The Optimists on a tour in Bulgaria

This movie is one of the things that make me think a lot about what we want, where we go, where we come from.
I got the following note from a friend of mine, the director Jacky Comforty

He is organizing a program, supported by The Penka Kassabova and Elizabeth Clarke Association (Sofia, Bulgaria) in a association with The Penka Kassabova and Elizabeth Clarke Educational Foundation (USA), the Bulgarian Learning Center Znanye in Chicago.

As part of the 105th anniversary events to commemorate and celebrate the life, achievements and legacy of Ms. Penka Kassabova, a pioneer of early childhood education in Bulgaria and a unique, inspiration and role model to many Bulgarian educators, a tour will be organized, to include screenings of Jacky’s work about Inclusion of children and people with disabilities into school and community, and of The Optimists: The Story of the Rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust. All screenings will follow discussions, workshops and discussions.

The Inclusion Series, is an award winning series of 10 DVDs that have been instrumental in introducing the concept of inclusion to teachers, parents, and professionals in the US and internationally.
This best selling series is widely used to inform, train, and inspire change and acceptance in schools, universities, libraries, resource centers, community institutions, and by advocacy groups. More information is available at www.inclusionseries.com

The Optimists tell story of how individuals and organizations in Bulgaria stopped their government from handing over it’s Jewish population to the Nazis during WW II.
Ordinary people stood up for their Jewish friends and neighbors.
The Church, members of the Bulgarian Parliament, fascists and communists , trade unionists, professional guilds, regular people, and the Jewish community all helped defeat the Nazis’ plans for mass deportations despite the Bulgarian government’s efforts to comply.
Bulgaria’s experience offers valuable insight into how we can mobilize to protect human rights and civil rights.
It is not only a Jewish story. It is a universal one, powerful in its ability to inform and inspire all audiences.

The Optimists is winner of the Peace Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and winner of “The Jewish Experience” award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

So, Jacky Comforty will have showings and follow discussion with the audience, as follows:

November 14, 17:00, St Kliment Ochridski University, Sofia: The Optimists
November 15, 11:00, St Kliment Ochridski University, Sofia: Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
November 16, 15:00, Angel Kanchev University, Ruse: Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
November 17 & 18, Pedagogical Center Elias Kaneti, Ruse: Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
November, 21 19:00, Rotary Club Sofia, Hotel Rila, Sofia: The Optimists
November 22, Neofit Rilski University, Blagoevgrad: Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
November 23, Neofit Rilski University, Blagoevgrad: The Optimists
November 25, 10:30 Kindergarten, Montana, Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
November 29, 11:00 Yambol City Hall, Yambol, Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
December 4, 17:00 Kindergarten Radost, Sofia: Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators
December 6 & 7, Kindergarten Izvorze, Varna: The Optimists TBA, Bulgarian New University Sofia: The Optimists, and Choices and Inclusion Issues for Educators

If you are in these cities, you should definitely go and see the movie. Joi Ito and Larry Lessig wrote about it last year. It’s worth watching it!

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