9th Litvak Days in London

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Ben Solomon Zalman – the 18th century sage who contributed immensely to the formation of Litvak Judaism and brought the city of Vilnius fame as the Jerusalem of the North. Lithuania has dedicated 2020 to the commemoration of this anniversary, as an opportunity to discover and to promote the long and vibrant history of Lithuanian Jews. The 300th anniversary also provides us all with renewed inspiration and impetus to reflect on the importance and complexity of the Jewish legacy in Lithuanian history, culture and identity.

We will commence this year’s Litvak Days with a virtual opening concert on Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. (BST) on 27 May, broadcast live on Facebook from the White Hall at the current Ministry of Culture of Lithuania, which is located in the historical Pohulianka street in Vilnius (presently J. Basanavičius Street). The live performance by Lithuanian musicians – tenor Rafailas Karpis, pianist Darius Mažintas, violinist Dalia Dėdinskaitė, and cellist Gleb Pyšniak – will pay tribute to Anatolijus Šenderovas, one of the most famous contemporary Lithuanian–Jewish composers, and to all luminaries of the Jewish Lithuania.

More information here.

On Thursday, 28 May at 2 p.m. (BST) we invite you to join us at a Zoom webinar “Embracing its Jewish Legacy: has Lithuania reached a milestone?” Underlying the importance of this year’s occasion, the online discussion will bring together Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Lara Lempertienė, Kamilė Rupeikaitė, Violeta Davoliūtė, Michael Berkowitz and Jon Seligman – prominent experts from Lithuania, Israel, and the United Kingdom. They will collectively inquire into how Lithuania’s relationship with its Jewish heritage has evolved throughout the past 30 years since its restored independence, and discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

More information here.

On Friday, 29 May at 2 p.m. (BST) we invite you to join the Lithuanian Cultural Attaché in the UK in another Zoom webinar – “Memory Parks. Contemporary Art and the Litvak Story – featuring a discussion between artists and curators from Lithuania, the UK and France – Daiva Citvarienė, Jenny Cagan, Lewis Biggs, Esther Shalev-Gerz. We are very pleased to welcome Irena Veisaitė – survivor of the Holocaust and an intellectual from Lithuania who will join the panellists in exploring how contemporary art can contribute to societal processes in dealing with issues of the collective memory in the context of the history of Lithuanian Jews.

More information here.

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