After vandalism attack, the Lithuanian Jewish community asks for increased state protection

In a statement, the Lithuanian Jewish community decries the increase in antisemitic incidents in the country and demands that the state strengthen the security of Jewish institutions.

“On Monday (5th of February, 2024) evening, the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) community (LJC)
was attacked – security cameras caught a vandal throwing a stone and breaking the glass above
the entrance. The LJC has contacted the police about the incident.

This is yet another unprovoked antisemitic attack on the Jewish citizens of Lithuania, illustrating the
hostile public sentiment that can be escalated from the podium of the Parliament of the Republic of
Lithuania and the rhetoric of the supporters of the terrorist group Hamas.

The Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community is a non-political organization that is concerned with the
social and cultural life of Lithuanian Jews. In the community, there are clubs for children and young
people, as well as the Saul Kagan Welfare Centre, which takes care of the welfare of the community’s
elderly in their homes and in their leisure time in the community itself. It was only by a lucky
coincidence that no passersby were present at the time and that there were no people inside the
community building during the vandalism attack, thus avoiding casualties. However, the next time
could be much uglier. This is not the first antisemitic attack on Jewish communities in Lithuania;
stones were recently thrown at the windows of the Jewish community in Šiauliai County.

LJC also received information about a pedestrian bridge in Vilnius that was plastered with Nazi
symbols and targets. This incident was also reported to the police, as the legislation of the Republic of
Lithuania prohibits the propagation of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, their ideologies, and their

In January, at a meeting of the European Commission, all Member States presented a report on their
progress made in implementing the EU’s strategy to combat antisemitism and promote Jewish life.
Unfortunately, we have to conclude that the implementation of the strategy in Lithuania has been
rather slow; anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, which is only the beginning when compared to other
countries. However, the state is not doing enough to ensure the security of important community
facilities such as the Vilnius Choral Synagogue, Lithuanian Jewish Communities, the Vilnius Šolom
Aleichem ORT Gymnasium, and the Salvia kindergarten, which is attended by many Jewish children.

The Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community asks for support from the public organizations to which it
belongs and is active, as well as for the protection of the state authorities, because the experience of
other countries has shown that we are only one step away from a tragic disaster.”


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