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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GIVE GREECEā€™S NEW LEADER A CHANCE
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the right-of-center Greek prime minister in office for four weeks after decisively winning a national election, deserves the opportunity to govern before being judged. Mr. Tsimitakis, a supporter of Mr. Mitsotakis’s political rival, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, did not give him that opportunity. 

The Mitsotakis administration faces daunting challenges, including attracting foreign investment, reducing unemployment and grappling with difficult regional issues. These matters cannot be solved instantaneously. All have plagued previous governments.

Moreover, Mr. Tsimitakis levels a disingenuous charge of nepotism against Mr. Mitsotakis. His nephew Kostas Bakoyannis was elected mayor of Athens by the city’s residents a month before Mr. Mitsotakis’s electoral victory. Also, Mr. Tsimitakis refers to the Holocaust-denying past of Makis Voridis, the minister of agriculture, but doesn’t note that he apologized twice to the Jewish community and that a page has been turned.

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MAKIS VORIDIS VISITED THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF GREECE AND STRESSED THE PRIORITY OF FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM

Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis paid a visit to the Jewish Museum of Greece on Monday, where he was given a tour by the museum director Zanet Battinou. In statements afterward, he once again expressed his opposition to all forms of hate speech and said that the fight against the "noxious phenomenon of antisemitism" was a priority, while encouraging people to visit the museum, which he described as "excellent".

Voridis was the first minister in the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to visit the museum, where he was greeted as a "friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish community in Greece" by the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Viktor Eliezer.

The minister said his presence signaled the support of the Greek state in highlighting the history and long presence of the Greek Jews in the country since ancient times.

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AJC CONGRATULATES ARCHBISHOP ELPIDOPHOROS, NEW LEADER OF AMERICAN GREEK ORTHODOXY
 

AJC offers its warmest wishes to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who begins his tenure as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the religious fountainhead of America’s Greek Orthodox faithful and the spiritual inspiration for Greek Americans. The Enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros was celebrated on Saturday at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.

“AJC and the Jewish people join with the Hellenic-American community in celebrating this auspicious moment in the Archdiocese of America’s history,” AJC CEO David Harris said. “We look forward to working with Archbishop Elpidophoros to continue and build upon the decades-long special relationship that AJC and the Archdiocese have shared.”

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FIRST BILATERAL MEETING BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL ON ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2018 08:48
 Israel and Greece join forces in combating Racism, Xenophobia and anti-Semitism

The first bilateral dialogue between Israel and Greece on combating racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism was held in Athens on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018. Participants included high-ranking government, judicial and law enforcement officials from both countries as well as a human rights group specializing in combating anti-Semitism and racist hate crimes.

The dialogue was organized by the General Secretariat for Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights of the Hellenic Republic in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel.  Ms. Maria Giannakaki, the Secretary General for Human Rights, opened the proceedings.

Discussions between the Israeli and Greek experts focused on ways to combat racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in the social media and the internet, the criminal investigation of hate crimes, the training of prosecutors and judges in detecting and prosecuting racist hate crimes, law enforcement procedures in tackling anti-Semitism as well as analyzing ways to combat anti-Semitic incidents in Greece.

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WJC DENOUNCES VANDALISM OF GREECE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL, FOR FOURTH TIME THIS YEAR Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 13:31
WJC, NEW YORK 17.12.2018: The World Jewish Congress stands with our affiliated community, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, in strongly condemning the desecration of the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki over the weekend, for the fourth time this year.

“The World Jewish Congress unequivocally condemns the shameful and repeated desecration of the Holocaust monument in Thessaloniki,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer. “It is alarming and disgraceful that a monument honoring the memory of Jews who perished in the Holocaust should become a routine target for those espousing vile expressions of hatred and antisemitism.”

“We are extremely concerned by the steady rise of antisemitic vandalism facing the Jewish community in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. This desecration, as well as the vandalization of cemeteries in Poland and in France in the past week alone, should ring alarm bells for anyone who believes that these incidents are isolated and passing.

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Next to the "Fence" by Victor Is. Eliezer*, a conversation with Danny Tirza, Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories Print E-mail
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:51
From the neighborhood of Gilo, built on a hill, one of the first districts the Israelis have built in Eastern Jerusalem after the six day war in 1967, one can easily spot the imposing church of Saint Nicholas, just some meters away from the refugee camps of Beit Jalla and El Aydah, which seem to have been built like real cities. Just there, together with 25 journalists from Europe, North and South America we met Danny Tirza, a retired Israeli Army colonel, who was the Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories.

The way to the "Fence"

Colonel Tirza has served in the army for thirty years and was part of the negotiations with the Palestinians for the transformation of the refugee camps into dwellings. Consequently, in the aftermath of Oslo Accords, he participated in the technical negotiations during the Camp David summit, in summer 2000, convened by Bill Clinton for the signature of the final agreement between Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

It was there when I met Yasser Arafat at first. He came to embrace me, as he usually did: “No kissing, but working together”, I told him and we started to chart maps. Ever since the Palestinians called me by a nickname, "Abu Harita" which means "the father of the maps", colonel Tirza assured. He described how these negotiations were blown to pieces: "We had concluded with the mapping. Barak conceded to Arafat 94% of the lands on the West bank, on the Jordan river, the whole of Gaza strip and gave him sovereignty on the Holly Mosques of Jerusalem. That was to say the totality of the lands Israel occupied during the 1967 war and were previously ruled by Jordan and Egypt. Clinton asked Arafat to sign. Arafat left for consultations and came back three hours later declaring that he could not sign without the approval of the other Arab states. Clinton blasted him and the big chance for peace was lost. In September 2000, everything changed as the intifada started". 

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE NEW DESECRATION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Monday, 17 December 2018 13:30
On December 15, 2018, the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki was once more vandalized, for the forth time within this year, by followers of Nazism who spray-painted the swastika on its surface leaving their imprint of bigotry.

Enough with the desecration of memory of the Holocaust victims by the seekers of obscurantism and all those who tolerate them. The repeated condemnations of antisemitism will be useless if the perpetrators are not arrested and brought to Justice.

Only a few days after the release of the shocking findings if the FRA Second Survey on Antisemitism in Europe, the new vandal attack against the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki indicates the absolute need for immediate action and taking of measures also in Greece.

At the same time, in the spirit of the relevant EU Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece repeats the proposal for the endorsement by Greece of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, which provides a practical guide to the identification and the confrontation of antisemitic crimes.

In addition, we relaunch the appeal to reinforce educational and social awareness initiatives because it is only through knowledge that society might be fortified against the preachers of hatred.

Athens, December 17, 2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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IHRA EVENTS IN TRIKALA 9-11 November 2018 - UNVEILING of the HOLOCAUST MONUMENT Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 13:42
The city of Trikala honored its 139 citizens of Jewish faith, perished in the Nazi concentration camps by unveiling a tear-shaped Holocaust Memorial, in a ceremony which has been attended by Holocaust survivors, IHRA diplomatic representatives, and Jews from all over Greece. The three-day celebration in Memory of the Holocaust, from the 9th to the 11th of November 2018, reached its highest point at the unveiling ceremony of an outstandingly carved symbolic monument. At the entrance of the old Jewish quarter of Trikala, at the pedestrian walkway on Ploutonos street, a tear formed by railways with an olive tree in the center, reminds the long deportation journey that Jews from Trikala and other Greek cities had to take aboard the "death trains" on their way to the extermination camps. Only a few of them survived, like 97 year old Naki Bega, an Auschwitz survivor, and Victor Venouziou, a hidden child, who honored the ceremony with their presence. A marble column lies close to the Monument and an inscription in three languages - Greek, Hebrew and English - reminds the city about the character of this Memorial and the duty of the society.

The events have been a point of reference, not only in Greece but in several foreign countries, as well. These were co-organized by the Italian Embassy, on the occasion of this year’s Italian chairmanship of IHRA (the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), the Municipality of Trikala, the Greek delegation to IHRA, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Museum of Greece, with the cooperation and support of the Jewish Communities of Thessaloniki and Trikala, the Italian School of Athens and the Tsitsanis Museum. Ambassadors and representatives of 14 countries were also present: Italy, the Czech Republic, Luxemburg, Israel, Switzerland, Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Hungary, Poland,Romania, Uruguay and the United States of America.

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