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Sunday03December16:004:00 pm(GMT-05:00) View in my timeThe 'Righteous Gentiles' of BulgariaThe Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Rescue of the Bulgarian Jews (1940-45)

Event Details

In 2002, the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem officially recognized the significant contributions of two key leaders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church during the Holocaust. The Metropolitan of Plovdiv Kiril and the Metropolitan of Sofia Stefan were honored as Righteous Gentiles for their crucial roles in rescuing Bulgarian Jews. As we mark the 80th anniversary of their courageous actions, along with those of other clergy and laity, it is essential to reflect on how their collective efforts thwarted the deportation and saved countless Jewish lives in Bulgaria.

This year, attention turns to the writings of Metropolitan Stefan, whose personal archives are being published for the first time. 

A panel of distinguished scholars will delve into the role and influence of the clergy, the Synod, and prominent figures within the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the rescue mission. The panel comprises 

  • Professor Roumiana Preshlenova, Director of the Institute for Balkan Studies with the Center of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; 
  • Dr. Stamenka Antonova, a historian at the same institute; 
  • Professor Joseph Benatov, Associate Director of the Jewish Studies Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Michael G. Azar

    Michael G. Azar

    Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies at the University of Scranton

    Michael G. Azar is Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies at the University of Scranton. He holds a PhD in New Testament from Fordham University and an MA in theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. His first book is Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johann…

    Read author’s full bio and see articles by this author

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Bateman Room, Lincoln Center Campus, Fordham University

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Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center provides a space within a university setting for engagement with Orthodox Christianity by undergraduate and graduate students, participating faculty, and friends. It seeks to promote understanding of Orthodox Christianity in Western Culture; to preserve and perpetuate a vibrant Orthodox Christian tradition in America; to articulate the value and relevance of the Orthodox Christian tradition; and to promote ecumenical dialogue and relations, especially with Roman Catholicism.

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