You will be able to live stream on YouTube the Sept. 4-5 international conference in Vilnius on the decades-long question of how to commemorate the site of the destroyed Great Synagogue of Vilna.
The Great Synagogue was built in the 1600s in Renaissance-Baroque style. It became the center of Jewish life in Vilnius (Vilna), towering over the Shulhoyf, a teeming complex of alleyways and other Jewish community buildings and institutions including twelve synagogues, ritual baths, the community council, kosher meat stalls, the Strashun library, and other structures and institutions.
It was ransacked and torched by the Nazis in World War II, and the post-war Soviet regime torn down the ruins and built a school on the site.
The conference, described as a “creative workshop,” brings together international experts who will present the history and architecture of the building, as well as the recent archaeology undertaken at the site that has unearthed the building’s foundations and two mikvehs.
Discussion will focus on what to do now with the site — a topic that has sparked depart for more than a quarter of a century.
Participants registration, welcome coffee. Experience the Great Vilna Synagogue 3D reconstruction in virtual reality.
Conference opening, welcome speeches:
Dr. J. Zoloto, Litvak World US, president
Prof. R. Gudauskas, General Director at Martynas Mazvydas National library of Lithuania
A. J. Zabulis, ‘‘Jerusalem of the North“, Chair of the board
H. E. Mr. V. Adamkus, President of Lithuania
Prof. V. Landsbergis, former Head of State of Lithuania
R. Singer, CEO and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress
L. Ruokytė-Jonsson, Minister of culture of Lithuania
A. Ben Ari, Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel
E. Zingeris, Head of Group for Inter-Parliamentary Relations with the State of Israel
F. Kukliansky, Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish community
S. Gurevicius, Chairman of the Vilnius Jewsih community
Reviving the Jewish heritage in Vilnius
The Great Synagogue in Vilnius: Between the City and Its Jewish Community
Ethnic heritage revival significance and perspectives in Vilnius
From Marijampole to the troubled world today: personal reflections
Lithuanian Jewish heritage from an US born Litvak’s perspective
The Excavation and Presentation of the Remains of the Great Synagogue and Shulhoyf of Vilna
The Great Synagogue of Vilnius: Architecture, Meaning and Memory.
National and communal commemoration – The Israeli case
The issue of the lost synagogue’s “museification”: eventual approaches
What message does the Great Vilna synagogue convey to the world? Panel discussion.
Dr. Rimvydas Laužikas, Prof. M. Zalkin, Dr. V.Levin, Dr. B. Khaimovich, Dr. J. Verbickienė, Prof. S.Leiman
Preservation and reviving of the Jewish cultural heritage
The Great Synagogue as a Metaphor – Modern Israel and its Litvak Code
Lithuania and Litvak Heritage Through The Eyes Of a South African/Israeli Litvak Descendant
The Stone Shall be a Witness: Strategies for the Preservation and Presentation of Destroyed Structures
The Great Synagogue in the independent Lithuania: searching for the commemoration concept
Tz. Zak, Architect, Israel
A. Gucas, Specialist of urbanism, architect, Lithuania
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
Meaningful Commemoration: Concepts, Methods, Message
Prof. V. Landsbergis, Former Head of State of Lithuania
Prof. A. Braverman, Former World Bank Senior economist,former President of Ben Gurion
Ž. Pavilionis, LR member of Parliament, former Lithuania’s ambassador in the USA
G. Rutkaukas, Director of the Old town renewal agency, Vilnius, international ICOMOS expert, Lithuania
Dr. T. Grunskis, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Architectal Department
S. Levinas, Chairman of Vilnius Jewish Religious Community
S. Gurevicius, Chairman of Vilnius Jewish community
A. Ben Ari, Chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel
A. Baskauskaite, Old Town of Vilnius community chairwoman