First bar mitzvah in years takes place at Sarajevo Synagogue

NEWS 29.05.2021 17:49
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Source: Jevrejska Opština Sarajevo

The Sarajevo Synagogue saw on Friday its first bar mitzvah after many years, when a 13-years-old Sarajevan reached his religious adulthood and became a full-fledged member of a Jewish community which for decades saw a decline in membership.

“This Erev Shabbat will be special because our Ytzhaka Martincevic Kolonomos is celebrating his bar mitzvah,” the Jewish Community announced.

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Of the at least 14,000 Jews in Bosnia before World War II, only 4,000 survived the Holocaust. Bosnia’s war led to another exodus. The pre-war Jewish population shrunk from about 2,000 to some 500, with many Jews having escaped the nearly four-year-long brutal siege of the capital.

The Jewish Community announced the bar mitzvah on Facebook as a “great event.”

Bar mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age ritual for boys, whereas bat mitzvah is the equivalent for girls who celebrate it when they are 12.

Bosnian-born U.K. baroness Arminka Helic welcomed the event on her Twitter account, noting that she received photos of the ceremony from friends in Sarajevo.

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