site.btaJules Pascin Cultural Centre Unveiled in Restored Vidin Synagogue
Vidin is among those remarkable cities, where the temples of the three religions coexist side by side. These triangles of understanding are an unusual sight in a contradiction-ridden world but they are an integral part of the Bulgarian reality, said President Rumen Radev on Monday at the opening of the Jules Pascin cultural centre, housed in the synagogue in Vidin.
Attending were Deputy Parliament Speaker Rossitsa Kirova, Culture Minister Krastyo Krastev, Israeli Ambassador Yosef Levi Sfari, Maxim Delchev, Chairman of the Central Israelite Religious Council, Yoel Ifrah, chief rabbi of the Sofia Synagogue, Yosef Salomon, chief rabbi of Chabad, and representatives of the central and local government, and members of the public.
In a video message Israeli President Isaac Herzog said: “This is a time, when together we honour the ties, forged by history over the millennia between generations of Jews and the beautiful Bulgarian land.”
Vidin Mayor Tsvetan Tsenkov said that the synagogue was built in 1894 on the ruins of the old synagogue. “2023 marks the 80th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews. We would like to pay respect to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the then metropolitan of Vidin and Bulgarian patriarch Neophyte, who submitted the petition, so none of our Jewish fellow townspeople got hurt. This sacred place is resurrected 80 years after the Holocaust,” said Tsenov.
The State Archives Agency handed to the Vidin Municipality 29 replicas of old Jewish books from the 18th and 19th century from the central state archive. They will be displayed on the occasion of the opening of the Jules Pascin Cultural Centre, said Agency head Rumen Borissov.
Maxim Delchev said that this is one of the most beautiful building not only in Vidin but in the whole country. He added that this synagogue was a symbol of the unique place of the Jewish community in Bulgaria and serves as a monument to the relations between Bulgarians and Jews in Bulgaria.
Yoel Ifrak served a prayer and Yosef Salomon played the shofar, an ancient Jewish musical instrument.
Prof. Vili Lilkov presented a painting by Jules Pascin to the Vidin Town Hall.
Jules Pascin, born Julius Mordedey Pinkas (1885-1930), also called "Prince of Montparnasse", was a Bulgarian artist born on 31 March 1885 in the town of Vidin.