Lithuanian Jewish community re-opens synagogue after two-day closure

The Jewish Community of Lithuania re-opened the only functioning synagogue in the capital Vilnius following an outcry over its decision two days earlier to close the house of worship due to unspecified threats.

The decision by the community’s chairwoman, Faina Kukliansky, to shut down the Choral Synagogue temporarily “did not lead to greater unity among the Jewish communities”. It also said that Lithuania’s prime minister and president have given “assurances” on security following the closure.

Along with the synagogue, the community’s headquarters also were announced as being shut down due to threatening phone calls and emails, Kukliansky said Tuesday. She did not say what the threats were. The statement on the synagogue’s re-opening did not mention the other building shuttered.

The closures coincided with protests in Lithuania over a decision last month by the mayor of Vilnius to remove a plaque celebrating one alleged Nazi collaborator in the annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry and the renaming of a street for another.

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