Medical Doctor, Plastic Surgery resident, Adonis Clinic
Ivona was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where she lived until the age of seven when her family moved to Belgrade, Serbia. Taking part in local Jewish children’s clubs she developed a deep connection to Judaism and the Jewish community. This sense of belonging continued to grow throughout her years in high school and university. Ivona turned this feeling into proactive and innovative energy, whether as a participant, counselor, or organizer, making her one of the more prominent young Jewish people in the Balkan region. Ivona believes that tradition is a core tenet of strong Jewish identity and that it is our responsibility to preserve it in 21st century. This belief led her to Jewity, a project she launched at a Junction seminar in 2016. Jewity is a mobile city guide that enables users to experience Jewish heritage in major cities throughout the world through storytelling. Jewity captures Jewish culture and presents it through digital media, focusing on stories and memories, rather than dry facts. Her favorite part of the project is her work interviewing older community members and collecting items that reflect Jewish heritage. Ivona also established the Union of Jewish Students of Serbia, whose goal is to connect, educate, and motivate young Jewish Serbians to be active participants in the Jewish community and global Jewish life. As a result of her efforts a significantly higher number of people have taken part in a variety of local and pan-European Jewish events. In 2017 Ivona won the World Union of Jewish Student’s award for outstanding Jewish leadership. In addition to these efforts, Ivona is also in the midst of her residency in plastic surgery in the University Hospital of Belgrade.