Since 2000, the number of people of Bulgarian ancestry living in the United States has almost doubled. According to the Census Bureau’s estimate, 3,204 Bulgarians live in New England. However, based on comparative statistics for other major US cities, it is believed that the real number of Bulgarians living in New England is between 8,000 and 10,000 of whom 4,000 to 8,000 are in the Greater Boston area.
In this young and vibrant community a number of nonprofit and business organizations are thriving:
- Harvard Club of Bulgaria
- Bulgarian Club at MIT
- Tuk – Tam
- Folklore Dance Ensemble “Ludo Mlado”
- 7/8 Bulgarian Folk Dances
Many people have tirelessly helped the Bulgarian community throughout the years, and the Center will be forever indebted for their support. Here is tribute to a few of them:
Roy graduated from Yale Law School in 1940 and practiced antitrust law first with the U.S. Department of Justice and then with private law firms. In mid-career, in 1960, he introduced computer law to the world and worked in that field until he retired in 1986. In 1989, at the age of 7,2 he and his late wife, Ann, visited Bulgaria for the first time as Fulbright Teaching fellows. Over the next 15 years, the family traveled to Bulgaria 14 times, working on projects and networking with Bulgarians. Eventually, he was named a Chevalier of the Order of the Madara Horseman, First Degree, by the President Stoyanov. At the age of nearly 90 the Freeds wrote and published their memoirs – “Fulbrighters in Retirement: Networking with Bulgarians Keeps Us Engaged”. Currently, Roy is writing a book about the human mind as a unique biophysical machine roughly analogous to a computer.
Roy Freed’s vibrant career is a living example of man’s limitless energy, knowledge, curiosity, and enthusiasm. His affection for Bulgaria and its people makes him a true ambassador of the Bulgarian culture to the US and beyond.
Adam David Portnoy
Mr. Adam D. Portnoy has been the President of CommonWealth REIT since January 10, 2011, and Managing Trustee since 2006. Prior to RMR, he held positions as a banker and venture capitalist at several financial institutions, including Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and the International Finance Corporation (a member of The World Bank Group). He served as a Senior Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation, as a Vice President at ABN AMRO Investment Banking, and as the President and CEO at Surfree.com, Inc.
Mr. Portnoy is also currently Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria for Massachusetts, USA.
Robert Leikind, President of AJC of Boston
Robert Leikind is a veteran Jewish activist and civil rights leader who was appointed Director of AJC, Boston, in June 2008. The son of immigrants who survived Hitler’s Europe, Robert has been a persuasive and creative advocate who has dedicated his career to combating bigotry and strengthening essential freedoms that are the pillars of democratic life.
A lawyer by training, Robert began his career as an Assistant District Attorney before serving as Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut and Boston offices. He went on to become Senior Vice President of Hebrew College before assuming his current position. In the course of his work, Mr. Leikind has frequently brought together diverse coalitions to advance understanding and secure basic rights. He has been a frequent contributor to television, radio, and print media on topics ranging from Israel and antisemitism to interfaith relations and civil rights. Mr. Leikind received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, an M.S. from Columbia University, and his J.D. from the Boston College Law School.
“St. Sava” Serbian Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA has been a generous host of the Bulgarian Church “St. Petka” in Boston, allowing Bulgarian service to be administered on its beautiful premises and providing Bulgarian Christians with a place for religious worship. St. Sava Orthodox Church extends its hospitality to the Bulgarian church at no cost.