Center for Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation

Delegation of the Council of Europe visited Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation Alef

Representatives of the Council of Europe visited Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation “Alef” in Burgas. The meeting was initiated by the members of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The group consisted of 7 people, headed by Besarion Bokhashvili of Georgia, Giuseppe falbo of Switzerland and Elisabeth Sándor- Szalay of Hungary, accompanied by Agnes von Maravich and Joerg Horn of the Council of the European Secretariat administration, as well as two translators. The interest towards Center Alef was provoked by the active position of the organization, the rich activity it carries out, as well as its initiatives with national and international response.

Alberta Alkalay- Chairperson of Alef presented in a summary the portfolio of the organization, its main goals, mission, its place in the public and political life in the country, as well as the role of Alef in relation to the contemporary problems of the Bulgarian Jews and Bulgarian society. With special attention the guests listened to information on the latest manifestations of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, as well as the ways in which NGOs and the civil sector counteracted them. The main focus of the conversation was the response of the state institutions to the anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Bulgaria.

The meeting was attended by Alef’s members, as well as prominent children from Burgas’ schools. They shared their views on the discussed topics to the European representatives. The representatives of the Council of Europe expressed their satisfaction with the dialogue that will be useful for future activities in this area.

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is on a monitoring visit to Bulgaria from 18 to 22 November 2019. The European body visits every country, which has ratified the Framework Convention, to monitor its implementation on every five years. This is the fourth visit in Bulgaria.

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