The Open Society Foundation of Lithuania
With a deep sense of gratitude, the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University wants to acknowledge the farsighted benefactions of the Open Society (Soros) Foundation of Lithuania. Generous support from the Foundation enabled the first Vilnius Summer Program in Yiddish Language and Culture (in 1998) and brought to Vilnius University Dovid Katz as Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture (in 1999). These bold initiatives—the summer program and the professorship—were precursors to the founding of the new Institute, of which they are now seamlessly integrated parts, and the Institute takes distinct pleasure in acknowledging them. Special thanks are due also to the Foundation’s founding chairperson, Professor Irena Veisaite, its executive director Ms. Diana Vilyte, and its Educational Director Mrs. Virginija Budiene.
Jewish Community of Lithuania
The Institute acknowledges its gratitude to the Jewish Community of Lithuania, to its chairman Dr. Shimon Alperovitch, its deputy chairmen Mrs. Masha Grodnik and Mrs. Faina Kukliansky, its executive director Mr. Simon Gurevitch, and all its leaders and staff. The Community generously made temporary premises available to the Institute before completion of work at the permanent university site. In the summer of 2000, the Community’s Council voted unanimously to accept the Institute — then just an idea — as an Associate Institution of the Jewish Community of Lithuania.
The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania
Heartfelt thanks are extended also to the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania, for generously allowing its talented staff time to participate actively in each year’s summer program, and for providing office space during the interim period when work at the permanent site was in progress. Special thanks are due to the Museum’s senior staff at the time the VYI was established: Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris (director), Ms. Rachel Kostanian-Danzig (assistant director), Ms. Roza Bielauskiene (curator), and Ms. Ruta Puisyte (academic secretary). Ms. Puisyte moved to the VYI in the summer of 2005, when she was appointed assistant director of the VYI. In 2007, Ms. Bielauskiene was appointed to the faculty of the VYI’s summer program in Yiddish.
The Vilnius Yiddish Institute was established so quickly and efficiently thanks primarily to the generous and consistent support of Professor Alfredas Bumblauskas, dean of the Faculty of History.