Be a part of a close-knit group of teens from Bulgaria, and across Eastern and Western Europe – forging lasting friendships and uniting our global Jewish community. Learn about Bulgarian society, take part in community service projects, and expand your network of friends, all while having fun! Along the way, explore a beautiful land - from Sofia to the Black Sea - considered one of Europe's best kept secrets.
Elements of the Program
- A Mission of Service
What sets the Ambassadors to Bulgaria experience apart from all other BBYO Passport programs is that our teens from North America are paired up for the entire ten day program with European Jewish teens from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia, the United Kingdom and more! Share in the experience from their unique perspective, and learn about Jewish life in Europe through their eyes. Ambassadors to Bulgaria is a cross-cultural experience with opportunities for real bonding and lasting friendships abroad.
Ambassadors to Bulgaria is primarily a service experience in a community in need of our support. Travel from city to city and village to village and leave your mark through projects such as restoring local synagogues, volunteering at a Jewish seniors home, and helping to feed the hungry.
- A Unique Teen Travel Experience
Ambassadors to Bulgaria is also an opportunity to learn about a country with a remarkable past and to tour its beautiful countryside. Explore the ruins of a contemporary city of Troy, relax on the shores of the Black Sea, and tour ornate synagogues.
For over a decade, BBYO has a tradition of organizing groups of North American teens on missions to Bulgaria. BBYO is proud to have a thriving local chapter in Bulgaria and regularly invites Jewish teens from Bulgaria to international events in North America and Israel. The Ambassadors to Bulgaria experience is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of this tradition, view what it means to be Jewish from a different perspective, and form lasting friendships with Jewish teens abroad.
- Discover the rich history and customs of Bulgarian Jewry in Sofia and Plovdiv
- Share the experience with fellow Jewish teens from Bulgaria and many other European countries
- Explore Bulgaria's small towns and beautiful countryside
- Tour Sofia
- Swim in the Black Sea
- Enjoy the warmth of Shabbat in a small European Jewish community
- Contribute to the upkeep and well-being of Sofia's Jewish residents and their communal institutions
- Build lifelong friendships with teens from around the world
A sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.
Part #1 | Sofia
Land in Sofia and begin a 10-day program of service, cross-cultural bridge-building, and touring in Bulgaria. Travel from cities, to villages, to mountains, and to the resort coast of the Black Sea. We will also spend a special Shabbat in Sofia hand-in-hand with the Jewish community of Bulgaria
Is Ambassadors to Bulgaria right for my teen?
This experience is perfect for any Jewish teen in 9th-12th grade with a passion for service and cross-cultural bridge building. Ambassadors to Bulgaria provides an opportunity to build relationships with local teens and to explore Jewish life in Bulgaria through their eyes.
Where will my teen stay in Bulgaria?
On this trip we will stay at a variety of 3-star hotels. You will receive the hotel names with the finalized trip itinerary.
What kind of food will my teen be eating in Bulgaria?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, etc.) should contact us in advance to make proper arrangements for the flight and during the program. Bulgarian food is in many ways similar to the food served in Greece and Turkey: tomato, cucumber and cheese salad, filo pastries (byurek) and stuffed vine leaves are among the shared dishes. Bulgaria draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.
How do you handle safety and security in Bulgaria?
As an organization that has been serving teens for over 85 years, and teen travel programs since 1956, our philosophy is to treat each and every BBYO Passport participant as a member of our own family. Safety and security considerations always come first. This means that we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, limit opportunities for free time, generally use accommodations outside of city centers, and in certain countries we travel with a security/medical escort.
What is the weather like in Bulgaria?
The weather in Bulgaria is hot, sunny, and mostly dry – especially in the southern part of Bulgaria. Day time temperatures can reach the 80’s and 90’s and evenings will be in the 60’s. Rain is rare, but especially possible in the northern regions.
For more information now, check out our general FAQs.
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* Recommended pairing