First Bar-Mitzvah in years takes place at Sarajevo Synagogue

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.


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