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 FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS

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

 
ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS FOR THE ELECTION OF MOSES ELISAF AS MAYOR OF IOANNINA
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its warmest congratulations to Mr. Moses Elisaf for his election as a Mayor of the city of Ioannina, which seals his long-lasting contribution to the city of Ioannina, as well as to the scientific life of the country.

For the Greek Jewry, the success of Moses Elisaf, signals a very important cornerstone for the history of the Jewish presence, both at the city of Ioannina, as well as in Greece, since it is the first time a Greek Jew is elected as Mayor. It is a success that causes admiration and deep emotions. The citizens of Ioannina have shown that they condemn the hate that is born from intolerance and antisemitism and appreciate the value of a person regardless of his religious belief.

At the city, where during the Holocaust the Jewish Community was almost exterminated, that almost 2000 Jews found horrifying death at the extermination camps, 75 years later, at the same city, a descendant of Holocaust survivors is elected as Mayor. Moses Elisaf! The citizens of Ioannina have chosen a worthy person to lead this city towards the path of development and progress. The citizens of Ioannina have also sent a strong message against fanaticism, intolerance and antisemitism.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE USE OF HOLOCAUST SYMBOLS

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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THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC PARLIAMENT PRESENTED THE EXHIBITS OF THE PERMANENT GREEK EXHIBITION IN AUSCHWITZ Print E-mail
Monday, 20 May 2019 08:33
The Hellenic Parliament, at an historical moment for the country, presented a part of the showpieces which will adorn the Permanent Greek exhibition  to be housed in the Auschwitz State Museum. The presentation was realized on May 2, 2019 by the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Nikos Voutsis, in a very emotionally touching ambiance.  

This day constitutes the capstone of the effort and the historical decision taken by the Hellenic Parliament to fully fund the establishment of a Permanent Exhibition in Auschwitz. Thus, we have ended our country's seventy year absence from this place of torture and memory, where thousands of our fellow citizens were exterminated. The exhibition titled "You should remember me, the way I remember you" (a phrase from the manuscript of Marcel Natzari) is organized thanks to the significant contribution of the Jewish Museum of Greece, that offered historical details and evidence. The resolution of the Hellenic Parliament to finance this work constitutes the minimum tribute of the country's moral and historical obligation for the perished in the Concentration Camp of Auschwitz.

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GREECE PARTICIPATED AS THE GUEST OF HONOR AT THE “MARCH OF THE LIVING” 2019 Print E-mail
Monday, 20 May 2019 08:24

Greece was this year's guest of honor at the international educational programme of the "March of the Living", organized every year, since 1988, in Memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The March of the Living started on the 2.5.2019 at the central camp of Auschwitz and ended at Birkenau, where millions of people have been exterminated, being victims of Nazi atrocities. Thousands of people from, not less than fifty seven different countries, including the Hellenic Parliamentary Delegation, have walked the distance of these almost three kilometers that separate the two camps, were the victims languished Nazi ferociousness.

Mr. Nikos Voutsis, President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. David Saltiel, President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Mr. Samuel Makis Matsas, President of the Jewish Museum of Greece, Mr. Gabriel Negrin, Rabbi of Athens, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, Special Secretary for Religious and Cultural Diplomacy, Special Envoy on Combating Antisemitism and Preserving Holocaust Remembrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Head of the Greek Delegation to the IHRA, Mr. Marcel Solomon, President of the Jewish Community of Volos, were the participating members of the Greek  delegation. The Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Mr. Bartholomew was leading the "March of the Living" together with Mr. Voutsis. They were accompanied by the Vice-speakers of the Parliament, Messrs. George Varemenos, Anastasia Christodoulopoulou and Marios Georgiades, by Members of the Parliament, by the Chairman of the Town Council of Thessaloniki Mr. Shimon Ben Sasson, the Vice mayor of Thessaloniki, Mrs. Anna Angelidou, by the Director of the Office of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, Mr. Leon Shaltiel, by the Director of the Charity Organization AGAPE, Mr. Manolis Toufexis and by a delegation of the Greek Jewish Youth.

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ATTACK AT A SYNAGOGUE IN CALIFORNIA Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 11:57
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the sorrow and the concern of the Greek Jewry for the recent attack against a Synagogue near San Diego, in California, during a Passover service, that costed the life of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and resulted into injuring three more people, amongst whom a child.

Once more, only a few months after the deadly attack against a Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jews become an easy target while praying at religious services. As the similar tragedies in Christchurch and in Sri Lanka demonstrate, religious fanaticism, the escalation of incidents of racial violence, the rise of the Nazi ideologies for Aryan supremacy, as well as hatred, have no limits, either religious or geographic, and send yet another alarming signal. This is also manifested in the hate messages, the antisemitic stereotypes and the conspiracy rhetoric that were found in the computer of the alleged perpetrator.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its sympathy to the family of the victim and the local Jewish Community and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.

Athens, April 30, 2019

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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