ambassador to Canada Skusevičius and Kukliansky presented the 300th anniversary coin commemorating the Vilna Gaon issued by the bank of Lithuania to synagogue leaders and the Lithuania Order of the Life-Saver’s Cross to the family members of Righteous Gentile V. Baltušis
The Sabbath begins at 6:36 P.M. on Friday, October 1, and concludes at 7:46 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.
Vilnius University and the Lost Shtetl Museum are launching jointly a series of lectures and discussions called “Open Conversations on History” which will raise topical questions of historical truth, memory wars and society’s ability to resist the pressure to serve one or another ideology.
We invited Christoph Dieckmann, a prominent historian and author of books on German occupation policy and the Holocaust in Lithuania, to the first discussion at 6:00 P.M. on October 1. He will give a lecture called “Looking back on our past. Lithuanians, Germans, and Jews.”
Dieckmann will share his insights on the relationship between history and memory, talk about personal searches trying to find the best way to study the Holocaust in Lithuania and the method used to help incorporate the different perspectives of Holocaust participants.
Photographs by Polina Butkienė
The courtyard of the President’s Office in Vilnius hosted a concert called “Symphony from Jerusalem of the North” to mark the Day of Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide on September 23. The work composed by Jievaras Jasinskis was performed by the Vilnius St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra with special guest on Middle Eastern instruments Yaron Cherniak from Israel. Lithuanian National Ballet and Opera Theater senior conductor Ričardas Šumila conducted the ensemble.
Tadas Daujotas who performed on shofar horn said they thought deeply about the Litvak contribution over the centuries to Lithuanian culture and development as they created this work to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust in Lithuania. “We sought to pay respect to the memory of the Jews who lived in Lithuania and to express solidarity with the Jewish community through this music project,” he said.
Composer Jievaras Jasinskis said he wanted to show how intertwined Lithuanian and Jewish history is.
Mere hours before trial was set to begin, 96-year-old suspected war criminal Irmgard Furchner fled justice in Itzehoe, Germany, on Thursday, September 30. She’s accused of complicity in the murder of 11,000 people at the Stutthof concentration camp in what is now Poland between 1943 and 1945.
German media report she left the senior care home where she lives by taxi but failed to appear in court. A warrant was issued for her arrest. Law-enforcement managed to find her within several hours and the court must now decide whether she represents a real flight risk, and should be jailed before court proceedings resume on October 19.
by Margarita Rimkutė, taurageszinios.lt
Perhaps not every resident of Tauragė knows that the building which houses the Tauragė district prosecutor’s office was once a Jewish primary school. On Wednesday a ceremony was held to unveil a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tarbut school there. The event was part of a series of events in town called “The Shtetl in Tauragė.”
Senior events director of the Cultural Center Algima Juščiuvienė led the event and said the school established in 1921 held classes until 1941.
“The horrific tragedy of the Holocaust silenced the cries of children playing and killed the Jewish spirit of this city. In 1947 a Russian pre-gymnasium was set up in the building. In 1954 it housed the Tauragė music school, in 1988 an evening school, and since 1996 the building has belonged to the prosecutor general. It is the oldest school building in the city. The Jewish school which had four grades then had 250 pupils. All the school’s teachers were licensed and drew their salaries from the Ministry of Education. The school belonged to the Tarbut school network, meaning it was the strongest modern educational organization in Eastern Europe,” Algima Juščiuvienė said.
Congratulations to Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky on receiving a gold medal prize from Lithuania’s Department of Ethnic Minorities at a ceremony held at the Vilnius Old Town Hall on Monday, September 27. She received the prize in recognition of her work in the year 2020.
Many others received similar prizes, including the mayor of the regional administration of Jurbarkas and the Zundelovičius family for the memorial to the Synagogues’ Square in Jurbarkas erected in 2019. The regional administration of the Telšiai district and its mayor were also recognized for the conservation of the Telz yeshiva building and its adaptation for public use in 2020.