Ambassador to Bulgaria: Шабат Шалом

Шабат Шалом (Shabbat Shalom)!

We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Sabbath in Bulgaria as we have left the mountains and head to the historic city of Plovdiv, the European Union’s “European Capital of Culture” for 2019.  History and Responsibility have been the core themes of the last two days as we have stayed in the historic capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tărnovo. Yesterday, we added Maxim Delechev, a Jewish Educator in the Bulgarian Community, to our group as our tour guide through this experience. We spent the day with Maxim touring the Tsaravets Fortress and learning the history of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Veliko Tărnovo is one of the oldest settlements in Bulgaria, dating back more than five hundred years and its wonder was on full display as teens walked through the fortress and around the city. We returned to the hotel for lunch and a few hours to relax by the pool before diving into another session with Maxim. Teens gathered to hear Maxim tell the story of the Jewish Community in Bulgaria, specifically during the Holocaust. Teens were given the opportunity to share their own families Holocaust stories as well. Following Maxim’s program, our teen coordinators led their second program for the community that centered around Jewish History and how we respond to anti-semitism.

We then headed back to Veliko Tărnovo for dinner and the famous light show at Tsaravets. Created in 1985 by a team of Bulgarian and Czech engineers to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Bulgarian Kingdom, the light show is an impressive spectacle. Coordinated sounds and lights all over the fortress at Tsaravets told the story of historic Bulgaria. This was certainly the highlight of the day. Today, we traveled to Etura, which housed a model of what a traditional Bulgarian village looked like. Teens participated in a photo scavenger hunt and explored the village before heading to Plovdiv where we will spend Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom from Plovdiv and we can’t wait to tell you more about our adventures!

Here are some quotes from our teens today: 
“This trip has allowed me to see the strength of a Jewish connection first-hand. Although many of us were strangers just a few days ago, we have added stories and experiences to our understanding of the Jewish community through conversation. As a group, we have traversed language barriers, country borders, and traditional boundaries to come together and grow.” — Emily Char
This trip is so much fun! I love getting to connect with teens from all over the world while exploring such a diverse and exciting country.” — Lindsay Sharman 

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment