The Ambassador of the State of Israel H.E. Yoram Elron visited the Sarafs’ House in Samokov, which is managed by the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund. He met the Fund’s management and toured the Revivalist home of the Jewish Arié family, inextricably linked with the mountain town.
Mr Elron showed amazingly deep knowledge about the Sarafs’ House, but was curious to learn details from Mariana Lobutova, a representative of the state donative organisation in Samokov. The Ambassador thoroughly studied the Arié family tree, from the 18th to mid-20th centuries, examined the carved wooden ceilings in the typical Bulgarian style, the oriental elements (the jamal and hammam), and the furniture from Europe, all imparting uniqueness to the house built by Master Stefan from Edirne and decorated by local painters with discreetly intertwined Stars of David.
The Israeli diplomat spoke with Ms Slava Ivanova, the Fund’s Executive Director, who added valuable touches to the information about the Sarafs’ House and exchanged ideas for future cooperation. She presented the ambassador with a gift—the book, ‘NEF “13 Centuries of Bulgaria”: 40 Years of Donorship Mission’.
A seemingly ordinary exhibit in the house—a small decorated panel, a piece of beauty surviving from the Samokov synagogue (which is currently in ruins), proved particularly emotional for the ambassador. Yoram Elron said his eyes filled with tears at the sight of the almost completely collapsed house of worship and vowed that the panel would return to the synagogue when restored. He was grateful to learn that one of the NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ donative campaigns was in support of the synagogue.
You can also take a virtual tour around the Sarafs’ House at:
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