From 1999 to 2011, Milan Chersonski, now a senior staff writer at Defending History, was editor-in-chief of Jerusalem of Lithuania, the newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania that appeared from November 1989 to early 2011 in four separate editions in four languages — English, Lithuanian, Russian and Yiddish.
The issues of the newspaper are an invaluable repository of life and times in one of Eastern Europe’s small but remarkably vibrant and courageous post-Soviet Jewish communities. The paper reflected a diversity of materials (and opinions!) and was known for spotting new young talent in the community; recording people’s accomplishments; keeping vibrant the storied history of Vilna and Litvak Jewry; crediting Lithuanian intellectuals who speak out courageously; and bravely doing battle with historic revisionism and falsification, antisemitism, and glorification of fascism, however high and powerful the opponent.
The following samples from the English edition have been uploaded in cooperation with Milan Chersonski, who was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania (recent video tribute). In Soviet times it was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company.
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Artist Mikhail Percov (1999)
Tenor Rafailas Karpis (1999)
Honoring Rescuers and Grigory Kanovich’s 70th (1999)
Last LJC conference of the 20th century (1999)
Rachel Kostanian reflects on the Jewish Museum’s Green House (2000)
Linas Vildžiūnas launches the House of Memory (2000)
Honoring Rescuers and the film Uncle Chatzkel (2000)
Chersonski blasts parliamentary proposal to honor June 23rd (2000)
Valentinas Brandišauskas blasts ultranationalists’ effort to sanitize and heroize the LAF murderers (2001) [full translation in Defending History]
Chersonski asks: Who needs a rebuilt Jewish ghetto? (2002)
Sholem Aleichem School director Misha Jakobus on contemporary antisemitism (2009)
Joseph Levinson honored in London (2010)
Recalling the work of Vilna Jewish physicians and medical institutions, by David Schiupakas and Osip Mackin (2010)
Chersonski blasts the new law criminalizing the Western narrative of the Holocaust (2010)