Bohoreta Women’s Club
The Bohoreta Club was founded as a women’s section in 1965, the community itself immediately after the return of the Jews to Sarajevo with the support of JOINT. Since there are many mixed families, there are no traditions, these were interrupted, holidays were not held or only passed on in the family. The president has taken over her task from her mother and grandmother. Today the women’s section sees it as its duty to prepare the festive holidays for the whole community (500), e.g. Passover (a description of the traditions follows), Succot, etc. Since the last rabbi died in 1954, there are no more trained church representatives. Igor, the son of the chairman, leads the church services and wants to become a rabbi himself.
Among the women, the eldest is an Auschwitz survivor who is 94 years old, a once-known architect who has not been able to come for two years. The youngest ladies are mostly over 70, and from time to time there are still two younger ones.
Many come from mixed families or whose children are married and in-laws to Serbs, Croats or Muslims. The women’s club is therefore also very open, there is also a Muslim woman (Kassima) present, whose husband is Jewish. According to Jonna Rock, another lady who calls herself a Yugoslavian is not a Jew, but a friend of one of the women. So the group is very open, maybe this is also true for the whole community, where there are hardly any or no Jews of strict faith.
The chairwoman has a non-Jewish mother, she did not meet her father Isaak, because he was deported to Jasenovac in April, she herself was born in June. She and her sister had blue eyes, went to her mother’s village, hid there and survived the war. When she went to the women’s meetings with her mother and grandmother as a young woman, she was asked what she wanted there as a young woman. But she was not employed anywhere, so she had time and the task was gradually handed over to her.
Her husband comes from Macedonia and is the only one of 62 family members who survived there. The others were deported from Skopje to Treblinka in 1943.
At home only the grandparents spoke to each other Ladino, the father still could. The ladies present still understand some things, but don’t speak them anymore. They cultivate their heritage through songs, in some families proverbs from the Ladino have survived.
60,000 inhabitants of Sarajevo were warned of the war by a fifth of Jews. 9,000 were murdered. The middle generation has almost completely broken away due to emigration in the last war.