Bulgaria: ‘Shalom’ to found major educational project in Sofia

Written by on September 27, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: ‘Shalom’ to found major educational project in Sofia

Shalom, the largest Jewish organisation in Bulgaria, has the green light of Sofia Municipality and the Bulgarian government for a major educational project in the capital.

On Tuesday evening, the President and Executive Director of Shalom. Dr. Alexander Oscar and Julia Dandolova, met Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova for a discussion on the project. Other participants were Sam Ariel, the Representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for Bulgaria, Diego Ornique, the Director of the JDC for Europe, Rabbi Josh Spinner, Executive Vice President of the Lauder Foundation, Emil Kalo, the Representative of the Jewish organisation ORT for Bulgaria, Becca Lazarova, the Representative for the Lauder Foundation in Bulgaria, as well as Vladimir Dribinski, the Chief Program Director of World ORT. The organisations represented are supporting the planned project materially.

Deputy Mayor Chobanov was part of yesterday’s meeting too.

Alexander Oscar stated, Shalom and its supporters wanted to “implement the highest global standards in formal and informal education”. Oscar indicated, for the Jewish communities in the world, education was a leading value. “We, as Bulgarian Jews, want to create an educational project that will give high-quality education to Bulgarian children, by including the experience and good practices of all the partner organisations and institutions.”

Mayor Yordanka Fandakova pledged support for the planned project. “Sofia is the capital of tolerance and even though we live in difficult times, we will not get tired of fighting against all manifestations of anti-Semitism, discrimination and hate speech in our city. Education is a very important part of these efforts”, the Mayor said.

Todor Chobanov promised to cooperate closely with the initiators of the project, at every stage of its implementation.

After the meeting, Bulgaria’s Minister of Education, Krassimir Valchev and Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Georgiev joined the group for an official dinner. Valchev promised support for the project as well.

So far, it is unclear when exactly the educational project will be implemented. But with all the support Shalom has, it seems the next project phase is not too far away.

Photo by Shalom. From left to right: Julia Dandolova, Sam Amiel, Diego Ornique, Rabbi Josh Spinner, Mayor Yordanka Fadakova, Alexander Oscar, Emil Kalo, Becca Lazarova, Vladimir Dribinski, and Deputy Mayor Chobanov.

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com