Social services for Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Funds have been provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for the Emergency Assistance Program for Nazi Victims at the direction of the United States District Court supervising the lawsuit In RE: Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks).

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE STATEMENT OF MAKIS VORIDIS

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece takes into consideration and values the explanations given by Mr. Voridis, hoping that he will prove the honesty of his statement with concrete initiatives, following the example of other politicians who did not hesitate to express their regret for the views they embraced in the past.

We hope that Mr. Voridis will steadfastly and emphatically support the fight against intolerance, racism and antisemitism, which has anyway always constituted a key issue of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ policy.

Athens, July 16, 2019
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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RADIO INTERVIEW of VICTOR ELIEZER ON MAKIS VORIDIS’ NEONAZI POLITICAL PAST
In a radio interview (News 24/7, July 12, 2019) to journalist Seraphim Kotrotsos, the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Victor Eliezer, with accuracy and clarity, presented the position and the feelings of the Greek Jewry towards Makis Voridis whose political past was linked to neo-nazi ideology.

AUDIO FILE of the interview (in Greek) HERE

The full transcript of the interview:

JOURNALIST S. KOTROTSOS: Therefore, I asked to speak with the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr Victor Eliezer, a man who of course knows very well both the affairs of Israel and those of Greece as well, because of his capacity as a journalist he can realize even better the way the Israeli  media react. Mr Eliezer, good evening, thank you for being with us.

V.ELIEZER:  Good evening Mr. Kotrotsos, good evening to your listeners.

S. KOTROTSOS: Firstly let’s mention the very good words of Netanyahu to Mitsotakis as a result of an excellent relation between Greece and Israel, that has been built over many years, which I think is not easy to crack.

V.ELIEZER:  Well, this is true, it is very accurate. Bilateral relations of all levels have been built over the last ten years. Also regarding cooperation for the exploitation of natural resources, as you know, with the participation of Cyprus. There are excellent bilateral relations in the field of cultural exchanges, and in the field of economy, with tourism being the prevailing factor.

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MAKIS VORIDS’ STATEMENT REJECTING NEO-NAZISM AND ANTISEMITISM
"I have never been anti-Semitic," Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis said on Saturday July 13, 2019, though admitting that he had for many years been a member of nationalist political parties and organisations and had "coexisted politically with people that had such unacceptable ideas."

"To resolve any doubts, therefore, I denounce all action, omission or tolerance on my part to the act of a third party that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic or neo-nazi," he added.

Voridis was responding to the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Victor Eliezer, who he said had "called on me to publicly denounce by anti-Semitic past" in a radio interview.

"I also wish to notify Mr. Eliezer of the following, hoping to assuage the concerns he expressed:
1. As a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in consultation with my colleagues in the Knesset, I have for three successive years proposed the rejection of the Palestinian Authority's request to become a member of the parliamentary assembly and unremittingly and systematically supported the condemnation of anti-Semitism. My Israeli colleagues know this.

2. I have spoken in parliament against the so-called antiracist law, recognising as its only positive point the penalisation of denial of the Holocaust.

3. I am the only Greek politician that has written articles in support of transferring the Greek Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

4. I am the only Greek politician that has supported the signing of a defence and not just a strategic alliance with Israel.

5. I am the only Greek politician that has adopted a position against Israel's condemnation for the incidents in Gaza.

In light of these, I hope that his concerns have been alleviated," Voridis said.

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GREECE HONORS AJC CEO DAVID HARRIS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 13:35
American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris was honored today July 9, 2019 by Greece with one of the country’s most prestigious awards, the Order of the Phoenix.

“I award to you, with deep feelings of honor, the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. As CEO of American Jewish Committee, and on the basis of the legacy of the Holocaust, you have defended human rights around the world and you have defended the dignity of humankind, so that we can all now say, effectively, never again,” said Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who presented the award to Harris in recognition of his long-term engagement with Greece on behalf of AJC. “The second reason for this award is the fact that you have made a critical contribution to strengthening relations among Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the U.S., which are now at their best, and, with your help, they will only continue to improve.” 

Harris has visited Greece dozens of times, beginning in the 1980s, meeting regularly with the country’s prime ministers and other top officials in Athens, as well as in New York and Washington, D.C., to advance Greece’s interactions with American Jews, Israel and the United States.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 June 2019 09:24

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the establishment and the inauguration of the first Islamic mosque in Athens. The functioning of the mosque will give the opportunity to the Muslims to pray and exercise their religious duties.

The Church, the Synagogue and the Mosque symbolize the harmonious coexistence among people of different religions living in the same city. The freedom of religion and the respect of the sanctity of faith of the followers of all religions are fundamental pillars of the civilization of a society, and the Greek state demonstrated the high importance that attributes to these values.

Athens, June 11, 2019

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE USE OF HOLOCAUST SYMBOLS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:00

Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, editor of “Documento” newspaper, trivialized Holocaust in a tweet criticizing Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his statement in favour of the ‘7day work week’. Vaxevanis in his tweet of May 12, 2019 used the inscription over the gate of Auschwitz “Arbeit Macht Frei” to comment on K. Mitsotakis.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) issued the following announcement stressing the inappropriate use of the symbols of the Holocaust:

"A few days ago we passed the gate of Auschwitz with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the President of the Greek Parliament Mr. Nikos Voutsis and thousands of participants commemorating the 6.000.000 Jews victims of the Holocaust, including 65.000 Greek Jews. In awe and sadness.    

The "Arbeit macht frei" inscription at the gate of the Auschwitz -which means "Work makes you free”- that welcomed the Jews who were led to a horrible death at the crematoria, is still there ...

The use of this inscription within a political controversy and a journalistic comment is unacceptable because it downgrades, minimizes and trivializes a symbol of horror and Nazi barbarism. In Auschwitz every trace of humanity was lost and inhumanity and harrowing death prevailed. Millions of people were killed there because they were either Jews or “different”.

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ESJF SURVEYS CONCLUDED IN GREECE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 12:07
ESJF is proud to announce that field surveys have wrapped up in the first of the project countries under our 2019 mass survey project “Protecting the Jewish cemeteries of Europe: a full mapping process with research and monitoring and individual costed proposals for protection”, co-funded by the European Union. Our team travelled in Greece between 26 March and 14 April, mapping 48 sites altogether.

Greece has been a hugely different experience from the places ESJF has worked in before, both in terms of the specific challenges posed by its unique topography, and because of its mostly Sephardic burial tradition. The survey teams flew, took ferries and travelled via land to visit well-known sites such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes or Zakynthos, but also smaller places like Paramythia, Rethymnon and Preveza.

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THE LEGACY OF AMOS OZ FOR CONTEMPORARY ISRAEL - A CONVERSATION WITH FANIA OZ Print E-mail
Monday, 13 May 2019 09:33
On May 9, 2019 a de profundis and stirring conversation about the legacy of Amos Oz in today's Israel took place at V. & M. Theocharakis Foundation for Fine Arts and Music. The daughter of Amos Oz, Professor Fania Oz Salzberger, was invited to attend the event which marked the 71st anniversary of the independence of Israel and was organized by the Embassy of Israel and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

Fania Oz, a professor of history at Haifa University Law School, discussed with journalist Elias Maglinis, a literature critic and author himself and with Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, a professor of history at the University of the Peloponnese.

During the event Fania Oz was welcomed by Mrs. Irit Ben-Abba, the Israeli Ambassador to Greece and by the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. Victor Eliezer.  In her speech the Ambassador referred to the carry of the work of this important Israeli author in Greece and on how well-loved is he by the Greek public. The Secretary General, in his turn, mentioned the book "Jews and words", written by both Amos Oz and his daughter Fania and read some precise excerpts reflecting the relationship between Jews and God, concluding that "today we feel that Amos is with us, as well".   
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