Tolerance Centre - History and Facts | History Hit

Tolerance Centre

Vilnius, Vilnius County, Lithuania

The Tolerence Center is one branch of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and examines the historical cultural and artistic heritage of the Jewish community in Lithuania.

Peta Stamper

29 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Tolerance Centre

The Tolerance Centre is one of five branches making up the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, in Lithuania‘s capital city Vilnius. A permanent exhibit operates at the Tolerance Centre featuring the historical cultural and artistic heritage of the Litvaks, the Jewish community in Lithuania.

Today, the Tolerance Centre is now known as the Samuel Bak Museum – named for the famous Litvak artist Samuel Bakas – and is open between 10am and 6pm on Sunday to Friday.

Tolerance Centre history

As part of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, the Tolerance Centre was established in 1989 by Lithuania’s Ministry of Culture. The museum was renamed in 1997 to commemorate 200 years since the death of the Talmudic scholar, Vilna Gaon, who taught within the Jewish community in Poland and Lithuania.

Tolerance Centre today

The displays include unique relics of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius and Jewish folk and professional art. The non-permanent exhibits, thematic events and projects are oriented toward themes including the cultural education of society, social dissemination of culture, unique cultural heritage and fundamental human rights.

Permanent exhibits at the Tolerance Centre include: Signs of Ruined Litvaks World in art of Gerardas Bagdonavicius; Jewish Life in Lithuania; Installation TELZ of Romualdas Incirauskas; The Lost World tradition of paintings of Lithuanian Jews; Exhibition dedicated to 20th Museum anniversary; A Rescued Lithuanian Jewish Child tells about the Shoah (Holocaust).

The highlight of the Tolerance Centre is the Samuel Bak permanent exhibition (from which the renamed Smauel Bak Museum gains its name). The exhibition explores not only Bak’s life and creativity but the themes of Holocaust memory, empathy and human development. The centre also hosts regular lectures, film screenings and discussions to encourage people to interact with Bak’s idea that “art creates tolerance”.

Getting to the Tolerance Centre

The Tolerance Centre is located near the centre of Vilnius on Naugarduko str. 10/2. The easiest way to get there is via public transport: get the 1G, 2G, 11, 53 and 88 buses or the 1, 2, 7 and 20 trolleybuses to MO muziejus stop. From there the centre is only a 5 minute walk away.

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