Photo taken in:DupnitsaCountry name at time of photo:Bulgaria, 1878-1944Country name today:Bulgaria
This is a photo of Haim Pilosof, first from right, Aron Alkalai, in the middle and I. We were friends as early as the time we were bachelors. The photo was taken in the 1930s in Dupnitsa.
I often went on excursions to the Rila Mountain as a young boy. I know every bit of it. My uncles were great tourists and I became enthusiastic about mountaineering because of them. There was a tourist association in Dupnitsa. It was comprised of local citizens, both Jews and Bulgarians, and was called 'The Seven Lakes of Rila Mountain'. As far as I know it still exists. We paid a membership fee and we had a discount for accommodation in huts.
There were Zionist organizations in Dupnitsa but I wasn't a member of any. The youth were members of Maccabi. The Jews in our town had their cultural-educational organization at the 'Saznanie' and Chitalishte. It was a Jewish community club, supervised by the Jewish community and was entirely at the disposal of the Jews in town. It had a big and rich library. We borrowed books from there.There we received all kinds of periodicals and newly published books. The richer Jews used to support it financially. The premises of the Jewish community club were close to the building which sheltered the Jewish community. There was a very nice choir at the 'Saznanie' community club, which had no name. The songs were Bulgarian. There was also a theater, in which many plays were performed. There was a big hall in the community club, where the library was situated and the theater and choir rehearsals were held. The plays were mainly by Jewish authors. I remember, for example, a play, 'Tevye, the Milkman' by the Russian author Sholem Aleichem.