A Message from the Founders

Kalin and Sharon

My wife, Sharon, and I founded Songs of Life. I am a native Bulgarian and Sharon hails from Israel.

The burden for the Songs of Life event comes out of the realization that had it not been for the miraculous rescue 70 years ago, I would not have my wife and son today. Indeed, Sharon’s maternal grandparents are among the 49,000 Bulgarian Jews that were rescued during the Holocaust.

In 2008, we decided to debut Songs of Life in four cities of Bulgaria and Israel commemorating the rescue. I consider Songs of Life to be a heavenly mission. It echoes a thank you by paying tribute to the brave Bulgarian people and offering a source of inspiration and change for people everywhere today. This performance is more than a commemoration of the past. It’s a call of action for the future.

The purpose of Songs of Life is to unite people in thanksgiving, through a message of compassion and hope. This is a story of ordinary people who rejected complacency and arose to defy evil. They chose to defend the weak and act in mercy by taking a courageous stand, and ultimately overcome all obstacles to rescue their Jewish compatriots on three separate deportation attempts to Nazi concentration camps.

Today we live in times of uncertainty, confusion, and turmoil. Songs of Life Festival, as a ray of light, brings a message to all people. We tell the amazing story of ordinary people, who did something extraordinary during one of the darkest hours of human history – the Holocaust.

Songs of Life is our personal story, and we truly, from the bottom of our hearts, celebrate the beautiful gift of life as we bear personal testimony to this amazing story. Our message today is that each one of us has the power to do something extraordinary – to defend the weak, to help those who are in distress and make a difference in someone’s life through an act of kindness.

One day, these acts of love, compassion, and mercy will become themes of new songs. Songs of Life – of those who have been reached, touched, and changed by someone who cared.

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Kalin Tchonev

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