This past Sunday, October 10, the city of Timisoara opened the doors of a new Jewish Community Center (JCC)—the fourth in Romania following others in Bucharest, Oradea, and Iasi. More than 300 people attended the opening celebration, which included a concert followed by an “after-party” for local Jewish youth.
The Timisoara JCC is the latest project in a 43-year partnership between JDC and FEDROM (The Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania) to rekindle Jewish cultural connections and care for the country’s approximately 10,000 Jews.
Offering a variety of activities and services, including a computer room and a nurturing space for children, the community center will serve some 600-800 people from Timisoara plus the surrounding communities of Arad, Lugoj, and Resita. And what’s more fun? This newest addition to the JCC network will leverage JDC’s decades-long investment in Jewish renewal and leadership development in the region to cooperate on cross-border programs with its neighboring Serbian and Hungarian JCCs. And it may even spark some untapped interest among the local community in reconnecting to their Jewish heritage.
As Israel Sabag, JDC’s Country Director for Romania noted, “This JCC will give the community a base for reaching out to the large number of unaffiliated Jews in Timisoara, provide lay and professional level Jewish activities, and truly revive and bring new life to this small community.” In the global Jewish world, Romania continues to put itself on the map.