WHAT IS THE BOHORETA ?
Bohoreta is the women's club of La Benevolencija, the Jewish Cultural, Educational and Humanitarian society in Sarajevo. La Benevolencija was established in 1892 and, until 1941, operated as the Jewish Cultural and Educational Society. After World War II, organising societies with a national basis was forbidden; therefore, La Benevolencija cancelled its activities.
Before the war in 1992, La Benevolencia was able to reform and launched a women's club. The club organised tea parties and lectures, as well as visits to its ill members. When the war started in Bosnia, reorganisation of the club was necessary to provide appropriate war-time assistance. With the new agenda, the club adopted its new name, Bohoreta. Bohoreta attempted to help all its members during the war, as well as assisting the other citizens of Sarajevo.
OUR BASIC TASKS ARE
Helping older and ill members in cooperation with health care services.
Working with and fostering friendships among children between the ages of 6 and 14.
Organising a soup kitchen which supports more than 300 recipients.
Serving as a mail-distribution center to the citizens of Sarajevo when other services were not in operation.
Distributing new and second-hand clothes received as donations.
Assisting food distributions.
Distributing food and clothes for babies.
Organising celebrations during Jewish holidays.
Cooperating with other humanitarian organisations.
Providing donations for other humanitarian projects and organisations.
Processing members' data.
The organisation provides every member with a family card, a card for distribution of humanitarian aid, and use of the soup kitchen. Currently there are approximately thirty women working in Bohoreta, and many volunteers from the Jewish community who offer their help when necessary.
An important part of Bohoreta is its social section. Its purpose is to determine which members are most needy: those that are eldest, most ill and poorest in the community. Bohoreta wants to cooperate with other international organisations, especially those with similar activities.
WHO WAS BOHORETA ?
Bohoreta is a well-known name among Sarajevo's Jews. Laura Papo-Bohoreta was born in Sarajevo in 1892 to the merchant-family Levi. During her childhood, she lived with her family in Istanbul where she studied at the French/Jewish school, Alliance Israelite Universelle. After returning to Sarajevo, Bohoreta eventually completed her education through a scholarship to the Sorbonne in Paris. There she became a teacher of French language.
Bohoreta was the only Sephardic intellectual at that time in Sarajevo. After her studies, she wrote poems, stories, and later drama –performed today by the Jewish Workers' Society "Matatja". Bohoreta directed her creative and cultural work to educate Jewish women, specifically younger working women. She publicised her works in Hebrew and did much to collect Jewish Sephardic romances and other types of cultural heritage.
Unfortunately, her life came to an abrupt end in 1942 when, as a victim of ethnic hatred, she died in a Nazi concentration camp.
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