Center for Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation

Fourth National Student Literary Competition announces Jewish-Bulgarian center “Alef”

The winner will be awarded a participation in international seminar for young leaders in Israel

Virtual library will present emblematic speeches and interviews of the Israeli statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon

Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation center “Alef” announces forth edition of the annual student literary competition. “Whoever saves one life saves entire universe”. This years topic is: Shimon Peres and his contribution to the dimensions of the universal humanism.

The choice of topic is an act of recognition, honor and respect to the great Israeli statesman and fighter for peace and amity Shimon Peres, Nobel Peace Prize winner, known worldwide as the last of the great fathers – founders of Israel.

Students` essays should contain arguments based on quotations from his speeches and interviews related to the life and political path of Shimon Peres.

We offer six fragments of his speeches to be food for thought in the literary works. The young authors should choose one of the quotes and make it motto of their essays.

  1. The real world is what we will create.
  2. A leader must stand on top and to move forward. Moving forward is not easy and standing on the top is impressive. But means nothing.
  3. Dream of big things. The bigger your dream, the more you achieve.
  4. I know that Bulgaria is experiencing an economic crisis, but better this crisis than historical shame. We can not forget that in April 1943 the Bulgarians saved the Jews, it was a joint effort of the Church, citizens, ordinary people. Nowhere else in Europe this happened, nobody else was as courageous as the The moral choice is the best choice we have.
  5. We / the Israeli state / do not produce watches but rely on eternity! We /the Jews/ have given the world an important document – Ten Commandments: 172 words, which are prerequisite for civilization. This is a revolution that gives priority to morality.
  6. We teach our children to become educated, but above all we should tell them that is a great thing to be honest and brave man and that it is important from all of life’s opportunities to choose the wisest and the one that will not make you regret it.

The topic is addressed to the vision of the young people for the future and how to achieve it, translating in modern language the lessons of history and affirming peace and dominance of morality and humanism.

“We draw the attention of the teenagers to the theme of humanism and the work of Shimon Peres, which is a synonym for consistent policy to achieve world peace. This we aim young people to affirm in themselves the necessity of responsibility for their own future and for the means to achieve it. The life and work of Shimon Peres give eloquent examples of the continuous link between history and modernity, as well as of the importance of the choices, which the individual makes – for himself and for the society”,

Животът и делото на Шимон Перес дават красноречиви примери за непрекъснатата връзка между история и съвременност, както и за важността на изборите, който прави отделният човек –  за себе си и за обществото”, motivate the topic Alberta Alkalay, chairperson of Center “Alef”.

According to the terms and conditions students VIII – XII grade from the whole country can participate in the competition.

The competition starts on November 1st. The participants can send creative writings till March 10th 2017 at center.alef@gmail.com or Burgas, 4 Baba Ganka sq. fl. 4 Center “Alef”

To help the young writers Center “Alef” again created on its website http://alef-bg.org a virtual library, which contains biographical information, bibliography, speeches, sermons and interviews with Shimon Peres and other materials on the topic.

The students writings will be assessed by a competent jury chaired Mihailina Pavlova – editor in chief of the newspaper “Jewish News” and journalist in the Bulgarian National Radio and members: Rumen Leonidov – poet and publisher of Fakel.bg and Assen Yordanov – journalist and director of Bivol.bg.

The competition results will be announced at a ceremony in the spring of 2017.

The winner in the fourth edition of the competition will be rewarded a participation in a week-long international seminar for young leaders in Herzliya, Israel at the expense of the organizers. Traditionally, the first literary writing will be published in leading Bulgarian media. The authors of the second and third place will receive 200 BGN and 150 BGN. For the best writings Center “Alef”will organize a visit in Burgas and participation in the closing ceremony, and other surprises.

Center “Alef” created the annual literary competition to make young people to focus on values that reflect human life, regardless of the historical time limits, and to make conclusions for the future.

In the three competitions hundreds of young people have written about the rescue of Bulgarian Jews, Jewish participation in the wars alongside with the Bulgarian warriors, the contribution of Jewish artists in the cultural history of Bulgaria.

The increasingly large public response gives reason to the organizers of Center “Alef” to consider that the competition achieves its main goal – to educate young people strive for humanity, tolerance and justice.

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