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Montenegro hosted the largest Jewish conference in South East Europe «Mahar»

At the beginning of November in Budva (Montenegro) the annual conference of the «Mahar». The largest Jewish conference in Southeast Europe was organized by the Jewish community of Montenegro with the support of the world Jewish Congress, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) and the government of Montenegro. In 2017, «Mahar» celebrated its fifth anniversary, it was prepared a special festive programme and invited speakers from different countries. For four days the conference discussed various topics connected with the main question, which was at all lectures and discussions: «What is the future of the Jewish Diaspora?»

More than five hundred participants, representing Jewish communities of their countries, came to Budva from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. The delegation of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress was headed by the head of strategic Council of the EAJC Mikhail Chlenov, one of the founders of the Congress. At the opening of the conference participants by video link, welcomed the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin.

One of the major problems of the Jews of Europe is the topic of security. In connection with the unstable situation in many European countries, representatives of the Jewish Diaspora increasingly consider the possibility of repatriation to Israel. This was the subject of the lecture is «If the Jews leave Europe… we in Israel?» A lecture-discussion conducted major-General in the resignation of Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, former commander of the Israeli air force, a leading developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, Aeronautics, lecturer at tel Aviv Open University.

A lecture by Israeli historian Naomi Izhar, specialist in the history of the Jewish people during the Second world war, was dedicated to the Nazi Wannsee conference of 1942, during which identified how the «final solution of the Jewish question.»

The theme of the whole day was the case of Adolf Eichmann. Dr. Avner Abraham, artist, curator of art exhibitions, radio host, and a recognized international expert in the case of Adolf Eichmann, gave a presentation about the capture of Nazi war criminal «Mossad» in may 1960.

The theme of «the Trial of Eichmann» continued Holocaust survivors and survivors of Auschwitz, fought with the Nazis in the red Army, the Israeli Miki Goldman – senior officer of the Israel defense forces and Israeli police, one of the policemen who conducted the interrogation of Adolf Eichmann and later was present at the execution of Nazi. He scattered the ashes of Eichmann in international waters off Israel’s borders. In 1947, Goldman, along with other passengers of the ship «Hatikva» tried to emigrate to Palestine, but was deported to Cyprus, where he spent 18 months in a refugee camp. Mickey Goldman is one of the founders of the Museum complex «Yad Vashem». In 2011 he lit the torch at the ceremony dedicated to the independence Day of Israel on mount Herzl.

In the basic version, the Jews came to the Balkans together with the Roman army after the destruction of the Second Temple. The descendants of these Jews are called romaniote. Much later the area began to arrive Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Now the Jewish community of the Balkans is not large, but it plays as much importance as any other.

In the framework of the conference «Mahar» was held a few photo exhibitions, presentation of the documentary «Ben-Gurion. The epilogue», which tells about one of the greatest political leaders of modern history David Ben-Gurion. Popular Israeli singer, Ofri Eliaz, singing in Ladino style, performed with orchestra yasmin levy. Choir «Moise Hasson», created in 2000, the Jewish community of the Republic of Macedonia, also addressed the conference. Its main task, the choir considers the preservation and promotion of traditional spiritual and secular Sephardic music. At the conference «Mahar» the musicians performed with his classic repertoire and performed several popular Israeli music, as well as famous Opera arias.

Summing up, Chaim Ben-ya’akov, Director-General, Euro-Asian Congress, said: «the Conference «Mahar» is of great importance. First of all, it is a platform for travelers of the Jews living in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe. These communities are weak and sometimes feel cut off from the Jewish world. The annual conference gives those communities to feel part of a global Jewish community and strengthens them. In addition, the conference «Mahar» is a unique opportunity to enjoy a varied cultural program.»

Montenegro hosted the largest Jewish conference in South East Europe «Mahar» 15.11.2017

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