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Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:13

In a humble ceremony held at the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, on November 18th, 2019, Mr. David Saltiel, President of the Central Board of the Jewish Communities in Greece and President of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki was decorated with the medal and title of Ufficiale dell’ Ordine della Stella d’ Italia - Officer of the Order of the Italian Star - by His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy to Greece Mr. Luigi Marras.

In its tweet the Italian Embassy mentioned David Saltiel as a "True friend of Italy". The title of Officer constitutes the highest level of the Order of the Italian Star, as Mr. D. Saltiel was already honored with the title of Commander of that Order, since 2008.  The Order is bestowed to outstanding personalities for their contribution in promoting business and cultural relations between Italy and other countries.

At the beginning of the ceremony Mr. Christos Sarantopoulos, Honorary Consul of Italy in Thessaloniki, welcomed the audience. During his speech, delivered after Mr. Saltiel's decoration, the Italian Ambassador underlined the deep relationship which exists between the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and Italy and strengthened Mr. Saltiel's important contribution for promoting the Italian culture and the commercial relations existing between Greece and Italy.

From his part, Mr. Saltiel underlined initially the bonds the Jews of Thessaloniki have with Italy. Then he referred to the efforts of Italian Consul Guelfo Zamboni, to rescue hundreds of Jews residing in the Italian Occupation Zone giving them false identity cards helping them to move toward the Italian Occupation Zone, during the Holocaust. He also mentioned the efforts the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki is doing in order to preserve and strengthen the Memory of all those who helped the pursued by promoting their acts.      

At the beginning of the ceremony soprano Ms. Mariangela Chatzistamatiou, directed by Maestro Kostis Papazoglou, presented a medley of Sephardic and Italian songs, accompanied by a string orchestra.


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