Ambassadors to Bulgaria: Update #3

Ambassadors to Bulgaria 2017
Update # 3

Hello Friends and Family,

We had a fun filled weekend, which started with a visit to the open-air museum, Etara. This small village showcases the traditional crafts of Bulgaria, including a bakery, confectionary, blacksmiths, woodcarvers and more!

After we made our way to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. We celebrated Shabbat in the Sofia Synagogue with members of the Jewish community. The Sofia Synagogue is the largest Sephardic Synagogue in Europe, which has stood for over a century.

The United States Ambassador to Bulgaria, Eric Rubin, joined us for Shabbat dinner and spoke to us about the role of an ambassador and importance of being a representative for a community and values. The next morning we went to the JCC for Shabbat services led by our teens. We spent time after discussing our learnings from Ambassadors Rubin and how we can be ambassadors for the global Jewish Community; acting and advocating for a more united Jewish community.

We were joined by Julia Dandolova, Director of Jewish Community, to answer questions about the Jewish Community and share the complex story of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. We continued the story and saw firsthand Holocaust monuments during our tour about the city. After, we returned to the JCC for Havdallah and dance party!

Sunday was full of adventure and teamwork.  In teams, we raced down the Struma river, paddling with guides and collecting pieces of a puzzle and commemorated our time. We battled through rapids, enjoyed calm water and had a fun time!

We concluded our day with a traditional AZA and BBG separates ceremony, where we inducted new members in BBYO. This was an exciting time to deepen the exciting relationships and connections within our community and remind everyone that once in the BBYO family, always in the BBYO family!

“I have had the most incredible experience discovering new ways to explore my global Jewish community through new connections, cultures, and adventures. This is a once in a lifetime experience which has forever changed my outlook on a a world which is so much larger than the area I live in.”
-Nikki Goldin; LSR; Houston Texas

“These past few days in Bulgaria have been unforgettable. From experiencing the different cultures to new foods, it has opened my eyes to the larger global Jewish community. With a one a kind trip like this one, I have met new friends from not only North America but the world. Hearing from the local community members makes me realize how large our impact as the future of the Jewish community really is.”
– Gabby Ginsburg; GCR; Boca Raton, FL

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