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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HISTORY OF GREECE’S JEWISH COMMUNITY BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST PRESENTED IN D.C. Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:01
by   Tasos Kokkinidis 

Over one hundred people of Greek-American and/or Sephardic Jewish descent gathered together earlier in March to celebrate their rich, shared history at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).

The event, titled “The Jewish Community of Greece before the Holocaust: A Multimedia Presentation”, was a collaborative effort by the Hellenic American Women’s Council (HAWC) with support from Sephardic Heritage International D.C.

The presentation enabled the audience to learn about what has been added into USHMM’s collection regarding the Jewish community of Greece prior to and during World War II, and after the Holocaust.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE WORKING DEFINTION OF ANTISEMITISM BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:24
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the announcement of the Minister of Education Kostas Gavroglou for the adoption of the working definition of anti-Semitism by the General Secretariat for Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Education.

The Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, during his speech at the ceremony for the presentation of the Yad Vashem awards which was held on 11.2.2019 in Athens, announced that in the context of covering the needs for planning and implementing actions and initiatives on combating anti-Semitism, the General Secretariat for Religious Affairs has adopted the working definition of anti-Semitism as it was set out at the Plenary meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on May 26, 2016 with the active participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.

It is to be recalled that by Resolution B8-0383/2017 on combating anti-Semitism (2017/2692 (RSP)), the European Parliament, inter alia, “[…] calls on the Member States and the Union institutions and agencies to adopt and apply the working definition of anti-Semitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)”.

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SPEECH OF THE SPECIAL SECRETARY FOR RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY AND HEAD OF THE GREEK DELEGATION TO THE IHRA, DR EFSTATHIOS LIANOS LIANTIS, AT THE CONFERENCE ON COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE OSCE REGION (BRATISLAVA, 5-6 FEBRUARY 2019) Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 February 2019 10:30

“Those of us who have been involved in studying the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, we witness that not only does such social virus keep spreading and contaminating more and more people regardless of social status and age group, but is unfailingly transmuting into milder or more aggressive forms, depending on the social environment, the education level, the national, political or religious groups where the phenomenon grows. Yet, it is fed by sources of misinformation and propaganda, which may be either cognate or contrary to each other, such as political extremes and religious fundamentalism, be it Islamic or Christian.

As a political stand, a religious perception or an ideological trend, anti-Semitism is a major social issue, plaguing Europe for a number of centuries and calling into question the moral status of the Western Civilization. The irrationality of this phenomenon can be easily perceived if we consider the doubts cast on the Holocaust, the most vividly documented and thoroughly recorded massive crime in human history. The anti-Semites who endorse any freakish pamphleteering of conspiracy theorists, either reject or doubt the Holocaust, which has been actually recorded by its ruthless perpetrators themselves.

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CEREMONY TO BESTOW THE TITLE OF “RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS” AND ADOPTION OF THE WORKING DEFINITION OF ANTI-SEMITISM Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 February 2019 09:37

The Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Konstantinos Gavroglu and the Secretary General for Religious Affairs, George Kalantzis, participated in the ceremony bestowing the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” on the family of Constantine Giannitsis who rescued the family of Asher Moissis during the Occupation in Greece. The event was organized by the students of the Athens College and took place at its premises.

The Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs highlighted the fact that the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel has changed the approach on such events by giving to secondary school students the responsibility to organize them. The Music School of Alimos organized such an event for the first time and then the 2nd Middle School of Elefsina followed by the 1st High School of Chania. In that way, events about true stories of special people who have risked their own lives and those of their families in order to rescue our fellow citizens of Jewish faith during the dark period of the Occupation have become part of the education process teaching sublime values of our civilization. As Minister Gavroglu pointed out, “there is a need to strengthen acts and ideas safeguarding democracy against the poison of fascism and of racism which have appeared again throughout Europe”.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE VANDAL ATTACK AGAINST THE JEWISH MONUMENT IN THE CAMPUS OF THE ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 January 2019 16:14
On January 27, humanity commemorates the Holocaust of the 6 million Jews who were exterminated in the German concentration camps by the Nazis and their collaborators.

On January 25, 2019, the descendants of the collaborators of the Nazis smashed and destroyed the Jewish Monument in the campus of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in the Observatory Park, in Thessaloniki. They have no moral scruples. They respect neither the living nor the dead.

The University was built upon the shattered tombs and the scattered bones of our forefathers of Thessaloniki, while the Jews of Thessaloniki where confined into ghettos pending deportation. It took 72 years for the city to assume responsibility and pay tribute to the memory of the Jewish necropolis with the erection of this monument in 2014. Today, the memory of the Jews of Thessaloniki, along with the history and the culture of the city, are struck once more by the preachers of hatred.

The Nazis began by burning our books at first, then our Synagogues and our Monuments, then our homes and stores and then… then –with the collaboration of their allies- they burnt our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, they even burnt our dead.

Until when? Until when will the authorities remain bystanders of the vandalisms of memory and civilization? Until when should society tolerate the supporters of Nazism operating freely among us, hurting our human dignity?

Thus, we demand their arrest so that they can be brought to Justice, so that they do not continue their catastrophic work, so that we do not mourn human victims in the name of bigotry and antisemitism.

Sadly, we have to repeat that there remain no other words to describe the sorrow of the Greek Jews: Shame – Shame – Shame.

Excerpt from the inscription on the Monument:

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