eurel

Sociological and legal data on religions in Europe and beyond

Tweeter Rss

Home > Montenegro > Current debates > 2017 > The foundation stone for the first synagogue in the capital of Montenegro, (...)

The foundation stone for the first synagogue in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, laid down during Hanukkah

  • December 2017

The foundation stone for the first synagogue in the Capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, was solemnly laid down on Sunday, December 17th, during the great traditional Jewish holiday of light - Hanukkah. This is the beginning of the construction of the first synagogue in the Balkans in this century and one of the first synagogues in post-war Europe. It was announced that the temple will be built in record time.

The ceremony was attended by many officials: the President of Montenegro H.E. Filip Vujanovic, the Minister for Human and Minority Rights Mehmet Zenka, current and former Mayor of Podgorica Slavoljub Stijepovic, and Mr. Miomir Mugosa, the Ambassador of Israel in Serbia and non-resident in Montenegro H.E Alona Fisher-Kamm, Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Israel, Mr. Nimrod Rinot, representatives of churches and religious communities in Montenegro, as well as Montenegrin Jews and members of Jewish communities from neighbouring countries, and others.

The foundation stone was laid down by the President of the Jewish Community of Montenegro Mr. Jasa Alfandari, Montenegrin rabbis Mr. Luciano Mose Prelevic and Mr. Ari Edelkopf, as well as the Montenegrin businessman Zoran Becirovic.

President Alfandari welcomed the joint efforts of all relevant actors in the country and society to help the Jewish Community of Montenegro to realize the project of building a synagogue in Montenegro. He said that the synagogue will be a place where all people of good will and intentions are welcome. Ambassador of Israel H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm said that in the 16th century, Jews who fled persecution in Spain and Portugal came to Montenegro, and were safe there also during the Holocaust. Rabbi Luciano Mose Prelevic wished that the construction of this religious temple would be another significant contribution to the strengthening of the connection between people.

After Rabbi Ari Edelkop read the blessing for Hanukkah, the President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic was given the honor to light the first candle in the menorah. President Vujanovic thanked the Jewish Community of Montenegro for its contribution to the overall co-existence in Montenegro, the role it plays in strengthening peace, tolerance, respect for other religions and cultures, that is, its importance in strengthening the multicultural and multiconfessional character of Montenegro.
For the Jewish community, this date and Hanukkah in the year 5778 of the Jewish calendar will be remembered as one of the most significant dates in the recent history of the Jews of Montenegro.

Sources: jevzajcg, minmanj.

19 December 2017