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Bulgarian President Adds Pride to Community Chanukah Festivities

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In a proud moment for the Jewish community, Bulgaria’s President kindled the first Chanukah light in Sofia’s historic synagogue, inaugurating a week of activities celebrating the Festival of Lights.

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Creative Programs “Outside the Jewish Walls” are Magnets for Non-Affiliated Jews

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Read JDC senior professional Diego Ornique’s cogent account of JDC’s “JCC without Walls” initiative and the exciting events in alternative venues that are attracting increasing numbers of non-affiliated Jews.

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Racing Toward Breast Cancer Awareness in Sarajevo

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Itai Shamir

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has only just begun, but JDC’s Women’s Health Empowerment Program is already in high gear. Just back from the 5th Annual Race for the Cure that took place in Sarajevo last weekend, a senior JDC professional recounts the inspiration he drew from the enthusiastic participants at this national event.

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Campers With Disabilities Rejoice At Szarvas

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All year long Henrik Z., 32, who has Down Syndrome and lives with his pensioner mother in Budapest, Hungary, looks forward to the most special week of his summer.

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Promoting Women’s Health in the Balkans

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The JDC-Komen Race for the Cure in Sarajevo has become a much-publicized and unifying event.

Proceeds from the upcoming JDC-Komen Race for the Cure in Sarajevo will provide free mammograms to underserved women and post-surgery health kits. Read how JDC Ambassadors will take part in the late September Race, and see how JDC’s Women’s Health Empowerment Program is turning the tables on breast cancer in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Teen Seder in Tallinn, Estonia

It may be Next Year in Jerusalem but this year, a not-to-miss seder graced Tallinn, Estonia. Esther Burson, the JDC Jewish Service Corps Fellow serving that community, brought together local teen volunteers and her JSC Fellow peers from Argentina and Israel for a unique yet traditional Pesach celebration.

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Groundbreaking Agreement on Center for Disabled in Serbia

Last week, as the European Union (EU) ratified the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities—the first time in history the EU has become a party to an international human rights treaty—JDC celebrated its own small victory promoting these rights in neighboring Serbia.

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London Hosts 4th Pan-European Conference of JCCs

This past Sunday, more than 370 participants from 31 countries descended on London for the 4th Pan-European Conference of Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish Communities, and Jewish Organisations. Designed to connect Jewish leaders from geographically and culturally diverse communities, the conference effectively helped build a common ground for the future of European Jewry.

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Prague Becomes a Bit More Pareve

Prague’s joining the kosher party? Perhaps. In a city of just a few thousand Jews, two brothers are working to ensure that there is enough babka and kreplach to go around. The NY Times travel section recently featured a blog post about the Gunsberger brothers and their new kosher shop, King Solomon’s Bakery and Deli, the first of its kind since WWII. The brothers are hoping their store services anyone looking for “a taste of something Jewish.”

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Post-Holocaust History Made in Prague

Among the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews was the confiscation of property, including synagogues, Jewish schools, cemeteries, other land, art, jewelry, and anything else of value. Worse still, in some cases, proceeds from the sale of this property by the Nazis actually helped fund war-related activities that we know all too well took the lives of 6 million Jews and many others. After the Holocaust, these properties were nationalized by the communist governments that were in power for more than 40 years. Since that time, efforts have been made to achieve some small measure of justice by helping both individuals and communities get back this wrongly seized property (or more often, financial compensation in lieu of the property).

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Reflections on Renewal Continue

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about a unique Yom Hashoah commemoration event in which a few JDC Jewish Service Corps fellows shared their experiences working in communities that have had difficult histories due to war or genocide. Molly, one of the presenters, is currently volunteering in various community programs with both local and immigrant Jewish populations in Berlin, Germany. Read her recent reflections on the JSC seminar, the connection between Jewish renewal and Yom Hashoah, and how her own family’s history is woven into her experience as a fellow in a country that epitomizes the quest for a Jewish “renaissance.”

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