Tag Archives: Yiddish institute in Vilnius

Judaic (& Yiddish) Institutions in Vilnius, Lithuania (2024)

SEE ALSO: Genealogists & historical tour guides; Litvak resources; Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive; Dovid Katz’s online resources, including mini-museums of Old Jewish Vilna & interwar LithuaniaSeven Kingdoms of the Litvaks; Windows to a Lost Jewish World


Center for Studies of the Culture and History of East European Jews

Universiteto 7, Vilnius 01122

Website;  Website 2

International Yiddish Center of the World Jewish Congress

Vienuolio 4-7, Vilnius 01104, Lithuania

with additional city center premises at Gedimino 24

Tel: +3705 208-0306;  Email: info@yiddishcenter.org;   Facebook;   Website

[EDITORIAL COMMENT: It is hoped the World Jewish Congress will disassociate this potentially historic initiative from the government-PR and in-principle Jewless “Vilnius Jewish Library” on Gedimino Boulevard. The Library, for years “legitimized” with pseudo-Jewish street-cred by a shiny plaque featuring “Yiddish” and “World Jewish Congress” has been dedicated largely  to manipulation of naive foreign visitors in the spirit of far-right nationalist Holocaust revisionism. Never once has the Library  invited for a seminar or talk any of the city’s Jewish scholars (or Yiddish specialists) who happen to disagree with state history revisionism featuring Double Genocide and covering for the glorification of local Holocaust collaborators; by contrast, operatives from the Genocide Center and Red-Brown Commission are featured as enlighteners of Jewish truth. Will the Commission ever apologize for its public support for criminal investigations of Holocaust survivors? Some local Jewish people feel the “International Yiddish Center” (afraid of the Library’s and other state “Jew-issue fixers”?) has perhaps in recent years been more dedicated to a “safe, easy and minimum common denominator” of Israeli and Russian-sphere funtime-in-Vilnius without establishing even a minimal infrastructure for the survival of the study of Yiddish language, literature and culture in Lithuania.

Nevertheless, the Yiddish Center has truly supported some genuinely worthy projects of which it can be proud. Hopefully, it will now strive to build on that and  rapidly evolve into a major bona fide provider of Yiddish education, resources and culture, within Lithuania, and indeed — internationally. Remembering that Yiddish is a language with a tragic history, fragile status and rich culture and literature. It is not a PR toy for far-right ultranationalist Baltic Holocaust revisionism which has long employed “Jewish manipulables” in the battle to fix a history that cannot be “fixed”. Surely, the World Jewish Congress has nothing to fear, least of all in the city that was once a world center of serious Yiddish culture, education and scholarship.  At the moment, the founder of such post-Soviet projects in Eastern Europe, the late Prof. Gershon Winer, might well be spinning in his grave…]

Jewish Cultural and Information Center

Mesiniu 3, Vilnius Old Town

Tel: + 3705 260-8718;   FacebookWebsite

Jewish Studies Center at the European Humanities University (EHU)

Savičiaus St. 17, Vilnius 01127


Judaica Research Center at the National Library of Lithuania (in partnership with the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, NY)

c/o Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Gedimino 51, Vilnius 01504

Tel: +3705 239-8699;   Facebook;  Website

Litvak World (/ Jerusalem of the North)

Jogailos 9 ,Vilnius 01116

FacebookWebsite;  Contacts

Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History

Naugarduko 10; Pamenkalnio 12; Pylimo 6; etc.

Note: In addition to its Naugarduko 10 main premises and exhibit, there are six additional sites to visit. See web page.

Facebook; Website

Vilnius Jewish Public Library

Gedimino 24 (courtyard), Vilnius

Facebook;  Website

Vilnius University’s History Faculty Chair in Judaic Studies

Faculty of History, Vilnius University, Universiteto 3, Vilnius 01513, Lithuania

Academia.edu; University’s faculty profile

Vilnius (and Brussels) Based Staff of the Museum of the Lost Shtetl

Staff specialists and contacts

Dominikonų  5, Vilnius 01131, Lithuania

Tel: +370 698 44091; Email: info@lostshtetl.com; Website

Vilnius Yiddish Institute

Daukantas Courtyard, Vilnius University, Universiteto 3, Vilnius 01513, Lithuania

[EDITORIAL COMMENT:  The Vilnius Yiddish Institute (VYI) was abruptly closed down by its director in 2019, nine years after he and government officials arranged for the dismissal of Yiddish-teaching staff (for having protested in articles in the West, in English language media, the state prosecutor’s targeting of Holocaust survivors). Term-time courses were abandoned, and projects developed instead to honor Jewish notables (from Brandeis Univ. and beyond) who supported revisionist state Holocaust policies (and received high state medals for these activities). But the lucrative summer course continued, via Indiana University’s Borns Jewish Studies Program, until 2018. The Vilnius Yiddish Institute website and its rich archive were taken down and replaced in 2019 by a weird and inadequate definition of Yiddish (archived), with zero explanation of what happened to the institute that thousands of people had given to over close to two decades. There is now widespread concern about the institute’s rich library and archive, donated by hundreds of generous donors over many years (including many rare volumes in Lithuanian Jewish studies, particularly primary sources on interwar Jewish Vilna) who believed they were giving to a permanent library that would be cherished in perpetuity by the recipient university institution in an EU/NATO capital city. Now one can only hope that these treasures will without delay be transferred to one of the functioning Judaica libraries in Vilnius, perhaps the National Library, where local and international readers alike can readily access these materials. Updates here. The entry remains on this page because of (a) the library wrongfully placed beyond use; (b) the “information” repeatedly given inquirers, in the classic spirit of “Soviet information” that the institute has been “deposited [‘deponuotas’] temporarily and is right now beyond use”… Transfer of the unique VYI library to an active and accessible library would solve things rapidly and gracefully, with no need for invoking a conflictual past.]


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