Mounting Opposition to Vilnius “Convention Center in the Old Jewish Cemetery”


Registry of Opposition to “The National Convention Center” Atop the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (Šnipiškės)


Just ONE allegedly “compromised” group of Satmar rabbis in London, the “CPJCE”, are  allegedly in cahoots with certain Lithuanian government sections, and business & builders’ financial ambitions for the cemetery.

(I) Groups of leading Litvak (and other) rabbis

(II) Institutions

(III) Individuals

(IV) Lithuania’s Jewish community

(V) United States Congress

(VI) Background

(I) Lithuanian-tradition [Litvak] and other rabbis uniting to produce statements of protest

1: The 12 Litvak-tradition rabbis / heads of yeshiva in the U.S. who signed a July 2015 proclamation: Rabbi Moshe Brown (Agudath Israel of West Lawrence); Rabbi Dovid Feinstein (Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem of America); Rabbi Reuven Feinstein (Yeshiva of Staten Island); Rabbi Aharon Feldman (Ner Israel Rabbinical College); Rabbi Moshe Green (Yeshiva D’Monsey Rabbinical College); Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz (Mirrer Yeshiva); Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller (Telshe Yeshiva − Chicago); Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky (Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia); Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler (Beth Medrash Govoha − Lakewood, N.J.); Rabbi Yosef Rosenblum (Beth HaMedrash Shaarei Yosher); Rabbi Aaron M. Schechter (Rabbinical Academy Mesivta Chaim Berlin); Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel (Yeshiva Zichron Moshe).

2: The 4 Litvak-tradition rabbis / heads of yeshiva in Israel who signed a June 2015 proclamation: Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach; Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik; Rabbi Israel Isaac Kalmanovitz; Rabbi Tsvi Rotberg.

3: Leaders of the Gaon of Vilna Synagogue in Tel Aviv (including the Gaon’s direct descendants): Rabbi Yosef Tsvi Halevy; Rabbi Elijah Landa (in the name of all the Gaon’s family); the entire council of the synagogue and study house.

4: Rabbinic/academic delegation from Europe, the U.S. and Israel came to Lithuania on 25 August 2015 to plead for the convention center to be moved to another location: Rabbi Chizki Kalmanowitz (Asra Kadisha, Jerusalem); Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz (dean, Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, N.Y.); Rabbi Malkiel Kotler (dean, Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, N.J.);  Rabbi David Niederman (Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada); Dr. David Michael Schaps (Conference of Academicians for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries); Rabbi Avraham Yaffe Schlesinger (chief rabbi, Orthodox community, Geneva).

5: Rabbinic delegation meets in Feb. 2017 in Washington DC with Lithuania’s ambassador to plead for the cemetery, including: Rabbi Pinchos Hecht (Mirrer Yeshiva, N.Y.), Rabbi Malkiel Kotler (Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood), Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz (Mirrer Yeshiva, N.Y.), Rabbi Shmuel Lemberger, Rabbi David Niederman (United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn), Rabbi Shmuel Mordche Stern, Rabbi Yakov Ber Teitelbaum (representing his father, Satmar Grand Rabbi Yekusiel Zalmen Teitelbaum).

6: Compendium of rabbinic pleas to the government of Lithuania concerning the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery (in Hebrew)

7: Hundreds of rabbis among the 40,000+ signatories of Ruta Bloshtein’s international petition launched in December 2016.


(II) Institutions

Asra Kadisha

Association for the Promotion of a New Model of Human Rights and Duties

Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada

Conference of Academicians for the Protection of Jewish Cemeteries

Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations

European Commission (president) on decision not to fund the project

Kaunas Religious Jewish Community

Lo Tishkach European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative

Machon Ha-Gró (in English)

Satmar High Rabbinical Court

Simon Wiesenthal Center (Israel office)SWC international HQ

Vilna Gaon Synagogue in Tel Aviv

Vilnius Jewish Community

Yeshiva Beth Meir

(III) Individuals

Mauše Beirakas (Lithuania)

Didier Bertin (France)

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein (Lithuania) [in Lithuanian] [discovery of 1935 document] [Launch of international petition in Dec. 2016]

Herbert Block (New York)

Christian Bonneville (France & Lithuania)

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein (Los Angeles)

Rabbi Chaim Burshtein (Lithuania)  [response]

Milan Chersonski (Lithuania)

Rabbi Abraham Cooper (USA)

Donna Druchunas (USA & Lithuania)

Rabbi Pini Dunner (London and Beverley Hills)

Rabbi Shmuel Jacob Feffer [in English] (Lithuania & Israel)

Professor Pinchos Fridberg (Lithuania)

Berel Fried (USA)

Dr. Bernard Fryshman [II] (USA)

Rabbi Marvin Hier (USA)

Malcolm Hoenlein (USA)

Professor Dovid Katz (Lithuania)

Juris Kaža (Latvia)

Serge Klarsfeld (France)

Rabbi Kalev Krelin (Riga/Vilnius) [petition signer; DH award; JC]

Andrius Kulikauskas (Lithuania) [English;  Russian] [II]

Rabbi Elijah Landa (Israel)

Professor Sid Leiman [II] [III] (USA)

Pastor Michael Maass (Lithuania & USA)

Dr. Beata Nemcová (Slovakia)

Julius Norwilla (Lithuania)

Professor Josifas Parasonis (Lithuania)

Rabbi Abraham Pinter (London) [petition signer]

Yair Rosenberg (United States)

Rabbi Tzvi Rotberg (Israel)

Satmar Grand Rabbi Yehuda Yekusiel Zalman Teitelbaum

Dr. Tomasz Wiśniewski (Poland)

Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Israel)

(IV) From Lithuania’s Jewish community

Mauše Beirakas

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein [in Lithuanian] [international 2016-2017 petition]

Rabbi Chaim Burshtein (Lithuania)  [response]

Milan Chersonski

Rabbi Shmuel Jacob Feffer

Professor Pinchos Fridberg

Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevicius)

Professor Dovid Katz

Kaunas Religious Jewish Community

Rabbi Kalev Krelin [petition signer; DH award; JC]

Professor Josifas Parasonis

(V) United States Congress

12 United States Congressmen write to the president of Lithuania

(VI) Background

Background; DH editor’s take

DH Section

Paper Trail



Admas Kodesh

EU Aspects

Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Rothschild Foundation Europe (Hanadiv): Lithuanian Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mounting Opposition to Vilnius “Convention Center in the Old Jewish Cemetery”

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