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Annual Holocaust Remembrance in Bardejov
On Wednesday, June 19, the annual Holocaust commemoration took place in Bardejov’s Jewish Suburbia. The event was hosted by the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee and the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad , and we were much honored to have the Commission’s Chairman Hon. Paul Packer as our special guest. Mr. Fish, founder of Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee, came from the USA to participate in the event which was organized in cooperation with UZZNO (the Central Union of Jewish Communities in Slovakia) and with Pavol & Peter Hudák (Vita in suburbium).

The event was also attended by representatives of Bardejov’s City Council, district institutions and the Prešov self-governing region, as well as representatives from the Churches in Bardejov and representatives of the Jewish religious communities in Prešov and Košice. Local citizens of all ages were also represented in abundance, which is a pleasant indication that the history of Bardejov’s Jewish community is gaining a place in the awareness of the local population.
Locals of all ages attended the event
Priests and dignitaries attended as well
Local students from Leonard Stockel High School light memorial candles underneath each tablet
Special guests included descendants of Bardejov’s community: The Shor and the Pelleg families from Israel and the Abrahmovic family from the Netherlands.

The event began in the Holocaust Memorial where local students from Leonard Stockel High School lit up memorial candles under each of the 14 memorial tablets, and Mr. Dani Shor from Israel sang the Jewish prayer 'El Maleh Rahamim'. The ceremony inside the Memorial concluded with beautiful Hebrew singing of Hana Senesh’s 'Eli, Eli' by the 'Blue Art School’s' children’s choir in Bardejov, led by Marta and Eduard Kmeť. 
Dani Shor from Israel sings the Jewish prayer 'El Maleh Rahamim'
The 'Blue Art School’s' children’s choir in Bardejov sing Hana Senesh’s 'Eli, Eli'
Next, the event moved to the entrance of the Old Synagogue, where Mr. Emil Fish, together with Hon. Paul Packer and representatives of Jewish religious communities in Slovakia, attached a mezuzah to the door-post of the entrance door.
Mr. Emil Fish (left) and Hon. Paul Packer affix the Mezuzah to the Old Synagogue's entrance
The third part of the event took place inside the Old Synagogue. It began with an address by the Slovak Prime Minister, Mr. Peter Pellegrini , sent to us especially for the event and read by the MC. He addressed the need to never forget the cruelty of the Holocaust and the horrors of Nazism and to prevent the rise of extremism in our society.
Vice Mayor of the City of Bardejov RNDr. Vladimír Savčinský addresses the crowd
Hon. Paul Packer gives his speech in English, translated to Slovak by Anna Humbert
Then, Mr. Fish, unveiled the Parochet covering the Holy Ark where the holy Torah scrolls used to be stored. The Parochet was custom-made in Jerusalem and was presented by the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee. The Torah was generously provided by the Jewish Religious Community of Košice for the event.
Mr. Fish unveils the Parochet which was presented by the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee
An important part of the event was the announcement of the winners of the annual essay competition and art competition, in which a large number of local Bardejov high school students participated for the fifth year in a row.

The students presented the jury with their essays and artwork on two Jewish themed subjects: "What would be today’s Bardejov if the Holocaust never happened and the Jewish community would still live with us in our city today?" and "How do you perceive the significance of Parochet and Mezuzah in Jewish symbolism?” The artwork and the winning essays were on display in the Beith HaMidrash for viewing.
Participants of the essay contest receive their awards ( left: Jozef Jarina from Bardejov Community Foundation, Emil Fish, students Miriam Helena Hudák (1 st place), Dorotka Porubská (2 nd place), Patrícia Greifová (3 rd place), Orit Stieglitz, Anna Humbert)
Jewish musical pieces were played throughout the event by Leonard Stockel high school’s student band.
Music was played by the Students of Leonard Stockel high school
A concert by Slovak multi-instrumentalist Michal Smetanka concluded the official part of the program, which was followed by light refreshments outside. 
Slovak multi-instrumentalist Michal Smetanka accompanied by accordion player Slavomír Harman play a Jewish melody
Mr. Fish (left) with Mayor Hanuščak, Hon. Paul Packer, and Vice Mayor Savčinský
Mr. Fish speaks to Mr. Tarcala, a descendant of a Righteous Among the Nations from Bardejov
Guests meet and talk after the event
All photos from the event courtesy of Michaela Zoľaková and Ferdinand Hažlinský
Visit of the New Israeli Consul to Slovakia
On June 2 nd , we were honored to welcome the new Consul of Israel in Slovakia, Mrs. Naomi Eldar, to Bardejov. She visited the Holocaust Memorial and the Jewish Suburbia.
From left: Marcel Tribus, Director of Cultural Tourist Centre in Bardejov, Anna Humbert, Consul Naomi Eldar and Mr. Pavol Hudák Photo courtesy of iBardejov
Beith Hamidrash Restoration Project
The team of architects from Israel, Slovakia and Canada are working on plans for the restoration of Beith Hamidrash in preparation to apply for a European Grant. Some of the plans were on display in Beith Hamidrash during our commemoration event and guests were able to view the progress.
People enter Beith Hamidrash for viewing of students’ art work and the plans for Beith Hamidrash Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Hažlinský
Posters prepared by Alena Petejová, Olejar Architects, Bardejov
Our mission is to preserve Bardejov’s Jewish Heritage, memorialize and honor Bardejov Holocaust victims, and conduct educational outreach to school and community groups to teach tolerance and diversity. The Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee is not funded by any grants and depends solely on the support of generous individuals. 

If you have any friends, or know of someone who may be interested in our organization, please invite them to fill out our mailing list request form   so that they can receive updates and information from us.
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