Biró’s in Bergen

Zsofi, Daniel & David

It’s been almost two and a half years since the Biró family left Victoria for Bergen in Western Norway. Although very beautiful, Bergen is the rainiest city in Europe. Where Victoria gets an average of 23 inches of rain per year, Bergen receives over 88 inches! 
 
Starting a new life in Norway has not been easy. They all took languages classes and now navigate their everyday lives more or less in Norwegian. Daniel holds a position as Professor of Composition at the Grieg Academy, U of Bergen. He teaches composition to BA, MA and PhD students, organizes concerts and research symposia, and is constantly at work on his own compositions. Daniel has also been central to the organization of the first official Jewish association in Bergen. Nearly 80 years after the Holocaust in Norway, this will be the first official Jewish organization in Western Norway. 
 
Zsofi works as a substitute high school teacher and as a volunteer English teacher at a local organization that provides supports to immigrants, refugees, and low-income people. Soon turning seventeen, David attends a Norwegian high school, plays piano and tuba and is a computer technology whiz. He recently completed an online introductory course in coding offered by Harvard University. 
 
Says Zsofi: “We all miss the community of Congregation Emanu-El. While it was necessary to move for professional reasons, the inability to take part in regularly organized Jewish life has been difficult.” With the establishment of Det jødiske Samfunn I Bergen (The Jewish Community of Bergen), the family hopes to initiate a new chapter of Jewish life in Western Norway. “Even being far away,” adds Zsofi, “We still feel part of the Congregation Emanu-El community.”

We Can Support MAZON with Confidence

MAZON

We have long supported MAZON because they do wonderful work providing food to those in need across Canada, both Jewish and non-Jewish, including in Victoria.  When I heard it said that MAZON has “left Victoria behind,” I contacted Director Izzy Waxman and she quickly reassured me that the rumour was baseless.

MAZON supported three programs in Victoria in 2019: the Mustard Seed Food Bank, the Preschool Nutrition Program at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and the Emergency Food Subsidy Program at Jewish Family Services of Vancouver Island. Continue reading We Can Support MAZON with Confidence