The rebirth of Albanian Jewry

December 23, 2010

Here’s a heartening sequel to yesterday’s post about the bravery of Albanian Muslims who defended Jewish refugees against the Nazis. After decades of war, genocide, and Communist repression, the Jewish community in Albania was this month finally officially reborn:

The first chief rabbi of Albania was inaugurated in Tirana last week in the presence of a representative of Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar.

Prime Minister Berisha had expected to attend but because of the floods in Albania, he sent his representative with a blessing and greeting to the new chief rabbi and the Jewish community.

The inauguration is the result of a meeting a number of months ago between Prime Minister Berisha and the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) in the RCE’s offices in Brussels. The RCE is an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Jewish communities in Europe.

During the meeting, the representatives of the RCE thanked Berisha for his efforts and expressed their gratitude for the great support and assistance that the Albanians have made for the Jewish community through sheltering and saving many Jews during the Holocaust.

(…)

The event was also attended by representatives from the Albanian Christian and Muslim communities.

During the RCE’s visit to Tirana, a Jewish center called “Moshe Rabenu” and a synagogue named after the visiting Chief Rabbi of Israel was inaugurated as “Hechal Shlomo”.

Rabbi Kaplan will now preside over a reinvigorated Jewish community. “This will be the first time in 70 years that there will be a minyan (Jewish prayer quorum) in Albania,” Rabbi Kaplan said.

I’ll leave this here without further comment; a happy ending like this really doesn’t need one.

via esqcapades on Twitter

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)