An exhibit of authentic documents, photos and artifacts will present the participation of Jews and Bulgarians from Burgas in the First World War

The award ceremony for the winners of the literary contest “Jews and Bulgarians – two ethnic groups, one country, one love” will be held on December 18, 2014, in the former synagogue in Burgas, now Art Gallery Petko Zadgorski. The competition is organized by the Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Partnership Aleph and is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The theme of the union of the two ethnic groups in one of the most tragic and fateful moments in history caused serious interest among Bulgarian youth. Sixty high school students from different cities and schools joined the close race. Children from more than 28 locations in the country, including Sofia, Plovdiv, Ruse, Montana, Burgas, Razgrad, Dimitrovgrad, Gabrovo Gorna Oryahovitsa, Tervel, Apriltsi, the villages Nikolaevka and Pletena, Petrich, Gotse Delchev and many others, sent their research in the dreadful reality of war, the battle line friendships and the sacrifice of Bulgarians and Jews in the name of the Homeland. The competition was announced at the beginning of the school year. To facilitate participants, the Center Aleph created on its site the first ever electronic library with numerous resources related to the participation of Jews in the wars of Bulgaria. The young people did not hesitate to go 100 years back in time to prove that any war is a tragedy, but also to showcase the noblest examples of Jewish participation in the Bulgarian army. The precise and clear language in the school essays proved to be real difficulty for the jury composed by Rumen Leonidov – poet and publisher, Assen Yordanov – journalist and Director of the site Bivol.bg and Mihaylina Pavlova – editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Jewish News”. After serious deliberation, the committee is now ready with the rankings and will announce them on the day of the official award ceremony, which will be attended by the authors of the 15 winning essays. The Center Aleph is inviting all awarded young people, by providing transportation and their stay in Burgas. The event will be attended by officials from State and local authorities, representatives of the Embassy of Israel, honorary consuls, representatives of the Jewish organization “Shalom” and public figures.

For Burgas, December 18 will be a day when society and its youngest representatives will be able to say “No” to war and “Yes” to the pledged by history friendship between Bulgarians and Jews. An exhibit of authentic documents, photos and artifacts from the First World War will accompany the ceremony. The items in it are provided by the State Archives Burgas and by private collections.

This is the second student contest organized by the Center Aleph to stimulate the interest of young people in crucial moments from our country’s past and make them draw conclusions about the present. In 2013, several dozen students entered the contest titled “Whoever saves one life, saves the whole world”. This year contestants were considerably more in number and the “geography” was more extended.

Aleph has secured cash prizes for the winners as well. 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.

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The award ceremony for the winners of the literary contest “Jews and Bulgarians – two ethnic groups, one country, one love” will be held in the city of Burgas on December 18, 2014, starting at 6 pm in the Art Gallery Petko Zadgorski /former synagogue/ at 24 “Bishop Simeon” Street.

 

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