Euroasian Jewish News
Jaša Alfandari, President of the Jewish Community of Montenegro, Dies at 72
12.07.2018, Jewish Communities
On July 12, 2018, Jaša Alfandari, President of the Jewish Community of Montenegro, passed away. He was 72. Jaša Alfandari was born on August 28, 1946, in Subotica (Serbia), where he will also be buried.
He spent most of his life in Israel where he toiled for the benefit of the Jewish state. His last 25 years, however, he spent in Montenegro, where he founded its Jewish community in 2011 and was elected to be its President. In less than four years, Alfandari turned a tiny community into one of the most active and respected Jewish communities in the Balkans.
In January 2012, the Jewish community of Montenegro and the government of Montenegro signed an Agreement that became an official testimony to the strength of their relationship. For the first time in the history of Montenegro, Judaism became one of its official religions.
Jaša Alfandari initiated and held five iterations of the Conference of Jewish Communities of South-Eastern and Central Europe (MAHAR), which became the largest forum for Balkan Jewish communities and successfully united the Jews of the region. At the 2014 conference in Budva, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress decorated Jaša Alfandari for his substantial contribution to the development of Jewish communities in the Balkans.
The President of the Jewish community of Montenegro did more than found a community in his own country; he also substantially helped consolidate the Jewish communities of Albania and Kosovo. Jaša Alfandari also fought for the preservation and immortalization of the memory of Holocaust victims.
Thanks to his unwavering loyalty to the Jewish cause and unyielding drive he was held in high esteem not only in the Balkan region, but in the entire world. He will be missed.
With deep sorrow,
Co-President of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities (Vaad) of Ukraine