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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ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE FOR THE TERROR ATTACK IN JERUSALEM

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece unequivocally condemns the new terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City which caused the death of two Israelis and the injury of other two. Every terror attack against innocent citizens of Israel moves away the hope of peace and threatens every attempt of harmonious co-existance between Israelis and Palestinians in the region.  

We express our sorrow and we convey our condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Israel.  

Athens, November 22nd, 2021

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
INAUGURATION OF THE "DIVIDED MEMORIES 1940-1950. BETWEEN HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE" DIGITAL EXHIBITION IN COLOGNE

On Monday, November 15, 2021, the opening of the "Divided Memories 1940-1950. Between History and Experience" digital exhibition took place, which had originally been presented at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki between December 2016 and April 2017. The contributors of the exhibition are the Goethe-Institute of Thessaloniki, the MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki and the Documentation Centre for National Socialism of the City of Cologne.

During the inauguration of the digital version of the exhibition, Dr. Annemone Christians-Bernsee, the executive director of the Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne, greeted the guests, followed by greetings by the Mayors of Cologne Henriette Reker and of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas, the director of the Goethe Institute of Thessaloniki, Beate Köhler, the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece & President of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki David Saltiel and the Chairman of the BoD of the Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki (MOMus), Andreas Takis.

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PARTICIPATION OF MUNICIPALITIES & JEWISH COMMUNITIES OF GREECE IN THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF THE “NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS" 2021
   
   
 
   

This year marks 83 years since the "Night of Broken Glass", a series of pogroms against the Jewish population launched by the Nazis on November 9th, 1938 in Germany and its annexed territories. On the occasion of this commemoration, the International March of the Living organized, for the second consecutive year, the #LetThereBeLight campaign which spreads a universal message against racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance.

The campaign included a central online event with testimonials from survivors, celebrities and music (see video HERE) as well as an open streaming platform on which thousands of people from around the world posted their personal messages. On the night of November 9, 2021, these messages were displayed on the walls of the old city of Jerusalem, creating a venerating and imposing atmosphere.

At the same time, prayer houses, Synagogues and public buildings around the world were illuminated and displayed their own promise that light would prevail, on their walls in a spectacular way. Greece’s dynamic presence to this year's campaign manifested itself in dozens of messages posted on the platform.

The message of the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), Mr. Victor Isaak Eliezer emphasizes that "Anti-Semitism must not be tolerated. Let the light of knowledge educate the next generations. Let the light of human rights guide our society. Our determination never to forget the tragic consequences of the Holocaust will be the light that will prevail over the darkness brought about by racism and bigotry" and of the EMOTL President, Mr. Benjamin Albalas, stating: “The “Night of Broken Glass” constitutes the beginning of the great destruction of Greek Jewry. States, governments and the whole world must understand that early symptoms always indicate a dangerous disease. The “Night of Broken Glass” was the early and serious symptoms of the Nazis’ mad ideology that led to the death of six million European Jews".

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ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS TRACE THE LIFE AND SURVIVAL OF ONE SALONICAN JEW THROUGH THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Print E-mail
Monday, 16 November 2020 10:30

By Dimitris Mitsopolous*

Six years ago, after graduating from high school, I was admitted to the Department of History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. My childhood dream to become a historian had been fulfilled. I had planned to study the history of Greece’s European integration and the historical origins of the Greek economic crisis. But two events led to a major shift in my focus.

For my birthday, during the first year of my studies, I received an important work of history as a gift: Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews written by Columbia University professor Mark Mazower, which enabled me to delve into the history of my hometown, Thessaloniki — or Salonica, as it was often known by the city’s Jewish community. The book opened me to the city’s multicultural past, and Salonica’s complex relationship with the past and present. I discovered for the first time the city’s colorful past, and the fact that its very makeup was totally different a century ago.

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INTERVIEW WITH CAROL GORDON ON “SHIRA’S JOURNEY” Print E-mail
Monday, 16 November 2020 09:57
In September 2013, an Australian team travelled to Greece to shoot a documentary focusing on the Greek Jews – their rich history, the impact of the Holocaust on them as well as their present-day existence. The documentary is based on an original screenplay written by Carol Gordon who also directed the film together with Natalie Cunningham. “Following Shira’s Journey: A Greek Jewish Odyssey” premiered at the Delphi Bank 21st Greek Film Festival in Melbourne on October 26, 2014 and it has been screened at Film festivals worldwide since then. An integral part of this project are the photos captured by Emmanuel Santos; they were featured in a major exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne in 2017.

Carol Gordon answered some questions for the Against Antisemitism blog about this remarkable project.

Your multi-faceted project is based on intense research. How did you first become interested in Greek Jewish Communities?

I grew up in South Africa in a traditional Jewish household. I knew about the Greek Jews from Rhodos because many of them came to South Africa before the war. I also knew vaguely about Jews in Thessaloniki because I had read a book that mentioned the community. South Africa was also home to a very large Greek Orthodox community so we had many Greek friends and they often told me information about the Jews of Greece that I’d never heard of before. After school I travelled to Greece and felt a very strong connection there, resulting in me going back a few times. With each trip I learned more about the many Greek Jewish communities that had existed there. I became determined to find out as much as I could and to document this very unknown history – particularly the devastating effect of the Holocaust on the Greek Jewish communities. It is only in the past ten years that much more information has come out into the public domain. It took me around thirty years of researching until I felt I had enough to write the screenplay and do the documentary.

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ANNUAL KADDISH FOR JEWS BURIED IN ARAB COUNTRIES Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 November 2020 14:31

The European Jewish Congress would like to invite you and your community to take part in the Kaddish Initiative – For Global Jewish Solidarity and Unity.

In 2014, the State of Israel passed a law to officially make November 30th a Day to Commemorate the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries and Iran, a date which is now marked by Jewish communities worldwide.

Over the last few years, prominent members of Jewish communities in Europe and North America have been calling for Kaddish and an Azkara to be recited in communities and synagogues across the world in remembrance of Jews buried in inaccessible cemeteries in Arab countries.

This year, Jewish organisations, communities and other Jewish institutions of all backgrounds are called to say these prayers on the closest Shabbat to the Day of Commemoration which is Saturday, 28th November, in remembrance and in solidarity with the Jews from the Middle East and North Africa who cannot say them in the presence of their departed family members, since many of the cemeteries remain inaccessible.

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WHO IS PFIZER CEO ALBERT BOURLA? Print E-mail
Monday, 16 November 2020 09:16

By Philip Chrysopoulos, November 10th, 2020

Pfizer’s brand-new Covid-19 vaccine, which has 90 percent effectiveness, has proven to be the biggest, most optimistic news by far in a year of mostly jaw-droppingly awful news. The much-anticipated discovery brought to the limelight the name of the pharmaceutical company’s Chairman and CEO, Albert Bourla.

Dr. Bourla is a Thessaloniki native who left Greece at the age of 34 to pursue a career in the pharmaceuticals industry. Born in the northern Greece city on October 21, 1961, he is part of the long history of the Sephardic Jews of Thessaloniki.

The Bourla family arrived in Thessaloniki from Spain about six centuries ago. As jewelers, they created and sold diamonds, jewelry and watches throughout the Balkans, and built two important buildings in the city, one of which is the Moroccan Mansion. Albert Bourla is a descendant of the few survivors of the Jewish community of the city which was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis during World War II.

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GREEK PRESIDENT SAKELLAROPOULOU VISITED THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2020 07:46
President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said that the history of Thessaloniki's Jews "fills us with admiration, stimulates our conscience and invites us to be vigilant," speaking after her visit at the city's Jewish Museum on Tuesday October 27, 2020.

She also expressed sentiments of "respect, sadness, maybe some shame: with these feelings I followed in the footsteps of the over-2,000-year-old Jewish presence in Thessaloniki." The Jewish community, she said, "enriched the city with its culture, creativity, entrepreneurship, vitality, but was severely tested in the 20th century, culminating in its almost complete annihilation in Nazi camps."

Sakellaropoulou was welcomed at the Jewish Museum and accompanied during her tour there by the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki David Saltiel.

Also on Tuesday, the President attended the swearing-in ceremony of new officers at the military school in Thessaloniki.

Source: AMNA, October 27, 2020

 
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