DR. ALEXANDAR OSCAR is the President-elect of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria Shalom. Prior to that, he served two terms as Chairman of the Sofia, Bulgaria, Jewish community, becoming in 2007 the youngest leader in the history of that community, and one of the youngest, most dynamic Jewish community leaders in the world.
Alek was born in Sofia at a time when the Bulgarian Jewish community still lived under the hardline Communist regime. His first contact with Bulgaria’s re-born Jewish community was in 1991, after his grandmother passed away and he became involved in informal Jewish education programs.
Alek graduated magna cum laude from the Medical University in Sofia in 2003 and has since finished two residency programs – in Neurology and in Ophthalmology, as well as a Master Degree in Healthcare Management. Currently Dr. Oscar is an Assistant Professor at the Medical University in Sofia, and is among the most respected Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmologists nationwide.
During his two consecutive terms as President of the Sofia Jewish Community, Alek further develops SHALOM’s capacity to provide welfare programs in benefit of the community members as well as the general Bulgarian society. One of Alek’s most praised charity initiatives – the “Do Good”, started back in 2012 and has since reached over 10,000 children from underprivileged families. Providing free-of-charge medical assistance and eye glasses is only one aspect of the initiative. Another is creating a pan-European network of Jewish doctors. In 2014, doctors from France and Turkey joined the SHALOM initiative and organized a visit to the Jewish school in Athens.
Alek is married to Karina Oscar, a marketing executive. They met at Gesher in Greece – a JDCRegions program in 2006. Together, they have one son, Avi.
Today, with SHALOM as its partner, JDC is helping this small but spirited Jewish community rebuild Jewish communal life, assist its needy elderly, and reclaim its Sephardic Jewish heritage.