A CITY IN LOVE WITH THE THEATRE. RAFAEL FARIN AND THE JUDEZMO THEATRE IN SHUMEN
The northeastern Bulgarian industrial and university town Shumen – earlier called Shumla and from 1950 to 1965 renamed Kolarovgrad in socialist Bulgaria – lies on the eastern slopes of the Shumen Plateau, some 60 miles from the port city of Varna. In 1869, there were approximately 400 Jews living in the town, which borders Dobrudzha to the south where a large Turkish population resides; in 1905, ca. 200 Jewish families resided in Shumen; in 1912, the Jewish population numbered 1,200; in 1934, the number of Jewish residents declined to 601.1 A clear majority of them, more than 80% according to the latest census we have, spoke Judezmo as their mother tongue. Almost of the Jews in Shumen made aliya to the State of Israel, leaving only 88 Jews there. Currently, just a handful of Jewish families live in the city.