Association ESTER is the organization of Jewish women in Slovakia based in the town of Košice, the second largest city in Slovakia.
In January 2010, our organization celebrated its 10th birthday, but we started to organize our activities already 15 years ago as a club for Jewish women.
The main aim of Association ESTER is to keep alive the traditions and the rich cultural heritage we received from our ancestors. As we live in a multi-cultural society, it is very important to educate the whole society about the Jewish culture, history and traditions. Education is the most effective way to eliminate the unwanted manifestations of anti-Semitism, intolerance and xenophobia. That is why our projects are aimed at the education of the younger generation.
Annually we are the main organizers of the Day of Jewish Culture and the European Day of Jewish Culture. The president of Association ESTER – Marta Gyoriová has been the coordinator for the whole Slovakia for 6 years. We also provide consultations for those interested in writing academic theses on themes of Jewish culture and history.
Our activities include concerts of Yiddish and Hebrew songs, exhibitions of books and literature, forums, round-table discussions, lectures by writers of Jewish descent, commemorative meetings on days of remembrance, etc. We also do not forget to keep our rich traditions, and thus we try to organize meetings on the occasion of Purim, Pesach, Chanukah, as well as Sabbath evenings.
We cooperate with various organizations and educational institutions. We make an effort to involve the majority society as much as possible, and particularly the 8 national minorities living in the area of Košice. This is a common effort to build up a civil society that will, now and in the future, accept the irreplaceable importance of Jewish culture and history.
All these activities are made possible through the financial support of the JOOD Foundation, the Ministry of Culture of the Slovakian Republic, the EZRA Foundation, and the Košice Town Foundation. We are grateful to be part of the International Council of Jewish Women and it was a great honor for us when several years ago ex-presidents of ICJW June Jacobs and Sarah Winkowski visited us.
“Did You Know It?”, “Open Door”, “Know the Truth”, and our other educational programs have proved to be very successful. They included interesting workshops, lectures, thematic and educational excursions to prayer rooms and synagogues in Košice, Budapest and Prague. It was very nice to observe the great interest of both the teachers and the students. The results of these projects were shown in the students´ own pieces of work, that they created on the basis of their own newly obtained knowledge, feelings and experience. This has included short films, various paintings, photographs, pictures and literary work, which were presented in the presence of representatives of the town and various institutions, as a major event attracting media attention.
Association ESTER (Združenie ESTER)
President: Dr. Marta Gyoriová
Address: Tr. SNP 55, 04011 Košice, Slovakia