Institute of Polish Jewish Studies, Oxford
Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London
Lidthuanian Embassy in the UK
Jews and non-Jews in Lithuania: Coexistence, Cooperation, Violence
Monday evening and Tuesday, December 17th and 18th 2012
Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry, volume 25: Jews in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1772
The history of Lithuanian Jewish communities has been marked by the continuities of religious tradition, but also by cultural dynamism. This conference offers insights into Lithuanian Jewish culture, seeks to throw light on the complex history of Lithuanian-Jewish relations, including their cruel and traumatic end during World War Two, and attempts to assess contemporary Lithuanian-Jewish relations in a European context.
The conference will be preceded by an afternoon event and evening reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania on Monday, followed by lectures from distinguished speakers all day Tuesday at UCL.
Refreshments and a kosher buffet lunch at the conference are included in the price.
Convenor: Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University)
Conference coordinator:Dr François Guesnet (University College London)
Monday December 17th 2012
THIS EVENT IS FREE OF CHARGE
Venue: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuania House, 2 Bessborough Gardens, London SW1V 2JE
3pm No Simple Stories II: Jewish/Lithuanian relations in historical perspective
PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS ORGANISED BY THE EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WHO REQUIRE A SEPARATE RSVP FOR SECURITY REASONS. IF YOU PLAN TO GO PLEASE SEND NAME, ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS TO email@example.com, or call 020 7592 2841. ADMISSION IS STRICTLY BY PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY
15.30 Welcome speech by HE Ms. Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė, Ambassador of Lithuania in the UK
Welcome speech by Mr Vivien Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
15.40 Presentation by Dr Darius Staliūnas – Pragmatic Alliances published by the Lithuanian Institute of History. The book is dedicated to the political cooperation between Jews and Lithuanians in the beginning of the 20th century in establishing the Republic of Lithuania.
Followed by discussion chaired by Mr Leonidas Donskis, MEP and
16.35 Presentation of “The Northern Jerusalem” initiative by Ms Anna Avidan, CEO
16.50 Coffee break
17.10 Dr François Guesnet - the conference proceedings of “No Simple Stories”: re-assessing Lithuanian-Jewish relations in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Comments by Dr Lionel Kopelowitz, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews 1985-1991, Professor Evan Zimroth, Queens College, The City University of New York
Presentation by the Centre of Litvaks Culture and Arts in Vilnius (Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum)
18.30 Reception and opening of exhibition of Jewish folk theatre posters from Vilnius (all food will be kosher).
Tuesday December 18th 2012
Venue: JZ Young lecture theatre, Anatomy Building, UCL, Gower Street (just south of the main UCL entrance)
Refreshments will be available from 9.30am in the Gavin de Beer room, Anatomy building
10.00 a.m. Welcome
Chair: Mr Ben Helfgott, Chairman of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies
HE Ms Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania
Opening Remarks: Sir Sigmund Sternberg, President of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies
10.15 am: Morning Session - What is a Litvak?
Chair: Professor Michael Berkowitz (UCL)
Dr Benjamin Brown (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): ‘From "Habit" to "Heart": Spirituality and De-routinization in the Musar Movement’
Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University), ‘The Origins of the Litvak identity'
Dr Irena Veisaite (Open Society Fund Lithuania, Vilnius), 'Lithuanian Jewish Life after War and Communism: Personal Reflections'
12:30: Kosher buffet lunch in the Gavin de Beer room
2 pm: Afternoon Session 1 - Aspects of Lithuanian-Jewish Interaction in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Chair: Professsor Antony Polonsky
Dr Darius Staliūnas (Institute of History, Vilnius), ‘Antisemitism in Lithuanian Political Culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’.
Dr Vladas Sirutavičius (Institute of History, Vilnius), ‘ "A close, but very suspicious and dangerous neighbour": Outbreaks of antisemitism in inter-war Lithuania'.
Professor Saulius Sužiedėlis (Professor Emeritus of History, Millersville University of Pennsylvania), ‘The Holocaust in Lithuania: The Main Historiographical Problems’.
4 pm: Refreshments in the Gavin de Beer room
4:30 pm: Afternoon Session 2- Contemporary Lithuanian-Jewish Relations in the European Context.
Mr Roger Cohen (New York Times)
Dr Leonidas Donskis (Member of the European Parliament)
Professor Šarūnas Liekis (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)
Professor Andrzej Żbikowski (Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw)
6 pm: Conclusion: Film, Jewish Life in Vilna
1939, Poland, 10 minutes
Produced by Yitzhak Goskin
Wednesday December 19th 2012
THIS EVENT IS FREE OF CHARGE
Venue: Sandys Row Synagogue
4a Sandy's Row London E1 7HW
DUO VERSUS is the pairing of two like-minded musicians (Abe McWilliams, violin, Martynas Levickis, accordion) who passionately explore the diverse repertoire possibilities of the union between the violin and the accordion. As well as arranging and performing transcriptions of sonatas for violin and piano, Duo Versus also delves into other genres and styles from tango, improvisation and folk music to commissioning contemporary works by living composers. Having performed in venues in both UK and Lithuania, notably with performances in the Christopher Summer Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, August 2012, the duo has been praised for their captivating and creative playing, as well as their unique appearance on stage and innovative use of stage designs and costumes to create an effect which is different to most traditional ensembles.
Supported by THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
ADMISSION STRICTLY BY RSVP ONLY to firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 7592 2841
The conference has been made possible by generous support from the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, the American Association for Polish Jewish Studies, the Polish Cultural Institute London, and other supporters.
Institute of Jewish Studies webpage: www.ucl.ac.uk/ijs