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Balkans

  • Tiny Macedonian Jewish Community Pleased by New Settlement on Property

    Jewish leaders are hailing a World War II restitution agreement announced by the Macedonian government as unprecedented in redressing the wrongs of the Nazi and Communist eras. At a ceremony in the capital of Skopje on Aug. 29, Finance Minister Nikola Gruevski announced that Macedonia would either return or provide compensation for Jewish communal properties… More ▸

  • Serbian Prime Minister Pledges Support for Synagogue Restoration

    Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic visited Subotica’s historic synagogue this week and pledged government support for efforts to restore the run-down structure as a symbol of tolerance and multiculturalism. “This building is so beautiful,” he said Sunday, following a performance by Jewish pupils inside the dilapidated sanctuary. “I look forward to coming back here for… More ▸

  • Religious Leaders Call for Harmony in Strife-torn Macedonia and Bosnia

    Jewish leaders have joined other religious leaders in calling for peace and dialogue in two Balkan states — Macedonia and Bosnia. Religious leaders from Macedonia issued a statement late last week expressing their “commitment to the One God for peace for our common country” and urging international support for peace initiatives. Izhak Asiel, the chief… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: in Ruins of Former Yugoslavia, Jews Build Links Across Borders

    Amid the still-smoldering wreckage of the former Yugoslavia, a group of committed young Jews is clinging to the dream of a Jewish identity that transcends old conflicts and new national borders. They know their dream could succumb to troubled circumstances, brain-drain emigration or new social and political divisions. Nonetheless, through the past decade of war,… More ▸

  • As Fighting Erupts in Macedonia, Local Jews Issue Appeal for Peace

    As fighting between Macedonian troops and ethnic Albanian rebels threatens to escalate into full-scale Balkan warfare, Macedonia’s tiny Jewish community is calling on world Jewry to help preserve the fragile peace. “We, the Jews of Macedonia, are very concerned by the current violence that threatens to destroy the multiethnic harmony and democratic dialogue that have… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Yugoslavia’s Aging Jews Look Toward a Difficult Future

    Three weeks after the dramatic ouster of Slobodan Milosevic, the walls of this shabby capital are still plastered with black and white posters boldly proclaiming a triumphant message: “Gotov je” — “He’s Finished.” The mood is high, but no one is expecting miracles. Yugoslavia’s new president, Vojislav Kostunica, has initiated democratic changes aimed at ending… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines: Yugoslavia’s Jews Celebrate, but Warn Recovery Will Be Hard

    The reaction of Yugoslav Jews to last week’s dramatic downfall of Slobodan Milosevic could be read in the jubilant titles of e mails they sent to friends. “Victory,” said one, after opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica was inaugurated Saturday as president. “We are free,” said another. But as Yugoslavia s 3,000 Jews looked forward to an… More ▸