Jewish History in Sofia:


There is no clear data when the first Jews appeared in Bulgarian lands. According to some researchers, this occurred shortly after the destruction of the First Temple (6CE. BC), but the prevailing opinions are that the first settlers appeared in the period immediately before or after the Second Temple was destroyed (1 CE. AD). There has been a Jewish settlement in the region from the time of the roman emperor Caligula (AD 37-41) while a Latin inscription from the late second century speaks about the existence of a Jewish community in the village of Oeskus near Nikopol. The inscription is mentioned also by archi synagogus Joseph. In the center of Plovdiv were found the remains of an ancient synagogue from the 3rd century, when the city was under the control of the severians. The synagogue was destroyed during the reign of Emperor Arcadius and the various decrees of the Byzantine emperors from this period speak about persecutions of Jews and destruction of synagogues in Thrace and Illyria.

Jewish Community Today & Local Organizations:


After the changes of 1989, the Jewish community was revived. In Bulgaria there were about 3000 – 4000 Jews, mainly in Sofia. Since 1989, started the creation of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”, which inherited the cultural and educational organization “The Consistory” and took on the task of restoring Jewish life. In 1992, School 134 in Sofia began teaching Hebrew, and the community began organizing children’s camps, youth programs and programs for the middle generation. Extremely strong is the social activity and support of the community, especially in the initial, economically difficult years of the 90-s.