Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose country currently holds the EU Presidency, will address the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum in Jerusalem. The four-day conference, June 10-13, is the premier Jewish global advocacy organization’s signature annual event.

“We are delighted Prime Minister Borissov will travel to Jerusalem to address our Global Forum,” said AJC CEO David Harris, who last visited Sofia and met with the prime minister in October. “Under Prime Minister Borissov’s leadership, Bulgaria and Israel have developed a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values, and a determination to fight terrorism and promote regional cooperation.”

Well over 1,500 participants, including hundreds of young Jews, from across the United States and many other countries are expected to attend the Global Forum, the first time in AJC’s 112-year history that the conference convenes outside the United States. The AJC gathering will be one of the largest for an American Jewish organization in Jerusalem.

“Bulgaria has demonstrated a unique and significant link with the Jewish people,” said Harris. “Seventy-five years ago, Bulgaria heroically saved tens of thousands of Jews during World War II, despite the Nazi aim to deport them to the death camps. Moreover, it served as a little-known meeting place in the 1980s for Jews in the Soviet Union and for Soviet Jews living in Israel to reunite with one another, when direct contact was otherwise impossible because of Kremlin objections.”

AJC has been deeply involved with Bulgaria since the late 1980s, after the collapse of the communist regime, advocating for the U.S.-Bulgaria-Israel relationship. AJC leaders have frequently visited Sofia over the years, meeting with top Bulgarian officials and representatives of the country’s small but impressively vibrant Jewish community. Shalom, the umbrella body of Jewish organizations in Bulgaria, is an AJC international partner.

AJC engages regularly with Bulgarian diplomats across the U.S., Europe, and Israel, and the global Jewish advocacy organization meets with top Bulgarian officials each year on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The nonpartisan AJC, founded in 1906, maintains headquarters in New York City, 22 regional offices across the United States, 11 posts worldwide, including Sofia, and 35 international association agreements. Viktor Melamed serves as the director of AJC’s recently opened office in Bulgaria.

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