Romania’s Bereshit Event Turns 13

Romania’s Bereshit Event Turns 13

“Imagine getting to meet with 400 Jews who we don’t get to see every day in a reunion that is positive and energizing,” said Luciana Friedman, President of the Jewish community in Timisoara, Romania.
“It’s a real learning experience and a unique opportunity!”


Luciana is one of hundreds of participants, representing 33 communities across Romania, who have gathered together for a multi-day celebration of Jewish culture, learning, and traditions at the 13th annual Bereshit event, serving as a special Bar Mitzvah for the seminar, in Tirgu Mures, Romania.


“This event brings Jews from across Romania for a weekend of learning and discovery. We have professors from Israel and Romania who come to teach Judaism in a way that is both interesting and accessible, and there are hundreds of people who are thirsty to learn and celebrate their Jewish identity,” said Israel Sabag, JDC director of Romania and the former Yugoslavia.


This weekend’s gathering is especially significant, as it marks 100 years of JDC’s work in Romania, including the founding of the Bereshit academic study event for the country’s Jewish community, and local Jewish Community Center (JCC) members.


At this seminar, the group is exploring the theme of tikkun olam – the Jewish concept of repairing the world – through dynamic, interactive activities highlighting Jewish values.


“It gives me an enriching opportunity to meet other members from other Jewish communities in Romania,” said another participant, Ivan Schnabel.


Attendees will also celebrate Shabbat and engage in text study and meaningful dialogue.


“This seminar is a beautiful celebration of Jewish knowledge,” said Zoya Shvartzman, part of the JDC Europe team. “This forum provides educational, spiritual, and social enrichment for a community that was shattered by the Holocaust and decades of Communism, giving individuals the opportunity to gather, engage in Jewish study and strengthen their connection to their Jewish heritage. It is a testament of the vibrancy and resilience of the Jewish community of Romania.”