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HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN LARISSA VANDALIZED BY ALLEGED CLERGYMAN

In the evening of Monday July 17, 2017, an individual dressed as a monk who calls himself ‘father Kleomenis’ -a cult figure, popular for his bigot ideas and You tube posts- attacked and vandalized the Holocaust Monument in Larissa, situated in the central Jewish Martyrs Square of the city. In his video posted on You Tube, the alleged monk curses the Jews, denies the Holocaust and calls on the local patriots of Larissa to intervene and demolish the Monument. "Father" Kleomenis spits, kicks and throws eggs at the Monument. Some of his characteristic quotes: “Here, we read 6 million! Fairy tails… Shit on their faces, merely 600.000 Hitler wiped out!”. Kleomenis spits the Monument and says: “Satanic Jews”. He kicks the Monument and says: “Curse on your dirty Monuments” and continues: “Worms, Jewish bitches, this has to fall. The stinking Jewishness has to be taken down from Larissa. Rise up! Patriotic organizations of Larissa take it down, bring the bulldozer on!”Local police was notified and legal procedure was enacted. Investigation is ongoing. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and the Jewish Community of Larissa issued press releases. The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued an announcement disassociating itself from the "monk" and condemning his actions.

The Municipality of Larissa issued an Announcement condemning the attack. The General Secretary of Religious Affairs George Kalantzis, as well as the General Secretary for Transparency and Human Rights Maria Giannakaki reacted swiftly by providing the Public Prosecutor of Larissa, the Racist Crimes Department of the Police, and the Cyber Crime Police Department with the relevant evidence. The President of the Jewish Community of Larissa pressed charges against the perpetrator. The Greek Helsinki Monitor also pressed charges against the “so called ‘father Kleomenis’ for a series of racist crimes”.

* The Announcement of KIS:

Shame and outrage are the feelings that one feels when realizes what happened in Larissa on Monday July 17, 2017: The shameful and upsetting incident of the desecration of the Holocaust Monument of Larissa –the first Holocaust Monument erected in Greece in 1987, in the memory of the Greek Jews deported and exterminated in the Nazi death camps. This highly significant Monument was vulgarly vandalized, with offensive expressions and brutal actions, by a robed clergyman who apparently has no affiliation to the Greek Orthodox Church.  On the same day leaflets of relevant anti-Semitic content were strewn across the Monument and the Square of Jewish Martyrs of Larissa. The case is being handled by the Police and the justice system. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece asked the competent  Authorities to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice.

In addition KIS expresses the Greek Jewry’s belief that the society of Larissa and all local institutions will firmly condemn the incident, will isolate the perpetrators and will treat with respect the Holocaust Monument of Larissa and the Jewish Community which is an integral part of the city, that they will ultimately respect the city’s very cultural heritage and civilization, as the people of Larissa have always done in the course of history.

Athens July 18, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

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PRESS RELEASE OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA FOR THE VANDALIZATION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT

In the afternoon of  Monday July 17, 2017, in Larisa, Greece, the so-called Father Cleomenis with his clerical clothing, well-known from the social media for his racist mania, has defiled the Holocaust Monument of the town.

With vulgar insults, kicking and throwing eggs and flyers of anti-Semitic content at the Holocaust Monument of the town of Larisa, “Father Cleomenis” denied the Holocaust and invited all the self-called “patriotic” organizations of Larissa to stand up in order to destroy the Memorial and the “Jewishness” of the city of Larissa. The incident has been filmed by his associates and has been already uploaded to Youtube.

The Jewish Community of Larissa expresses its abhorrence for this violent incident that just took place in a town whose citizens and local authorities show respect and honor to this Monunent; in a town that has never experienced similar incidents in the past. Our Community expresses its satisfaction for the immediate mobilization of the Police Authorities.

We feel confident that in the town of Larissa, fanaticism, intolerance, racist discourse or any other similar phenomenon will be isolated and will be fought at its birth.

Athens, July 18, 2017
JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA

 
GREEK ARTIST COMPARES ECONOMIC CRISIS TO THE HOLOCAUST

Singer Jimmy Panoussis, in an interview published in “To Vima” on June 25, 2017 (on the occasion of his participation in the theatrical comedy of Aristophanes “Peace”), referred to the “Greeks as the new Jews of our times”. Panoussis said: “As the Nazis chose Jews to be their victims, now the neo-nazis and Schäuble’s people have picked us, the Greeks”. This comparison of the current Greek economic crisis to the Holocaust was criticized Greek Jewish leaders. In an article by Victor Eliezer (EJP, July 4, 2017), the President of the Athens Jewish Community Minos Moissis stressed that Panoussis’ statement “affects me both as a Jew and as a Greek. As a Jew, because once again the mass murder of the Holocaust is wiped out when it is compared to unrelated modern themes. As a Greek because he isolates me as a supposedly victim and target of a Europe in which I want to live”. 
* READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

 
“THE JEWS OF GREECE” – EXHIBITION IN THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA Print E-mail
Monday, 24 April 2017 11:33

Emmanuel Santos and Carol Gordon present Jews of Greece exhibition, in an effort to educate younger generations and bring the fascinating stories of the Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors to light.

Hosted by Melbourne's Jewish Museum, Jews of Greece (on show until 3 September 2017) was put together by acclaimed photographer Emmanuel Santos and filmmaker Carol Gordon with an aim to provide visual documentation of the history, heritage and modern day pretense of the existing Greek Jewish communities.

This exhibition offers rare insight into the history of the Romaniotes, the Jews who originated from Greece, with a community dating back to 300-250 BC or earlier. Even though Greece had one of the oldest and most significant Jewish communities outside Israel, its story is not widely known. […]

Read here the whole article, entitled “Touching on a perishing community's vibrant history spanning over 2000 years” by Nelly Skoufatoglou (April 21, 2017) in the Australian webpage NEOSKOSMOS.COM
 
LET’S JOIN FORCES AND SAVE A SYNAGOGUE Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017 07:31

The Synagogue of Trikala is in danger. The Ka’al Yavanim Synagogue of Trikala -a monument of unique outstanding architectural, cultural and historical value of the Greek Jewish tradition- is threatened. Ka’al Yavanim is the oldest Synagogue in Trikala and the only one that survived World War II, out of three Synagogues that functioned in this beautiful city of Thessaly prior to the War. The historical building of the Ka’al Yavanim Synagogue in Trikala is in danger of collapsing: the passage of time has left its imprint with significant damage to the floor, the roof and the columns, due to corrosion that is the main agent of decay.

Restoration is urgently needed so that we all join forces in order to save the synagogue of a town with significant historical Jewish presence and heritage. The small Jewish community of Trikala is struggling hard to keep the synagogue standing and functional. But these efforts are not sufficient enough.

For this reason, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Community of Trikala turn to all our coreligionists, inviting them to contribute to the funding of the restoration of the Synagogue, which is not only a sacred place of prayer but also considered to be a unique cultural monument of the Trikala Jewry.
We also call upon all Jews of Greek descent living abroad to support this effort in this particularly difficult economic period that our country as well as Jewish Communities of Greece are going through.
Become a donor now and help us save a Synagogue, return to the Synagogue its prestigious glamour and deliver it to the public again.

You may contact the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece -KIS  (e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or the Jewish Community of Trikala (e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

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RESTORATION OF THE VANDALIZED HOLOCAUST MONUMENT OF KAVALA DUE TO PROMPT REACTION OF THE MUNICIPALITY AND THE LOCAL SOCIETY Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 April 2017 12:31

Local dignitaries, prominent figures, and many citizens of Kavala, as well as the City Council, co-signed an on line petition, expressing the local’s society immediate and strong reaction in condemning the vandal attack against the Holocaust monument of Kavala.

It is worth emphasizing that within only a few days the Municipality of Kavala kept the promise of Mayor Ms. Dimitra Tsanaka for the restoration of the monument at the expense and responsibility of the municipality. The Memorial stands again in its symbolic location, commemorating the Jews of Kavala. The Central Board of the Jewish Communities in Greece, in a letter to the Mayor of Kavala, expressed the satisfaction of the Greek Jewry, making, among others, the following statement:

«The reaction of the Municipality of Kavala, both with the press release which condemned the vandalism, and with the immediate restoration of the Monument’s substantial damages, demonstrates actively your high sense of responsibility and your sensitivity against phenomena of anti-Semitism and racism. Your symbolic visit to the Memorial right after the act of vandalism passes the message that such phenomena which harm the image of the city will not be tolerated».

* SIGN THE PETITION HERE
(465 signatures as of April 12, 2017)

RELEVANT:
- On KIS website




 
WJC PRESIDENT LAUDER CONGRATULATES MACRON ON 'TREMENDOUS VICTORY' Print E-mail
Monday, 08 May 2017 11:04

PRESS RELEASE WJC, 8.5.2017: World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder and the president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, Francis Kalifat, congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election as French president.

Lauder expressed confidence that the new French leader will continue to have close and positive ties with the French Jewish community and fight all forms of anti-Semitism, whether from the extreme left or the extreme right.

“On behalf of the World Jewish Congress, I congratulate Mr. Macron on his tremendous victory and know that he will work to support the State of Israel against its enemies in the international arena, in all its constructs, be it from the extreme left or the extreme right.

"I am looking forward to sitting down with Mr. Macron to continue the positive and constructive relationship we have had with his predecessors. 

"France has been a true friend of the Jewish people in recent years, and I know this will continue under the new president.

"Mazal Tov, Monsieur Macron, I am looking forward to our future friendship," said Lauder.

SOURCE: WJC

 
ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN STOCKHOLM Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 April 2017 12:08

The terrorist truck attack that occurred Friday, April 7, 2017 in Stockholm is to be added to the list of heinous terrorist attacks affecting Europe, and make us think hard about both the outbreak of blind terrorism, and the role of mimicry in organizing these horrific acts. The Stockholm attack mimics the operational manner of attacks in Jerusalem, Nice, Berlin and London. The attack that occurred on a shopping street in the heart of Stockholm killed four people and injured about 15 more, nine of whom are in critical condition.

Europe has to remain united to counter terrorism, but without succumbing to terror. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, representing the Greek Jewry, unequivocally condemns terrorism, stands by the Swedish government in the fight against terrorism, expresses its warmest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes wholeheartedly quick recovery to the wounded.

 

Athens, April 10, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
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