Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė visited Judaic research institute YIVO during her visit to New York City on March 13, 2019, where documents of high historic value to the Lithuanian Jews are kept.
After her meeting with Jonathan Brent, executive director of the institute, the President visited the Strašiūnas Library and examined the most valuable documents of the YIVO archives.
The Strašiūnas Library is named after Matityahu Strashun (1817–1885), founder of the Vilnius Jewish community. In his will, he left a vast collection of Jewish religious works from all over Europe to the YIVO library and the majority of the collection survived through WWII.
The President and top YIVO officials discussed a new stage of cooperation between the Mažvydas National Library and YIVO to examine 200 thousand more items of Jewish documentary heritage found in St. George’s Church.
At the President’s initiative, the YIVO institute agreed to lend one of its most precious documents (Handwritten Chronicle of the Vilna Gaon Synagogue) for an exhibition in Vilnius timed to the 300th anniversary of the Vilna Gaon. The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania has designated 2020 as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania.
Among the delegation members during the President’ visit to YIVO institute was Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community President and Good Will Foundation Board Co-Chair Faina Kukliansky.
Good Will Foundation partially finance ongoing digital archives project implemented by YIVO institute.
More about the visit can be found here: https://www.lrp.lt/en/press-centre/press-releases/invaluable-heritage-of-vilnius-jews-at-the-yivo-institute/32003