2020 designated as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania


2019 07 24


The Government approved the plan of the year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania for 2020, where the means for commemoration of Jewish culture and history are provided.

As we are going to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the great Lithuanian Rabbi, the Litvak misnagd religious leader and the most prominent Litvak cultural representative – Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, the year 2020 are proclaimed the year of Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania. It is planned to convene international scientific conferences “Writings and Intelligence of the Lithuanian Jews in the 18th-20th c.” and “Treasures of the Litvak Culture and Art: the Latest Studies” next year, as well as stationary and virtual exhibitions meant to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Vilna Gaon.

It is planned to negotiate the possibility to exhibit the picture “White Crucifixion” by Marc Chagall in Lithuania, to arrange the exhibition of works of Samuel Bak in M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, and also exhibition of works of the Brazilian modernist Lasar Segall, one of the most famous modernist artists of the 20th century, born in Vilnius.

It is also planned to organize a concert of grand piano and chamber music dedicated to Jascha Heifetz, Joseph Achron and George Gershwin, as well as a concert “In memoriam Anatolijus Šenderovas”, intended to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the composer.

It is planned to publish a book “Holocaust History in Lithuania” that will summarize a 20-year work of the international commission’s experts. The initiator is the secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.

The publication in Lithuanian and English “Passport Journal / Lithuanian Jews – the Litvak” is planned, as well as a cycle of events “The Litvak and Literature: Input of the Lithuanian Jews into the World Literature Heritage” for Vilnius Book Fair.

The mobile and virtual exhibitions about volunteer Jewish soldiers, who participated in the Independence Wars, will be created. It has been promised to organize a competition for the idea for monument to the Righteous among the Nations – rescuers of Jews in Lithuania occupied by the Nazi.

It is planned to start renewal works of the memorial museum of Žakas Lipšicas in Druskininkai. Upon coordination with the community of the Lithuanian Jews (Litvak), it is intended to prepare a plan of works of commemoration of the Great Synagogue of Vilna and of putting its environment in order, and to start implementation of that plan. It is also planned to clean the territory of Šnipiškės old cemetery of Vilnius Jews, to present history of the cemetery, and to exhibit fragments of tombstones.

The cycles of events targeted to present the Litvak culture will be organized in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Federal Republic of Germany, South African Republic, Israel, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Republic of France, in the permanent mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations in Geneva, and in the permanent mission of the Republic of Lithuania to UNESCO in Paris.