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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LATEST NEWS

US STATE SECRETARY POMPEO VISITS THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF THESSALONIKI
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his visit to Greece, along with his wife Susan and members of his delegation to Greece paid a visit to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki on Monday September 28, 2020, accompanied by US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt and US General Consul in Thessaloniki Elizabeth Lee. The museum was closed to the public for the Yom Kippur holiday.

Pompeo was received by the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki David Saltiel, and was given a tour of the premises.

KIS President David Saltiel, in his statement of September 29, 2020, stressed the highlights of his meeting with the US Secretary of State: “I am deeply honoured that US Secretary Pompeo, amid a highly important agenda in Greece, and his wife Susan, paid tribute to the Jewish Holocaust victims, in the solemn spirit of Yom Kippur, during their visit at the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. Mike Pompeo’s interest in the Greek Jewish heritage at large, and in the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki that lost the 96% of its population in particular, gives us strength to continue our work. We are grateful for the expression of his support for the Holocaust Museum project and his motivational message for the speedy completion of this project”.

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GREEK PRESIDENT SAKELLAROPOULOU READS LAST LETTERS OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS ALOUD AT CULTURAL FESTIVAL
“Do not forget me…” Neama Cazes wrote on 8 April 1943 from the ghetto of German Nazi-occupied Greek city of Thessaloniki to her children, Maurice and Berto, who had escaped to Italian-occupied Athens. 

These words are also the title of the book by Leon Saltiel, a historian of the Holocaust in Greece who currently serves as the Representative to the UN in Geneva and UNESCO of the World Jewish Congress, and its Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism. In his book, Saltiel published some 50 letters sent by three Jewish mothers from within the ghetto of Thessaloniki to their sons, who were hiding in Athens during the Second World War, some weeks or days before their deportation and subsequent death in Auschwitz.  

Greek Republic President Katerina Sakellaropoulou - the first woman to occupy this post- will read three letters written by Cazes in contribution to this year’s autumn Dimitria festival, the leading cultural institution of Thessaloniki. The festival began online on 28 September. The reading of the letters will be hosted by the city of Thessaloniki with the support of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and the German Consulate.  

The letters were written shortly before and during the deportations of the Jews of Thessaloniki and describe the climate of uncertainty, panic and anxiety that existed not only to Neama herself but to the Jewish community of Thessaloniki as well, shortly before the first train left Thessaloniki carrying 2,400 people to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 15 March 1943. The theme of this year’s festival is “distances,” both literally and figuratively, as the conference was forced to be virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Artists and other notable participants from Greece and abroad will present new artistic trends and highlighting the historic and cultural heritage of Thessaloniki during the festival.  

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CERVANTES INSTITUTE AND JEWISH COMMUNITY OF THESSALONIKI SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROMOTE SEPHARDIC HERITAGE
The Cervantes Institute and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki signed an agreement on Tuesday allowing the institute to establish a branch in the Greek city, as part of the institute's efforts to promote and recognize the Sephardic community’s Spanish roots and revitalize the community’s historical use of Judeo-Spanish or Ladino.  

In attendance at the special signing ceremony was President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and WJC Vice President David Saltiel, Cervantes Institute Athens Director Cristina Conde de Beroldinge, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha González Laya, Spanish Ambassador to Greece Enrique Viguera, and Ambassador of Greece to Spain Ioannis Tzovas-Mourouzis, among others.    

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AGHIA SOPHIA, A MUSEUM WHICH IS UNITING INSTEAD OF DIVIDING Print E-mail
Monday, 13 July 2020 09:11
 By Victor Isaak Eliezer*                         

Daily "TA NEA", July 11, 2020: The temple or Museum of "Aghia Sophia" in Istanbul, is maybe one of the unique religious monuments which are uniting instead of dividing the worshippers of two different monotheistic religions.  As a temple, during many centuries, it symbolized the unity of the Orthodox Christianity and the wealth of the Byzantine civilization, till the fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Then it was transformed into a mosque. The founder of the modern Turkish state, Kemal Ataturk, converted "Aghia Sophia" into a Museum related to both Christianism and Islam. A Museum of world cultural heritage which is visited and admired by millions of visitors, independently of their race, skin color or religion. I fully understand and share, though, the awe which overwhelms the Christian Orthodox people as this Church has been the birthplace of Orthodoxy and marked faithfully the rightful struggle of the Greeks for their freedom from the Ottoman enslavement that led to their independence and to the creation of the modern Hellenic state. 

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THESSALONIKI HOLOCAUST MUSEUM 'AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT INITIATIVE FOR GREECE', SAYS US AMBASSADOR PYATT Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 12:14
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Thursday said that the plan to build the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki is an extremely important initiative for Greece, considering the key role that the Jewish community has played in the city's history.

The ambassador was speaking at the Jewish Museum in Thessaloniki, where he was briefed on the construction work's progress by David Saltiel, the president of both the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the city's Jewish community, and the president of the Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Holocaust Museum Foundation former mayor George Boutaris. The US Consul General in Thessaloniki Gregory Pfleger was also present at the meeting.

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SIGN THE WJC PLEDGE TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST HATE Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 10:01
During this urgent moment of unrest and uncertainty, I stand with Black and other minority communities who are oppressed and endangered by a newly emboldened generation of white supremacists and extremists, even as they confront our nation’s painful legacy of racial discrimination. 

As a dedicated member of the World Jewish Congress and a proud member of the global Jewish community, I will never be silent in the face of hatred, no matter where it emanates or who is threatened by it. At this most difficult time, I re-commit myself to fighting back against all forms of racism, bigotry, and extremism. SIGN THE WJC PLEDGE HERE.

 
It was a beautiful life in Juderia… Rodeslis Remember… Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2020 09:41
 Growing up on the island was like a paradis
Rachel Hanan (née Hugnu), Holocaust survivor

 “All along our daily paths, whether going to school, to work, to the synagogue, or visiting a friend or relative, we walked amid familiar and smiling faces. Kinship networks were frequently large, so that Hugnos’ extended family could only meet on particular festival days, otherwise, there would be a hundred cousins.” Isaac Jack Lévy

 “The life in Rhodes was beautiful, beautiful…Everyone very friendly like one family. No matter how many neighbors … we have, everyone is just like family… In fact, we used to say Auntie Straya, Auntie Rebecca, but we didn’t know if they were relatives or not. Because our parents they say, say hello to Auntie Rebecca or say hello to Auntie Rifka. To everyone we have to say Auntie. So for us all neighbors was family. Mirù Alcanà, Holocaust Survivor

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE POLITICAL SPOT OF SYRIZA Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2020 11:29

Opposition party of the Left “SYRIZA” uploaded a political video spot, entitled "How much does Moses Cost?" on the party’s website, facebook and You Tube channel, on June 19, 2020. The video, was produced in an attempt to criticize the Government’s funding of the mass media during the pandemic.

The reference to Moses in the video was strongly condemned by the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), the frm. President of the Athens Jewish Community Minos Moissis, the Secretary General of KIS Victor Eliezer and many prominent journalists. KIS issued the following announcement (June 22, 2020):

«When we watched SYRIZA’s political spot “How much does Moses cost?” we wondered how was it possible for a party with a determining contribution to the fight against antisemitism to reproduce antisemitic stereotypes in order to serve its opposition policy, linking Moses with the money falling down from the sky as the “manna from heaven”.

Three days after its launch the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its regret over the fact that -in spite of the massive reactions- SYRIZA did not withdraw this spot, with its only reaction being that of characterizing it as “satiric”.

In times when conspiracy theories thrive and threaten peaceful coexistence within society, the perpetuation of stereotypical myths -especially when coming from a political party such as SYRIZA- nourishes the supporters of intolerance and anti-Semitism. We are sure that the leadership of SYRIZA will realize that this spot was -at the very least- an unfortunate accident and that it will withdraw it from public confrontation.

We hope that all sides will avoid the use of religious symbols and figures -especially when used with a negative connotation- because religious faith cannot and should not be part of any political confrontation». 

 
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