Bela Ishakh at an ordinary meeting of the Jewish organization in Ruse

I, like my husband Aron Ishakh, am actively participating in the life of the Jewish community in the town of Ruse. I pay my dues and make use of the aids from Joint, I also have the right to vote for the election of top officials of our community. This is what we are doing on the picture here. It was taken in 2002. I don’t know anything about the other people in the picture, except that they are guests from Israel. 

The date 10th November 1989 was warmly welcomed by the Jewry of Ruse. As a matter of fact, our regional organization ‘Shalom’ is apolitical. We don’t like focusing on politics, but it was very favorable for us that our estates were given back to us as we now have the chance to lead better lives; now we can also make use of the freedom to reconstruct our traditions. Before that we were deprived of our buildings and we had to pay rent to the municipal Housing Estate Fund.

We were not allowed to observe our rituals in public. They wanted from us to have our events together with the Fatherland Front. We didn’t have much choice then because of the policy of the Bulgarian Communist Party’s Central Committee. Their idea was to quickly and easily assimilate Jews through mixed marriages between Bulgarians and Jews. As a result there are almost no Jews in Ruse nowadays, and those who remain are of mixed origin. There are only five pure-blooded families left in Ruse now. I am proud that the Ishakh family is among them.