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.

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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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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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RACIST VIOLENCE REPORT FOR 2018 - The antisemitic attacks Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 07:25

Athens, 19.4.2019- The Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) presented yesterday April 18, 2019,  their annual report, which analyses findings of racist violence and hate crime across Greece in 2018, recorded by the 46 organizations participating in the Network. From January to December 2018, the RVRN documented, through interviews with victims, 117 incidents of racist violence, with more than 130 victimsIn 74 incidents the victims were migrants or refugees on grounds of ethnic origin, religion, colour, associations of third country nationals, human rights defenders due to their connection with refugees and migrants, as well as a memorial to the victims of shipwrecks. In six (6) incidents, Greek citizens were targeted due to their colour, foreign or ethnic origin. In nine (9) incidents, the targets were Jewish sacred or symbolic places and the Jewish community and in one (1) incident the target was a Greek citizen due to educational activity against anti-Semitism or perceived religion. In 27 incidents the targets were LGBTQI+ persons, including five (5) refugees, asylum-seekers and EU citizens. In 59 incidents more than one victim was targeted, whereas in 63 incidents the assault was committed by a group of at least two people. 

For more information see here the site of the RVRN. See here the full report in pdf.

Excerpt from the report (p. 19) on antisemitism: In 2018, the RVRN recorded 9 anti-Semitic attacks. In particular, there were 6 incidents of desecration of Holocaust memorials in Athens and Thessaloniki, 2 incidents of desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Nikaia and Trikala as well as 1 incident of vandalism of the synagogue in Volos. In these incidents the perpetrators drew Nazi symbols or words and slogans referring to the Holocaust, threatening the Jewish community as a whole. Additionally, there was an incident against a teacher, who is being harassed severely due to his educational activity against anti-Semitism.

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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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THE ATHENS JEWISH COMMUNITY CELEBRATED PESSACH AT THE GREEK EDUCATION MINISTRY IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Monday, 22 April 2019 11:02

On the occasion of the Jewish festivity of Passover, the Jewish Community of Athens organized, the traditional Seder of Pessach, on Saturday April 20, 2019, at the events’ hall of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. 

The leadership of the Ministry that kindly offered the venue, was represented by the Minister of Education Mr. Kostas Gavroglou and the Secretary General for Religious Affairs Mr. George Kalantzis. The Seder was also attended by Archimandrite Dionysios, representative of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos. Approximately 350 members of the Athens Jewish Community, under the guidance of the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, read and recited the Haggadah, the narration of the Exodus from Egypt, which is linked to the festivity of Pessach. 

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