Sabbath Times

Sabbath Times

The Sabbath begins at 6:05 P.M. on Friday, March 15, and concludes at 7:19 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Choral Synagogue

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Choral Synagogue

March 15 is the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews, commemorating the historic deeds of noble Righteous Gentiles who saved a remnant of Lithuania’s Jewish population from the Holocaust. If not for them, there would be no Litvaks left in Lithuania.

“Time is ruthless. Every year there are fewer and fewer rescuers and Holocaust survivors left, but the memory of what they experienced and survived can never be forgotten. Let’s celebrate that our children, for now, are able to learn about history from the lips of eye-witnesses, and not just from textbooks. Let’s do everything we can to insure these stories are passed on to our children, grandchildren and the generations to come,” Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, whose family was also rescued by good people, said.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community invites you to come remember the rescuers and to thank them for their courage and humanity.

Time: 12:00 noon, Friday March 15
Place: Choral Synagogue, Pylimo street no. 39, Vilnius

Women’s Club to Meet

Women’s Club to Meet

Dear women of the Lithuanian Jewish Community,

We are meeting at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius this Friday. You can expect real Women’s Club fun, including interesting conversation, an introduction to Purim, making hamantashen pastries and more. If you’ve been to one of the meetings before, you know this will be an unforgettable evening. Those who haven’t should come and find out for themselves.

Time: 6:30 P.M., Friday, March
Place: Third floor, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

Registration is required by writing zanas@sc.lzb.lt or calling (+370) 678 81514.

Choral Synagogue Attacked

Choral Synagogue Attacked

Early on the morning of Sunday, March 10, a group of young people threw a stone at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius. Police were alerted, but police officers said there was no damage done, despite several broken tiles. Security cameras recorded the rock throwing incident.

Damage doesn’t have to be physical. Whether you’re a Catholic or Jew, every house of prayer is sacred. We have as much right to ask for respect towards the synagogue as Catholic and Orthodox believers do for respect to their churches and to any location where rituals are being conducted.

All material was turned over to the police. We expect the perpetrators to be identified and their actions judged.

Sabbath Times

Sabbath Times

The Sabbath begins at 5:52 P.M. on Friday, March 8, and concludes at 7:05 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region. Sunday the 11th of March is Restoration of Lithuanian Independence Day with government and municipal offices and many businesses closed as well. On March 11, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic voted to declare Lithuania independent of the Soviet Union, annulling Lithuania’s annexation by the USSR during World War II. March 8 is also International Women’s Day.

Purim Carnival

Purim Carnival

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium and the Vilnius Religious Jewish Community invite you to a celebration of Purim, the happiest holiday on the Jewish calendar.

The program includes the traditional Purimshpil, an appearance by the Shmeikhl choir, the debut of a musical group made up of students, African drumming, a quiz, the costume carnival contest, DJs and other fun stuff, with the indefatigable Michaelas Frišmanas as master-of-ceremonies.

Time: 6:00 P.M., Friday, March 22
Place: Legendos Klubas, Kalvarijų street no. 85, Vilnius

The costume theme is legends of film. Cost for adults is 30 euros. Cost for children aged 7-18 is 20 euros.

Tickets available here: https://topticket.lt/lt/event/PURIM-2024

 

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Vilnius Jewish Public Library

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Vilnius Jewish Public Library

The Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community and the Vilnius Jewish Public Library will hold a discussion on those who rescued Jews from the Holocaust, and what would happen if the Holocaust were repeated. The discussion happens at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 19, at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library at Gedimino prospect no. 24 in Vilnius. The discussion is intended to mark March 15, the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews, included on the official state calendar of commemorative days in 2022.

Youth Clubs Meeting This Weekend

Youth Clubs Meeting This Weekend

The Knafaim Club meets Friday, March 8, at 6:00 P.M. On Sunday at 12 noon the Ilan Club for younger children meet for a special program of activities and loads of fun. On Thursday, March 14, another in the Women’s Club series of meetings will happen at 6:30 P.M. If you’ve been to one of these before, you know what a good time to expect, and if you haven’t, come and find out! It all happens at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius. Stay tuned for more information.

Condolences

We are deeply saddened to report the death of Rimas Timunas. He was born in 1952. A renowned theater director, he staged Grigoriy Kanovitch’s “Nusišypsok mums, Viešpatie” and popularized Litvak culture on the Lithuanian and world stage. He passed away in Italy from lung cancer.

Judaica Research Institute: Yiddish from Georgia

Judaica Research Institute: Yiddish from Georgia

The Judaica Research Institute at the Martynas Mažvydas Lithuanian National Library invites the public to a concert called “Yiddish from Georgia” to be held on the third-floor atrium starting at 6:00 P.M. on Monday, March 18.

The Yiddish quartet was form by Georgian actress Ana Sanaia in 2022. Receiving great acclaim, Sanaia made the quartet part of her mono-drama Martokina in 2023. That same year, with several other talented musicians including Tamar Rtveliashvili, Ioana Navadze and Aleksandra Lortkipanidze, the quartet became part of the Yiddish Theater in Tblisi, also resurrected by Sanaia after more than a century of absence.

The quartet is vocalist Salome Bakuradze, musician Maria Elene Bezhashvili, actress Sofia Akhuashvili and actress and director Ekaterine Kato Sharikadze, and are well known to radio and television audiences in Georgia. While none of them are Jewish, they all feel a deep and abiding respect for the Georgian Jewish heritage and share an understanding of the contribution the Ashkenazi who spoke Yiddish made in bringing Georgia into Europe.

The program includes songs in Yiddish and Georgian. Lasha Shakulashvili, a lecturer in Yiddish language and culture at Tblisi State University, will also speak on Yiddish culture in Georgia and its connections to Litvak culture.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

Photo: Deborah Feldman by D. Umbrasas/LRT

Lithuanian State Radio and Television has featured another Jewish author who appeared at the Vilnius Book Fair last month, Deborah Feldman, author of “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” under the headline “Author of Bestseller ‘Unorthodox’ with Litvak Roots: My Grandmother Is the Only Reason I’m Not Crazy” [Lietuviškų šaknų turinti bestselerio „Neortodoksiška“ autorė: močiutė – vienintelė priežastis, kodėl neišprotėjau].

Feldman recounts trying to sell her book to a publisher, and their response that it was a Jewish story, and why would it be interesting to non-Jews?

The American-born German author grew up in the close-knit Hassidic community of Satmar in Brooklyn, New York. She travelled to Lithuania to launch the Lithuanian translation of “Exodus, Revisisted,” the sequel to “Unorthodox,” at the Vilnius Book Fair. The Lithuanian translation was published by the Baltas Publishing House.

The New York Times bestseller “Unorthodox” tells the story of a young Jewish woman who extracts herself from an ultra-conservative community and has attracted readers around the world. It was made into a Netflix mini-series of the same name and was nominated for 8 Emmy awards.

Full article in Lithuanian here.

Righteous Gentiles Commemoration at Tolerance Center

Righteous Gentiles Commemoration at Tolerance Center

The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum will hold an evening of literature and music to commemorate the Righteous Gentiles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust, happening at 5:00 P.M. on March 17. The Tolerance Center is located at Naugarduko street no. 10 in Vilnius.

The first half of the program is dramatic readings of prose and poetry by Lithuanian actors Vladas Bagdonas and Dalia Michelevičiūtė with musical accompaniment by Petras Vyšniauskas on saxophone and Arkadijus Gotesmanas doing percussion.

The second part of the program includes reflections on the rescue of Jews by Lithuanian artists and public figures. Gotesmanas will talk about how his father escaped being murdered at Auschwitz. Director Gintaras Varnas, poetess, playwright and actress Daiva Čepauskaitė and teacher and writer Vytautas Toleikis will also share their thoughts in a discussion moderated by writer Donatas Puslys.

The event is intended to mark the second Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews, proclaimed an official day of commemoration by the Lithuanian parliament, to fall on March 15 every year.

NAALE International Exchange Student Program with Israel Coming to LJC Sunday

NAALE International Exchange Student Program with Israel Coming to LJC Sunday

A representative from the NAALE Elite Academy will give a presentation this Sunday at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius for adolescents who want to study in Israel.

The NAALE program provides an opportunity to young people with Jewish roots to receive scholarships and attend from 3 to 4 years the best high schools in Israel.

The program was established in 1992 by the Progressive Education Association in cooperation with the Israeli Education Ministry and the Jewish Agency. Initially it was intended for children from families repatriating to Israel, but a decade later expanded to include all talented Jewish adolescents from around the globe, giving them the chance to get the best high school education and a priceless tool in aspiring after their future goals. NAALE Elite Academy also helps Jewish young people make a strong connexion with their Jewish roots and friendships to last a lifetime.

NAALE project leader Igal Brantman will give the presentation and answer all questions from the audience.

Time: 9:30 A.M., Sunday, March 10
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius

Registration is required by sending an email to viljamas@lzb.lt or by calling +370 672 50699. We hope to see you there.

Andrei Zvonkov to Perform Classical Music on Guitar at LJC

Andrei Zvonkov to Perform Classical Music on Guitar at LJC

Andrei Zvonkov, a guitarist for the legendary group Bi-2 (who formed the larger part of the soundtrack for the movie Brat 2 (2000, Russian Federation), will perform an exclusive concert on acoustic guitar at the Lithuanian Jewish Community next week.

The program includes works by Back, Mozart, Paganini, Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff and other great classical music composers adapted for acoustic guitar.

There will be a chance to talk to the musician in person. Bi-2 has recently featured on front pages after their arrest in Thailand and subsequent deportation to Israel.

Time: 7:00 P.M., Thursday, March 14
Place: LJC, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

Tickets available here: https://shorturl.at/hknyY

Seats are limited and interest is expected to be great. The LJC is giving away two free tickets via our facebook page. Post there the person with whom you’d like to attend in order to enter the contest. Winners will be selected randomly Friday.

UK PM Delivers Nice Speech, Fails to Protect British Jews

UK PM Delivers Nice Speech, Fails to Protect British Jews

United Kingdom prime minister Rishi Sunak alerted media to a special address Friday made outside 10 Downing Street in London.

In the speech, the PM decried the rise of extremism in Britain, talked about the fear among British Jews of being identified on the street and targeted for being Jewish, but failed to provide any specific measures to protect Britain’s Jews. For the first half of the speech the prime minister competed with a vocal protestor in the vicinity, and Sunak appeared frightened for his personal well-being.

Instead, Sunak seemed to equate the rise in violence against UK Jews with “Islamophobia,” and repeated a false statement initially propagated by his Labour opposition during the ouster of home secretary Suella Braverman.

Litvak Scouts Celebrate Important Date

Litvak Scouts Celebrate Important Date

Last Saturday Litvak scouts took part in an event hosted by the scouts of Panevėžys to celebrate the 167th birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, the father of the scouting movement.

Along with delicious birthday cupcakes, a fun-filled program and the friendly atmosphere of fellow scouts, brother and sister Anastasija and Dovydas also took the pledge. These earnest young scouts now wear the yellow neckerchief of that age-group of scouts. A big hip-hip-hooray! to our newest scouts.

A big thank-you to the organizers and scout leaders and to the Lithuanian Jewish Community for providing transportation and other services.

Remembering the 80th Anniversary of the Children’s Aktion in the Kaunas Ghetto

Remembering the 80th Anniversary of the Children’s Aktion in the Kaunas Ghetto

On March 27 and 28, 1844, more than 1,700 children and elderly were rounded up in the Kaunas ghetto and murdered. The Kaunas Jewish Community invites you to mark the anniversary of one of the greatest Holocaust atrocities in Lithuania.

Time: 4:00 P.M., March 27, 2024
Place: Kaunas ghetto gate, Linkuvos street no. 2, Kaunas

The commemoration ceremony will be followed by a concert at 5:30 P.M. at Vytautas Magnus University, Gimnazijos street no. 7, Kaunas.

Please indicate your intention to attend by sending an e-mail to ieva0102@yahoo.com by March 22.

Bomb Discovered at School, Removed

Bomb Discovered at School, Removed

According to BNS, an explosive was discovered next to the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius Thursday afternoon. Bomb experts removed it and took it to a quarry for demolition, BNS quoted Vilnius District Police as saying. Police said the bomb was taken to the quarry about 4:35 P.M. Police wouldn’t tell BNS what kind of bomb it was, but students at the school reported it was unexploded ordnance from World War II. Police said a 20- to 25-centimeter shell or artillery piece was uncovered during construction work on the future kindergarten adjacent to the main school building and within the territory of the school. Police said they received the initial report at about 1:49 P.M. Thursday. The report led to alerts issued to police, medical services, Aras special police forces and military demolition experts. The school was temporarily evacuated and regular operation resumed Friday.

Story here.

Sabbath with Guitar Music

Sabbath with Guitar Music

Last Friday the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Bnei Maskilim held a Sabbath celebration with prayer, food, guitar music and an evening of friendship and fun. This is at least a once-monthly event at the Community now. You’re invited to join next time. For more information about the next gathering, stay tuned, or send an email to viljamas@lzb.lt or call (+370) 672 50699.