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

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
 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
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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KIS OPEN LETTER TO THE JEWS OF GREECE ON COVID-19 Print E-mail
Monday, 30 March 2020 09:19
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Mankind experiences one of its most difficult periods after World War II, with thousands of dead, victims of the covid-19 coronavirus, and with millions of people confined at home in order to conform with precautionary measures imposed by the scientific community.

“Pikouach Nefesh”, the “control, the saving of life” is prioritized by Judaism as the highest value prevailing over all other commandments. This is why the Chief Rabbi of Israel issued an interpretive announcement stating that the protection and precaution guidelines of the Health Ministry must be implemented in full by all people because they serve the very meaning of the phrase “Pikouach Nefesh”.

We at the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), since day one that the virus struck our country, on the 27th of February 2020, we decided to close the Synagogues in Veria, Hania and Rhodes and issued a relevant circular advising all Greek Jewish Communities to close the Synagogues and the Cultural Centers. KIS, as well as the Jewish Communities revoked all social and cultural activities scheduled for March and April.

At the same time, with the support of KIS administration, we are in close contact with the Jewish Communities and the international Jewish Organizations in order to face this aggressive virus and the harsh consequences that might threat the well-being of the vulnerable groups of our Community.

Pessach approaches… We are sure that our Communities have made arrangements for the safe distribution of the Matzot and the Kiddush wines. Our people knew how to celebrate the festivity of Pessach even in the most inclement circumstances. The safety and health of all our coreligionists and the strict implementation of the directives of the Health Ministry should be our focus for this year’s seder. Because the value of life, Pikouach Nefesh, prevails.

Our thoughts are with all our coreligionists that are part of vulnerable social groups. Let’s give our assistance, let’s offer some moments of company either over the phone or in the social media, to our grandparents, to our parents, to our fellow-citizens that live alone, and let’s hope that at the end of this adventure we will all come back together, reunited, healthy and strong.

We “stay at home” so that we stay well. Be always well.

Athens, March 17, 2020

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

The President David Saltiel

The Secretary General Victor Eliezer

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE TWEET BY THE TURKISH DEPUTY FM COMPARING EVROS TO AUSCHWITZ Print E-mail
Monday, 09 March 2020 14:49

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece condemns and denounces the unacceptable and deplorable comparison between Auschwitz and the situation at the Greek-Turkish border in Evros region, made by the Turkish deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs on social media.

Six million Jews were persecuted, hunted down, deported, tortured and exterminated by the Nazis in the most industrialized and barbaric method in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and in other German concentration and extermination camps.

The policy of the Turkish government to exploit innocent people and create impressions by trivializing the Holocaust for political purposes is nothing but an obscene and despicable operation of misinformation and disorientation of the global public opinion.

We urge the Turkish deputy F.M. to retract his comment and apologize for this unsustainable comparison that insults the memory of all Holocaust victims.

Athens, March 9, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Relevant:
Tweet by David Harris, CEO of the AJC

 
ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS FOR THE ELECTION OF MOSES ELISAF AS MAYOR OF IOANNINA Print E-mail
Monday, 03 June 2019 14:19
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 INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 June 2019 10:10
 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 PRESIDENT DAVID SALTIEL AWARDED WITH THE MEDAL OF THE GRAND COMMANDER OF THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:44

In a sober ceremony, full of symbolism, held at the Presidential Palace on the 28th of February 2020, the President of the Hellenic Republic Professor Prokopios Pavlopoulos awarded the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. David Saltiel, with the medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, one of the highest distinctions of the Hellenic Republic, “in recognition of all the work he realized”.

This prestigious medal is bestowed to personalities, Greek citizens or foreigners, who have helped raise Greece’s prestige internationally and have excelled in their field of practice or in public life.  In David Saltiel’s case, this outstanding honour reflects the Greek Jewry, its rich history and its  manifold activities.

Welcoming the President of the Central Board of the Jewish Communities in Greece among the personalities honoured with that distinction, President Pavlopoulos mentioned the rich work realized by Mr. Saltiel and his dynamic personality. Then the President handed him the medal together with the Presidential Decree.

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