Bulgarian Jewish community leaders meet GERB leadership in Varna

Written by on September 4, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgarian Jewish community leaders meet GERB leadership in Varna

The leaders of the two largest Jewish organisations in Bulgaria met Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and other high-ranking members of his party GERB in Varna this weekend. The meeting took place at an event called “GERB Youth Summer University”.

Sofia Cohen, the Head of the Central Israelite Spiritual Council, and Alek Oskar, President of the organisation Shalom, gave a presentation about the history of the Bulgarian Jews, as well as about their contributions to Bulgarian society in the National Independence Movement and after the liberation from Ottoman rule.

While thanking the Jewish guests, Borissov said, along with Greece, Israel was one of Bulgaria’s closest allies. GERB’s parliamentary leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov stated, Israel was an example for a country with strict security measures. The latter were the only way to guarantee freedom and safety today.

Sofia Cohen and Alek Oskar with Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.

Tsvetanov mentioned the 2012 terror attack at Burgas Airport, in which five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were murdered. The former Minister of the Interior also talked about his role in identifying the Hezbollah perpetrators.

The Mayor of Varna, Ivan Portnih, was present at the event as well. So was former Shalom President Maxim Benvenisti.

In the years after the salvation of the Bulgarian Jews in 1943, most of them left the country and headed to Palestine, which became Israel in 1948. Today, the Jewish minority in Bulgaria consists of up to 5,000 people.

Main photo: The Mayor of Varna, Ivan Portnih, with Sofia Cohen and Alek Oskar. All photos by Shalom.

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Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.