The Sarajevo Synagogue saw 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.
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.