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.
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.
A photo just received form a friend in #Bosnia. After many years a #BarMitzwah is taking place in the Synagogue in #Sarajevo. To the fellow Bosnian sending best wishes and mazel tov to you as you celebrate your #Barmitzwah ! pic.twitter.com/EAz1PkBrub
— Arminka Helic (@arminkahelic) May 28, 2021