An exhibition by Hungarian photographer Doron Ritter of scenes and people of one of Jerusalem’s oldest Jewish neighbourhoods, Mea She’arim, opens at the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Sofia on March 6 at 6pm.
The exhibition is part of commemorations in 2018 of the 75th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from deportation to the death camps of the Holocaust, and the deportation of more than 11 000 Jews from northern Greece and parts of Yugoslavia, then under Bulgarian administration, who were murdered in Treblinka.
The Mea She-arim district is home to many Haredi Orthodox Jews, and Jews from Hungary have lived there for decades, with the community dating from before the rise of Zionism in the late 19th century, and augmented by, among others, about 30 000 Jews who moved from Hungary to the State of Israel after 1948. The central square of the neighbourhood is called “The Square of the Jews from Great Hungary”.
Doron Ritter was born into a family of photographers. His grandmother, Ilona Nádor, was a pioneer among Hungarian women photographers and the chief photographer for a woman’s magazine. Since the 1990s, Ritter – who also qualified as a cinematographer and worked as a cameraman for various television channels – has been working mainly in applied photography and portrait photography.
“Besides my professional assignments I’m also trying to find time for artistic creation, and whenever I can, I always produce such photos and films that are the fruit of the joy of creation,” he said on his website.
“Nevertheless, I’m convinced that in the present world and age there exist no artists, only decent artisans, who do their jobs with humbleness, and it is only posterity that elevates the worthy – those who have really created lasting works of art – to the rank of artists.”
The exhibition, being held with the assistance of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” is open until April 20.
(Photo via the Facebook page of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Sofia)