URI Europe Pilgrimage

3 June 2015, 12:43 AM

Angelina Vladikova, URI Europe Assistant Coordinator, writes:

The salvation of Bulgarian Jews from the Nazi death-camps is an act which is celebrated with deep gratitude every year by the Jewish community in Bulgaria. This year Jews from the Israeli-Bulgarian Institute and the Jewish Cultural Organization "Shalom Aleichem" marked the event by paying homage to the graves of the two "saints of the Jewish nation", two Bulgarian Orthodox Church hierarchs, Ekzarch Stefan and Patriarch Cyril, who contributed a lot in this illustrious act of power of the civil society in Bulgaria in the 40s of the last century - the salvation of the total Bulgarian population of Jewish origin from the Nazi death-camps.

After the URI Europe Assembly “Moving Interfaith Work Forward in Europe” in Bulgaria (23-26 April), a small group of URI Europe pilgrims were at the Bachkovo monastery where Ekzarch  Stefan and Patriarch Cyril are buried. There in the monastery church, at the graves of the two Orthodox Metropolitan Bishops, Biserka Gramatikova (Eastern-Orthodox Christian) presented selected pieces from her essay “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp - The Heroic Rescue of Bulgarian Jews”, which was granted the second place in the school-essay competition (March 2015) organized annually by the Jewish community on that subject.

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