The EAJC Regional office in Montenegro mainly focuses on monitoring the Jewish life in Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia; attracting non-affiliated Jewish communities and families from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EAJC; organizing lectures and exhibitions as well as interviews in the local press on Israel and the state of modern antisemitism.
The first mention of Jews in Montenegro refers to the ancient Dukla, whose ruins are located near the center of Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. Archaeologists ascertained that the graves found in the necropolis belonged to the Jews.
In the Middle Ages, Jews lived within the boundaries of modern Montenegro in the areas surrounding the present-day towns of Plzhevlja, Plav, Gusin, Bijelo Pole, Berane and Ulcinj, formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Most of these Jews were Sephardim, who came from Spain and Portugal through Bosnia, or directly from Constantinople, in the early 16th century.
After wars with Napoleon and the occupation of Austria, Kotor Bay and another part of today’s Montenegrin coast, more Jewish population appeared in this region. They were concentrated mainly in Kotor, as it was an administrative center.
Montenegro belongs to rear areas in Europe on whose territory there was not a single concentration or collection camp from which Jews were sent to death camps during World War II. However. after World War II, a very small number of Jews remained in Montenegro.
The Jewish community of Montenegro is one of the youngest Jewish communities in the world. In 2012, the Jewish community and the government signed the Law on mutual relations.
Montenegro is a very multinational country, there are no manifestations of anti-Semitism there. In addition, there is great respect for the Jewish people and their contribution to the world civilization.
One of the brightest events for Jewish life in this region is the “Mahar” conference, a meeting of the Jewish communities of the Balkan region.