Petition: Please Move New Vilnius Convention Center Project AWAY from the Old Jewish Cemetery

vilnaThe Lithuanian government has announced plans to build a new convention center over the Old Jewish Cemetery of Vilna. Although the Vilna Gaon’s remains were removed from the Old Jewish Cemetery, the remains of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Jews are still buried in the Old Jewish cemetery.

These were some of the greatest rabbis, Jewish martyrs, and pious women through the centuries, including R. Moshe Rivkes (d. 1671-2), author of the Be’er Ha-Golah on the Shulchan Aruch;  the Ger Zedek of Vilna (d. 1749), whose remains were not removed from the Old Jewish cemetery (despite claims otherwise); Traina, the mother of the Vilna Gaon; and his wives Chana and Git el. Virtually every Jew who died in Vilna before the year 1831 was, in fact, buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery.

The petition does not call for the Lithuanian government to cancel plans for building a new convention center (funded largely by the EU). It simply asks that it be built at a different location in Vilnius – which can easily be done.

A wonderful Vilna resident, Ruta Bloshtein, a shomer Shabbos woman who bakes challah for members of the Vilna kehillah
every week,  has taken upon herself the responsibility of spearheading this write-in campaign. She started some three weeks ago and has about 250 signatories so far. She needs at least 1000 signatures; if she doesn’t get them it will be a Chillul Ha-Shem even beyond the destruction of the Jewish cemetery itself.

It will be a signal to the Lithuanian government that Jews neither care nor count. If she gets 3000 signatures, the political authorities will have little choice but to take the petition into account before making any hasty decision. She needs and deserves our help.

The two key Rabbonim in Lithuania today, Rabbi Krelin (Chief Rabbi of Lithuania) and Rabbi Krinsky (head of Chabad) are among the first 250 signatories. It seems to me this is a case of meis mitzvah.

Please click on the link below, fill out the electronic form and sign your name. Please forward this message to others so they can also participate in this mitzvah. It is not a time to stand idly by. With prayers for success in our cause,
Shnayer Leiman

https://www.change.org/p/hon-dalia-grybauskaite-please-move-new-vilnius-convention-center-project-away-from-the-old-jewish-cemetery

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Signed it.

    Took less than 60 seconds for anyone wondering.

    Not all zechsuim can be had in under a minute. This was an easy one to take advantage of.

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