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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HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY 2019 – CRETE: PRESENTATION OF THE WORK OF STUDENTS FROM CRETE TITLED The History of the Jews of Heraklion
By Katerina Mylona, translated from newspaper PATRIS OF HERAKLION CRETE, 16.1.2019

The history of the Jews who lived in our city was the subject of the work that was carried out in the 2017-18 school year from Section B4 of the 6th General Lyceum of Heraklion within the framework of the "Project" course.

The work aimed at seeking the historical presence and course of the Jewish community in Heraklion until their complete extermination by the German Nazis in 1944.

The supervising professor, computer scientist with Msc in Theology, Mr. George Chatzizisis, told "PATRIS" that the children participated with particular interest in the search for information and enjoyed the role of the historical researcher.

He proposed to students to work for a population group that no longer exists in our city because of population or war exchanges such as Muslims and Catholics. The pupils even mourned when they learned.

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TRIKALA. A Greek Town Commemorates its Holocaust History

 By Margarita Gokun Silver*, TABLET, January 10, 2019

‘We keep our memories alive,’ said the mayor of Trikala, where a new memorial was recently unveiled

On the morning of Nov. 11, 2018, a crowd of almost 200 people gathered in the center of Trikala, a Greek city located some 300 kilometers north of Athens. Conversing mainly in Greek, but also in Hebrew, English, Italian, and German, they were waiting at one of the main entrances to the old Jewish quarter to participate in the unveiling of Trikala’s Holocaust Memorial. Erected to commemorate the city’s 139 Jewish victims, the memorial is a joint initiative of the Trikala government and the city’s Jewish community.

“It was an obligation to our citizens, to the Jewish Community, to the memory,” Dimitris Papastergiou, the mayor of Trikala, told me via email. The idea first surfaced in his conversation with Victor Venouziou, a native of Larissa who was raised as part of Trikala’s Jewish community and survived the Holocaust because the villagers of Amarantos—50 kilometers away, it was called Mastroyianni in the 1940s—hid him and his family. Last year Venouziou financed a monument in Amarantos to thank them. “Within five minutes we agreed that the city and the Municipality of Trikala also had to erect their own monument,” Papastergiou said.

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THIS GREEK SCHOOL HAS A NOVEL SOLUTION TO PROBLEM FACED BY MANY SMALL JEWISH COMMUNITIES

JTA, 7.1.2019: AthensIn a small, nondescript classroom in Greece’s capital city, 10 Jewish eighth-graders study a biblical text about Jacob and Esau under the guidance of Rivkah Carl, a Jewish teacher from Teaneck, New Jersey.

The students chatter loudly in Greek among themselves, though the language of instruction is English. In an adjacent classroom, nine kids — each wearing headphones and sitting in front of computer monitors — listen as their Israeli instructor teaches them Hebrew.

But this is no Jewish school. In Athens’ dwindling Jewish community, now at about 3,000 members, there simply aren’t enough children to support a Jewish middle or high school.

So community leaders came up with a unique solution: a special Jewish track at the prestigious American College of Greece, a private school founded by Christian missionaries in 1875 with a middle school and high school division called the Pierce School.

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Greek Orthodox Archbishop presents the Greek edition of "Shulchan Aruch" in Athens Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 March 2018 11:02

The presentation of Rabbi Isaac Mizan's new book, the Greek edition of "Shulchan Aruch - Guide to Law Implementation according to Sephardic Tradition" took place on March 5, 2018, in the crowded hall of the Benaki Museum Amphitheatre, in Athens. The book presentation was organized by the General Secretarial for Religious Affairs of the Greek Ministry of Education and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS).

In his address, G. Kalantzis, General Secretary of Religious Affairs, referred to the importance the state attaches to the promotion of humanitarian values ​​and the dialogue between religions, but also to the programmes of the Ministry of Education which are focused on combating anti-Semitism.
In the same spirit, D. Saltiel, President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, referring to the work of Rabbi Mizan and the value of the Greek version of Shulchan Aruch, stressed the crucial role of religions in the creation of a spirit of mutual understanding and mutual respect.
Rabbi Elias Sabetai, from Larissa, - also the birthplace of Rabbi Mizan - and author of books on Judaism, spoke of the essence of religious teachings in the spiritual guidance of man.
On a personal tone, Samuel Matsas, President of the Jewish Museum of Greece, talked about how he and his family built their religious identity’s consciousness, on the teachings of Rabbi Mizan.
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ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE NEW WAVE OF TERROR ATTACKS IN ISRAEL Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 13:53
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the profound sorrow of the Greek Jewry for the death of three Israelis murdered over the past week-end. A father of four children was stabbed in Jerusalem and two young soldiers were the victims of a car-ramming attack in the West Bank.

The new wave of terrorism launched by extremist Palestinian organizations against Israel undermines every peace initiative in the region and triggers hatred and fanaticism once more. At last, it needs to be understood that terrorism will not bring peace. Terrorism causes unbearable pain and jeopardizes the atmosphere of trust that must prevail between the two people in order to achieve the longing peace.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece conveys its most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Israel.

Athens, March 21, 2018
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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KIS LETTER TO POLISH AMBASSADOR IN PROTEST OF NEW HOLOCAUST BILL Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:49
Joining the international Jewish campaign of protest against the Polish bill that criminalizes references on the role of Poland with regard to the Holocaust, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece addressed the following letter to the Polish President through the  Ambassador of Poland to Greece, Ms Anna Barbarzak:

On behalf of the Greek Jewry, we would like to express our deep concern and distress on Poland’s proposed new Holocaust law which would criminalize suggestions regarding Poland’s role in Nazi crimes.  

The Greek Jewry, in honor of the memory of the six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis and in the name of the 77.377 Greek Jews who perished in the Holocaust, strongly protests against this proposalwhich restricts the historic research and testimonies on the role of the Polish authorities during the darkest period of the world history. 

It is our wishful belief that the President of Poland would reconsider his decision to sign such a bill. 
We kindly ask you to inform the competent authorities in your county of our strong protest and we thank you for your intermediation. 
 
Sincerely Yours,
The President DAVID SALTIEL
The Secretary General MOISIS ELISAF
 
GREEKS DELVE BACK INTO THESSALONIKI’S JEWISH HERITAGE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 10:35

By MARINA RAFENBERG and SAKIS MITROLIDIS 


“The voices of 50,000 deported Thessaloniki Jews must not be forgotten. It is time for Greece to delve back into its memory.” Those are the heartfelt words of David Saltiel, president of Thessaloniki’s Jewish community, which today numbers barely a thousand, three-quarters of a century after it was nearly wiped out by the Nazis.
Sunday saw residents gather at the city’s old railway station in memory of the first of 19 convoys of Jewish residents deported to Auschwitz under Nazi occupation.
Thessaloniki had a population of more than 50,000 Jews before World War II, some 46,000 of whom were deported and killed at German Nazi death camps.
Before the deportations started 75 years ago this week, the community in the city, which was mainly Sephardic Jews chased out of Spain in 1492, had developed to the point where it earned the nickname the “Jerusalem of the Balkans.” But then came the horrors of 1943, when virtually all of the town’s Jews were deported, just four percent of them surviving the Nazi death camps to which they were dispatched.
Over the past five years, Thessaloniki has held commemorations in mid-March, instigated by mayor Yannis Boutaris to remember the first of the convoys of Jews rounded up and sent off to the camps from Thessaloniki’s railway station on March 15, 1943. In January, Boutaris said the Greek authorities had been deeply remiss in waiting so long to officially commemorate the Jews’ fate.
He asked, “Who has mourned neighbors who disappeared? What monuments did we erect? What ceremonies did we celebrate?”. 
He also denounced the looting of the belongings left behind by deportees. 
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ISRAEL PRESIDENT ATTENDS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM CEREMONY IN GREECE Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 09:41

βυ COSTAS KANTOURIS, ASSOCIATED PRESs

Ιsrael's president and Greece's prime minister attended a foundation ceremony on Tuesday 30.1.2018 for a Holocaust memorial museum in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, which lost 97 percent of its Jewish community in German World War II death camps.

Reuven Rivlin and Alexis Tsipras symbolically planted two olive trees on the plot. The planned six-story building will be built by 2020, next to the northern city's old railway station, from which around 55,000 Thessaloniki Jews were forced into goods wagons for the camps. About 50,000 died there.

Tsipras said the museum will fulfill an old debt for the city, around 40 percent of whose pre-war population was Jewish. Overall, about 90 percent of Greece's Jewish population was killed by Nazi forces during the war.
"It is very important for Thessaloniki, for the Jewish community, and for humanity that the city is getting a Holocaust museum," Auschwitz camp survivor Heinz K
οunio said.  Kounio, 90, was among the first group of Thessaloniki Jews to reach the concentration camp in 1943, together with his sister and parents. All survived because they spoke German and were employed as interpreters. "I will always remember the five great chimneys that belched black smoke 30 meters (90 feet) high," he told The Associated Press. "And underneath there was something like white swirling steam. Above was the smoke from the bodies, and below from the souls of the dead".

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