Slovenia’s only orthodox family is packing up

The only orthodox Jewish family in Slovenia, is bound to leave for the UK
Kris Alfred Killer

Sarah is Slovene but has lived for years in the UK while Mattis is Canadian. The five-year presence of the couple in Slovenia helped out many a member of the tiny Jewish Community.
Whilst living in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana they witnessed the birth of their daughter Ilana as well as their son Moshe Chayim in the spring. His circumcision was the first on Slovenian soil in over 60 years – at least since WWII.

Rapid expansion
Since 1997 Jewish life has begun developing with rapid speed in Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana, where most of the around 150 strong Jewish Community live. Religious life is still not organized as much as many would prefer but, since the inauguration of the chief rabbi Ariel Haddad in 1999, as well as the receiving of a Torah scroll in 2002, things are starting to go uphill.
The Coopers helped out with their extensive knowledge on customs and traditions. On the morning of this year’s Pesach-eve their son Moshe Chayim received his name at the circumcision. The whole process did not go about without major technical difficulties though.
The parents, Matisse and Sarah Cooper had to put tremendous strength and effort into coordinating preparations for the holiday as well as flying-in a mohel all the way from London, UK, where Sarah Cooper spent most of her childhood and teenage years and is returning to once again.
Early in the morning a small crowd gathered at their apartment to witness the happy occasion. Everybody was on their toes as preparations for the community’s Seder were already under way at one of the fanciest hotels in Ljubljana and workforce was desperately needed.

“The birth of the Nation occurred on the Seder, with the drowning of the Egyptian army symbolizing the Brit, and so it is a wonderful occurrence today as we can celebrate both occasions together” expressed the mohel.
Chief Rabbi Ariel Haddad commented: “I am deeply convinced that this Brit Milah is also just another symbol of the rebirth of the Slovene Jewish Community.” His words wonderfully expressed everybody’s opinion and although the Coopers are leaving, this rebirth will miss an important well of knowledge, but will not stop.