Jewish culture in Lithuania: glimpses of past and present

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Joint project of the WJC International Yiddish Center and Vilnius Public Jewish Library "Jewish culture in Lithuania: glimpses of the past and present" has been carried out on November 29-30, 2017 in nine towns of Lithuania.

Within framework of this educational-cultural project, Yiddish culture and heritage has been highlighted by means of 9 lectures - concerts "Pearls of Yiddish culture" in Lithuanian towns: Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Žagarė, Joniškis, Panevėžys (first tour) and Jonava, Kaunas, Marijampolė, Alytus (second tour).

Until recent years dissemination of knowledge about contribution of Yiddish culture and heritage to Lithuanian history and culture was focused mainly only in big cities of Lithuania, discourses have been carried out only in closed scientific events, not available for public. As of recent years, situation of this issue changed evidently – various seminars, concerts, lectures have been shifted to other regions of the country – interest in past of Jewish heritage in Lithuania grew up evidently among the local people of small towns.

This cycle of lecture-concerts will serve for reaching the goal of the organisers to educate Lithuanian audience in Yiddish heritage, to emphasise its great contribution to East European culture and to Lithuanian culture in particular.

The project involved performances of professional musicians Michael Yablonsky (guitar) and Boris Kirzner (violin) with Yiddish songs, lectures provided by the director of Vilnius Public Jewish Library Žilvinas Beliauskas and Akvilė Naudžiūnienė and exhibition "(Non)province. Reflections preserved in books on the interwar Jews in Lithuanian towns and shtetls".