Ambassador Gilchrist’s Remarks at Re-Opening of the Public Kupiškis Library in the former Great Kupiškis Synagogue
March 24, 2023
Lauryno Stuokos – Gucevičiaus a. 3 A, Kupiškis
Dear Mayor Bardauskas,
Dear Mr. Venckus,
I wish to congratulate the administration of the library, Kupiškis municipality, as well as the local community, for showing respect and deep appreciation for the synagogue that was proudly housed here. This was a space of prayer, faith, reflection, and, most importantly, community building for the Jewish residents of Kupiškis and its region. Thank you all for paying homage to the memory, strength, and spirit that was kindled here by the generations of the Jewish people of Lithuania.
I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to gather with you today and celebrate the re-opening of Kupiškis Public Library.
The Kupiškis Public Library is more than a wonderfully preserved and renovated synagogue, but it is also a building that represents diversity and exchange of ideas. You are building cultural bridges, making new friendships and cherishing old ones, and celebrating diversity among your community. You are also sharing generational wisdom with people and creating a space for communities to convene, a space that is safe to search for truth, inclusion, and dignity. These are all values that we cherish and we are delighted to have such committed partners in the city of Kupiškis.
Americans have been welcomed here with an extraordinary sense of hospitality and friendship. As the U.S. Ambassador in Lithuania, I am very proud to say that our Embassy has enjoyed ten years of strong connection with the local community in the fields of cultural diplomacy, education, and local government cooperation.
Thank you for preserving and carrying into the future the most important tenets of the spiritual life led here. I would like to thank you once again for inviting me here today. I hope the leaders of Kupiškis and the community enjoy the tangible and intangible gifts that this library will give for many years. I sincerely wish the Kupiškis Public Library every success in the fulfillment of its mission and being a home of respect, learning, and grace towards us all.