As part of a program begun to help the revival of small Jewish communities in Europe, a delegation from the Rabbinical Center of Europe (CRE), including Israel's chief rabbi Yona Metzger, is visiting Albania and Montenegro this week.
"The Balkans have a rich Jewish history, it is vital that we assist in the renewal of Jewish life," said Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, deputy director of the RCE is. "The authorities have expressed their goodwill towards the Jewish community and the interest in helping them grow."
In Albania, the RCE delegation met with several political leaders, including President Bamir Topi, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and former mayor of Tirana and leader of the opposition, Edi Rama.
The purpose of these meetings is to receive recognition from the small Jewish community by the government, to acquire the necessary financial resources and the land for the community institutions and to discuss the issues of restitution.
Last year, the CRE had already been present in Albania for the inauguration of the first Chief Rabbi of Albania, Joel Kaplan, an event attended by the Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar and different from representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in Albany.
The Albanian government has made official the Jewish religion which thus becomes the sixth known religion in Albania. For his part, the chief rabbi thanked the government for the efforts of the Albanians in the days of the Holocaust.
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