Dallas Holocaust Museum Upstander Speaker Series: Ambassador Jakob Finci
Ambassador Jakob Finci will tell his amazing story of how Jewish, Islamic, and Christian neighbors set aside their differences and united for survival amidst the conflict of an ethnic war. Born in 1943 to Sephardi Jewish parents in the Rab concentration camp, Finci ultimately returned with his family to Sarajevo where he began a career as a lawyer specializing in international law.
In the 1990s, when ethnic war broke out in Sarajevo, Finci helped found La Benevolencija, a humanitarian organization that provided critical relief at the height of the Bosnian-Serbian conflict. Led by Holocaust survivors and their families, La Benevolencija housed itself in Sarajevo’s Jewish community center and provided medicine, food, and community to Sarajevans trapped in the city. Under sniper fire, La Benevolencija eventually managed to secure safe passage for 3,000 people by organizing convoys of Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, Jews, and Croats.
Finci, a former Ambassador to Switzerland, continues to stand up for human rights as President of the Jewish cultural and humanitarian society, La Benevolencija. He is also the current President of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.