American Jewish Committee Delegation Arrives in Lithuania

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Today a delegation from the American Jewish Committee arrived in Lithuania. The AJC is a well-known global organization supporting and defending Jews with offices in the USA and around the world which works in partnership with Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere. AJC activities are dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people and the defense of human rights and democratic values. Twenty-five years ago when Lithuania again became independent the AJC lent their support to the activities of Lithuanian Jews and continues to support the Lithuanian Jewish Community and to make sure our rights are respected. The purpose of the delegation’s visit is to meet Lithuanian leaders and discuss geopolitical shifts of mutual concern, the effect of Russian military actions in Ukraine on the region and Eastern Europe as a whole. Discussions are also planned on bilateral relations between Lithuania and the State of Israel and Lithuania and the USA, the activities of the Goodwill Fund, issues of importance to the LJC and the LJC’s relations with the AJC. Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director for International Jewish Affairs at the AJC, is the Co-chair of the Board of the Good Will Foundation.

“The AJC strove to contribute to the process of restitution of Lithuanian Jewish property, and this served Lithuania’s reputation in the world, it was beneficial not just to Jews but to Lithuania as a democratic state respecting human rights,” LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said. “Many other important changes are connected with restitution. Many different social and cultural projects are being carried out currently in connection with the Jewish community, Holocaust history and the present. A number of Lithuania’s political issues are being solved with the AJC which operates actively in post-Communist states supporting Jews in the fight against anti-Semitism and the rights of Jews around the globe.”

Following Lithuanian restitution for lost Jewish property, a public organization called “The Goodwill Fund for Disbursing Compensation for Property of Jewish Religious Communities” was formed. It was established at the end of 2011 after the law on compensation was adopted on the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. This fund was created by the Lithuanian Jewish Heritage Fund in cooperation with the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the World Jewish Restitution Organization. Under the law by the year 2023 the Lithuanian state budget is to pay out 128 million litas to the Fund in compensation which is to be used to finance Lithuanian Jewish religious, cultural, health-care, athletic, educational and academic projects in Lithuania. Information about the Fund’s activities is public.