Encompassing the Balkans and the Middle East, the Europe – East region is a diverse and lively region. With the warm, friendly and passionate cultures of this wonderful region, you’ll always find people ready to help, cheer you up, or just give you an unforgettable night out with memories for life1.
If you want to talk to us about anything, be it judge certification, staffing events, praises or improvement ideas, we’re here for you. You can always reach out to the relevant country coordinator, or talk directly to the regional coordinator, Yuval Tzur, by filling out the “Contact a Regional Coordinator” form or sending an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re part of the region and you want to reach out to people more publicly, you can do so on the JudgeApps regional forum or the regional Facebook group. Being attentive to both channels is important if you don’t want to miss the regular Exemplar judge features, monthly highlights, and the occasional article or report, but most of all, tuning into these channels is crucial because this is where all the official communication (such as announcements about conferences or leadership changes) is made.
What makes the Europe-East region special?
Europe – East is the most diverse region in the judge program. The region is composed of 17 different countries (Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Kuwait, Montenegro, Macedonia, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates) that speak many different languages and use at least five different alphabets. English is the formal language of the region, even though it is not the native language in any of its 17 countries.
Europe – East judges are known for their warm hearts and directness, so you can always count on them to tell you what’s on their mind without “sugar coating” it, but love you like a sibling anyway. Camaraderie is one of the great strengths of the region, but so is friendly ribbing. As an example, we had “Jewish steak” in a pub once, in the company of some of our Israeli friends… (it was delicious, and didn’t even require a human sacrifice!)
The geography is also extremely diverse – from the magical coastlines to the impressive cities (the closest you can get to real-life Ravnica!), Europe – East includes everything from scorching deserts to snowy mountains, and is a great region for travel. The regional conferences are incredible multicultural events that attract people from all corners of the region, and out-of-region judges as well (conferences are held in English).
The Europe – East region was created when the judge program introduced regions in May of 2010. Its first regional coordinator was Philipp Daferner, and its geography was different. At first, the region included Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. During some adjustments a month later, the “German Speaking Countries” region was formed and Austria moved there (so the RC was living outside of the region), and Israel, which belonged to no region before, was added. In November 2011 the “Europe – Mid-East” region (which later changed its name to “Europe – Central”) was formed under Sebastian Pękala, and some countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) moved there. In July 2013 Philipp decided to step down, and Giorgos Trichopoulos took his place. In December 2015, under Giorgos’s leadership, the region gained three new countries from the Arabian Gulf (Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates). Giorgos led the region for over five years, until he in turn decided to step down, and was replaced by Yuval Tzur – the current regional coordinator – on October 2018. That same month, Saudi Arabia was officially added to the region.
1. No, we definitely do not mean “scars for life”.