A virtual library will present the battle exploits of Jews and Bulgarians in the wars for national unification
By Bivol, Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Partnership “Aleph” is organizing for the second consecutive year a student literary contests “Whoever saves one life, saves the whole world”. The second edition is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of World War I and is entitled “Jews and Bulgarians – two ethnic groups, one country, one love“.
According to the rules, students from 8th to 12th grade can join the competition. In free literary form – essay, narrative, or research – they will have to describe the participation of Jews in the ranks of the Bulgarian army, their sacrifice and patriotism during the Liberation, the Balkan and World I Wars. The works must include examples of acts of valor, justice and friendship in time of war between Jews and Bulgarians. These examples should be interpreted as evidence of the deep historical and human ties between the two ethnic groups, which years later became a major obstacle against the deportation of Jews from Bulgaria.
Student research will be ranked by a respected jury, including Mihaylina Pavlova – editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Jewish News”, Rumen Leonidov – poet and publisher, Assen Yordanov – journalist and Director of the site Bivol.bg.
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The contest “Jews and Bulgarians – two ethnic groups, one country, one love” started on 15 September – the first day of school. Bibliography on the subject can be found on the website of the Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Partnership “Aleph”: http://alef-bg.org. The site has created the first ever electronic library with numerous resources related to the participation of Jews in the wars of Bulgaria. “In this way, participants in the creative contest will learn detailed historical facts; will get acquainted with authentic documents; will be able to learn little known information on the subject that will form their views and help them compose their essays,” said Alberta Alkalay, Chair of the Center Aleph.
Students from across the country can submit their works by November 15, 2014 at email@example.com or mail them to the following address – 8000 Burgas, “Baba Ganka” square, floor 4, 4 Center “Aleph”
The author of the work ranked first will receive a cash prize of 250 levs, the second place will get 200 levs and the award for the third place is 150 levs. For the other distinguished works, the organizers have provided many tangible incentive awards, books and other surprises. The most interesting student research will be published in leading Bulgarian media. Winners will be announced at a ceremony where the prizes will be bestowed.
Students who participated last year in the first edition of the competition, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the death camps, expressed their attitude towards the courage of Bulgarians who dared to oppose the Holocaust. Then, dozens of high school students from across the country sent their works. The winners were announced and awarded at a special ceremony in Burgas’ former synagogue. For their excellent performance, eleven participants were awarded with financial incentives and books. The awarded works were published in the newspapers “Standard” and “Jewish News” and on the sites “Bivol.bg” and “Fakel.bg.”
Not coincidentally, organizers are directing the contest to high school students. This is an age of moral awakening of the individual. A thematic literary contest is a way to stimulate interest in crucial historical moments, which united the two ethnic groups in the name of humanism. This objective corresponds to the main priority of the Center for Jewish – Bulgarian Partnership “Aleph” – to create initiatives that provide good examples of integration between Bulgarians and Jews.
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