Map of Bulgaria A group of young Bulgarian Jews sits around a large table with breakfast laid out, camp-style. There are young men to the left, all wearing kippas, and young women on the right. Everyone looks to be enjoying the breakfast.

Situated at the crossroads of East and West, Bulgaria entered the European Union in 2007. But despite the country’s recent growth, it’s elderly and other vulnerable populations have struggled, as pension and salary levels failed to keep up with rising living costs. Economic turmoil has also affected middle-class professionals, who have been struggling to find or keep jobs and care for their families.

Largely spared during the Holocaust, Bulgaria’s Jewish community emerged strongly after the fall of Communism and has made significant strides toward self-sustaining, vibrant Jewish life. Nevertheless, the country’s latest financial upheaval has caused significant hardships for community members of all ages, including many of the younger and most active supporters, some of whom are themselves now in need of community aid.

Today, in collaboration with the local Jewish community, JDC:

Learn how JDC’s innovative leadership initiatives are shaping strong leaders like Martin today.

For an in-depth look at JDC’s work in Bulgaria check out our community profile PDF.


Launched in the Beit Shalom Jewish Community Center in 2010, JDC-initiated Gan Balagan is the first Jewish preschool to open its doors in Sofia in more than half a century.


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