Menahem Josifov

This is a photo of my husband in the Jewish choir in the late 1930s in Sofia. A friend of his, Leon Pilosof, is on his right and a distant cousin of mine is on his left. The Jewish choir in Sofia was founded in 1909. The name of the first conductor was Keranov. The choir was dismissed during the war. It resumed after World War I. The Jewish choir was mixed, so men and women sang there. Rehearsals took place in the building of the Central Synagogue in Sofia. There were between 120-130 singers. The repertoire mostly consisted of classical Bulgarian songs such as songs of the famous Bulgarian composer Dobri Hristov, as well as compositions by Handel, Mozart and Mendelssohn. The Jewish choir was the first vocal ensemble in Bulgaria that sang classical oratorios. It was a meeting place for young Jews. My husband and I met each other in the choir of the synagogue where we both used to sing. I married him on 30th June 1945. Our marriage was one of the first civil marriages in Sofia. Our love lasted and we waited for several years for each other while we were interned from Sofia. My family was interned in Kjustendil and his in the town of Byala Slatina in North Bulgaria.