Five Towns, Suffolk JCCs partner with
emerging Bulgarian Jewish community.
A letter two years ago from the president of the re-emerging Jewish community of Sofia, Bulgaria, to officials at UJA-Federation of New York has opened a new world for them and two Jewish community centers here.
“We would love and feel a need for collaboration with the global Jewish community that New York and Israel represent,” wrote Alexander Oscar. “The needs of my community are Jewish education, staff training, the building of a nursery school, as well as being connected to the global Jewish community.”
Sofia, Bulgaria — Lili Vrangova and Richard Kanter invited only their closest friends to their wedding here the other day. But Sofian Jewry showed up. Some 500 members of the city’s Jewish community, about one-sixth of the Jews who live in the capital, came to the synagogue one Sunday morning. Uninvited but welcomed, they crowded into the sanctuary of the 91-year-old building, listened to the ceremony on loudspeakers in the courtyard and danced in the aisles.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria — Albert Alkalai put on his raincoat, the one with the small yellow Jewish star on the lapel, left his family’s house and walked to work a quarter-mile away in the central square at 8 a.m. on March 10, 1943.
The morning was sunny. “A little bit chilly, as in March,” Alkalai remembers.