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ON SUNDAY ALL JEWISH LITHUANIA MEMORIAL at noon at Fifth Ave Synagogue

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  • sha
    Just wanted people to know for those in NYC area who may wish to attend: This coming Sunday, October 28 at 12 noon, there is a memorial of Jewish Lithuanians
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 23, 2012
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      Just wanted people to know for those in NYC area who may wish to attend:

      This coming Sunday, October 28 at 12 noon, there is a memorial of Jewish Lithuanians by the organization Assistance to Lithuanian Jews which is holding its yearly yizkor gathering.  The event will be held at Fifth Avenue Synagogue, 5 E 62nd St between 5th Ave and Madison in Manhattan and features speakers, a memorial section with candle lighting and a luncheon.

      From the letter from the organization: "The organization provides support to needy Litvaks in Israel and Lithuania and has been invigorated by an influx of 2nd and 3rd generation Litvaks. The organization holds high the torch of perpetuating and preserving the spirit and heritage of Litvakdom."

      I went 2 years ago and lit a candle for my father with my mother, sister and nephew (my father had died several years earlier). It was quite lovely and moving. We also went with the grandson of my father's friend, the publisher Mr. Ginsburg, who was my dad's next door neighbor in Keidan and met there a family friend, a child of one of the doctors who my father studied with in Kovno, Meri-Jane Rochelson, daughter of Dr. Rochelson. They also lit memorial candles for their grandfather and father respectively.

      They have several speakers this year. One is Al Jaffee from Mad magazine, who is a very good speaker, and they seem to invite every year (He spoke 2 years ago and I think was there again last year). Mr. Jaffee spent several years with his mother in Lithuania until his father came to get him (his mother remained there and was killed in the Holocaust).

      Another speaker this year is Abraham Foxman, of Bnai Brith, who was given to a non-Jewish housekeeper in Vilnius, remained there during the war, was baptized as a Christian and then later returned to his Jewish relatives. 

      I am sure there are other speakers but the event is not listed on a website. My mother received two letters about it and misplaced the one with the program. When I went 2 years ago, there was a woman who spoke about the prosecutions of elderly Jews who participated in the Resistance as enemies of the Lithuanian people, and also a Jewish admiral of the Navy who gave a very interesting talk about submarines and aircraft carriers.

      After the speeches, they have a very nice luncheon. Admission is by whatever donation you wish. With $36 you get a membership in the organization and they use the money they gather to send to elderly Lithuanian Jews in Israel and Lithuania. One very interesting aspect of the gathering is the President Joseph Griliches who presides over the event has, despite considerable ill-health (he was in a wheelchair and apparently has been for years) has a steel-trap mind and vivid memories about the Kovno ghetto (some of my Keidan family members actually had moved to Kovno before the war). He mentioned things about my father serving as a doctor in the Kovno ghetto which I didn't know. (According to my mother, "Mr. Griliches remembers some things about your dad that your dad himself had forgotten"). If you have any relatives with any connection to that ghetto, I do recommend speaking with him. And the event is really a very moving one and intended for all descendents of any part of Lithuania.

      The address to mail a check to is c/o Ms. Lucie Hirsch, 301 E 63rd St Apt 15J, NY NY 10065. Or you can call Mr. Griliches to RSVP at 212-988-2699. My mother generally brings a check with her to the event so I am sure you could as well.

      So sorry to be sending this out so late. Hope some of you can make it. 

      Sharon Silber, daughter of Dr. Joseph Silber (Yosel Zilberas) of Keidan


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