VILNIUS—The elected leadership of the Vilnius Jewish Community (VJC) today published on its website, and on its Facebook page, an English version of the Lithuanian original that appeared on 10 October on the website as well as, on the same date, in the form of a Baltic News Service (BNS) press release, providing the contact name of Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius), chair of the community and one of its twenty-one member elected council. The VJC, representing the more than 2,000 Jews of Vilnius in affiliation with groups in Šiauliai, Klaipeda and others, represents the vast majority of today’s living Jewish citizens in Lithuania. In fact, its electoral conference of May 2017 was the largest electoral conference of Jewish citizens in Lithuania this century.
“And most importantly […], to provide new elections for the chairpersonship of the Lithuanian Jewish Community in accordance with the honest rules that have been in place for many years, taking into account the votes of all the Jews of Lithuania, and not the ‘associations’ of ‘close friends’ who are themselves dependent for funding on the grace of the chairperson.”
Posted in Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Faina Kukliansky, Jews in Lithuania, Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC), Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Vilnius Jewish Community (VJC)
Jacob Piliansky (1946-2018)
Several dozen Vilnius Jews turned up today for the funeral of Jacob Piliansky at the city’s current Jewish cemetery at Sudervės 28. Decades ago, Piliansky, an engineer by trade, relocated to Washington DC (and for a time to the Netherlands) where he built a new life and career. But when his mother back in Vilnius, the legendary Dobke Jonis, turned ninety, he decided to return to his native Lithuania and live with her for the remainder of their years. Dobke (Dora Piliansky, 1912–2014), who passed away at age 102, was a cultural icon of her shtetl Zézmer (today’s Žiežmariai), whose prolific writings and drawings remain a testament, as does her testimony on the bestial brutality of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) fascists in June 1941 who turned back Jewish escapees on the roads to ensure they would be trapped in the Nazi choke-hold. She brought up her children — Jacob (Yasha, Yankl) and his older sister Fréydke (Frida Piliansky Zavalkovsky, 1942–2016) — to stand proudly for historic truth and to fear nothing and nobody when it comes to telling the story of Lithuanian Jewry in its homeland. Or plain and simple, to stand up for what is right. Such folks do not often enjoy lifetimes of unbroken popularity or the easiest of times.
Posted in Jacob Piliansky, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Obituaries, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Defending Holocaust History, Dobke Jonis, Jacob Piliansky, Jews in Vilnius, Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Vilnius Jewish community
VILNIUS—Arkadijus Vinokuras, the highly talented and successful Lithuanian Jewish author, journalist, and comedian, has today jumped into the fray of the official Jewish Community’s elections for the post of chairperson of the Vilnius Jewish Community. In contrast to Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius), who declared his candidacy at the start of the election season and whose candidacy has (as of the time of this posting) not even been reported on the official community website, Mr. Vinokuras’s effort comes one week before the scheduled May 24th Vilnius Jewish Community conference, and has been announced with respect and a fine photograph on the website today (the same moment it came out on his own Facebook page). But that is not the main reason his candidacy is thought by many in the community, on first reaction, to be in the service of chairperson Faina Kukliansky, whose democratic terms as chief of both the Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC) and the Vilnius Jewish Community (VJC) ran out last month.
Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Arkadijus Vinokuras, Faina Kukliansky, Good Will Foundation (Vilnius), Lithuanian Jewish Community, Paul Berger (Forward), Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Vilnius Jewish elections
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
On Wednesday, November 16th 2011, the Tolerance Center in Vilnius hosted a conference called: Tolerance and Totalitarianism. Challenges to Freedom.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Events, Geoff Vasil, LGBT Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas
Tagged Antisemitism in Lithuania, Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Hannah Rosenthal, Holocaust commemoration in the Baltics, Holocaust in Lithuania, Irena Veisaite, Jewish Affairs in Lithuania, Jewish Community of Lithuania, Jews in Lithuania, Litvaks, Markas Zingeris, President Obama's Envoy on Antisemitism, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas, Sarunas Liekis, Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Tolerance Center