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 OPEN LETTER TO THE JEWS OF GREECE ON COVID-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

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

 
KIS PRESIDENT DAVID SALTIEL AWARDED WITH THE MEDAL OF THE GRAND COMMANDER OF THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

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.

Read more...
 
GREECE HONORS AJC CEO DAVID HARRIS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 13:35
American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris was honored today July 9, 2019 by Greece with one of the country’s most prestigious awards, the Order of the Phoenix.

“I award to you, with deep feelings of honor, the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. As CEO of American Jewish Committee, and on the basis of the legacy of the Holocaust, you have defended human rights around the world and you have defended the dignity of humankind, so that we can all now say, effectively, never again,” said Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who presented the award to Harris in recognition of his long-term engagement with Greece on behalf of AJC. “The second reason for this award is the fact that you have made a critical contribution to strengthening relations among Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the U.S., which are now at their best, and, with your help, they will only continue to improve.” 

Harris has visited Greece dozens of times, beginning in the 1980s, meeting regularly with the country’s prime ministers and other top officials in Athens, as well as in New York and Washington, D.C., to advance Greece’s interactions with American Jews, Israel and the United States.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 June 2019 09:24

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 ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE USE OF HOLOCAUST SYMBOLS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:00

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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