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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 GREECE’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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ESJF SURVEYS CONCLUDED IN GREECE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 12:07
ESJF is proud to announce that field surveys have wrapped up in the first of the project countries under our 2019 mass survey project “Protecting the Jewish cemeteries of Europe: a full mapping process with research and monitoring and individual costed proposals for protection”, co-funded by the European Union. Our team travelled in Greece between 26 March and 14 April, mapping 48 sites altogether.

Greece has been a hugely different experience from the places ESJF has worked in before, both in terms of the specific challenges posed by its unique topography, and because of its mostly Sephardic burial tradition. The survey teams flew, took ferries and travelled via land to visit well-known sites such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes or Zakynthos, but also smaller places like Paramythia, Rethymnon and Preveza.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE USE OF HOLOCAUST SYMBOLS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:00

Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, editor of “Documento” newspaper, trivialized Holocaust in a tweet criticizing Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his statement in favour of the ‘7day work week’. Vaxevanis in his tweet of May 12, 2019 used the inscription over the gate of Auschwitz “Arbeit Macht Frei” to comment on K. Mitsotakis.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) issued the following announcement stressing the inappropriate use of the symbols of the Holocaust:

"A few days ago we passed the gate of Auschwitz with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the President of the Greek Parliament Mr. Nikos Voutsis and thousands of participants commemorating the 6.000.000 Jews victims of the Holocaust, including 65.000 Greek Jews. In awe and sadness.    

The "Arbeit macht frei" inscription at the gate of the Auschwitz -which means "Work makes you free”- that welcomed the Jews who were led to a horrible death at the crematoria, is still there ...

The use of this inscription within a political controversy and a journalistic comment is unacceptable because it downgrades, minimizes and trivializes a symbol of horror and Nazi barbarism. In Auschwitz every trace of humanity was lost and inhumanity and harrowing death prevailed. Millions of people were killed there because they were either Jews or “different”.

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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 LEGACY OF AMOS OZ FOR CONTEMPORARY ISRAEL - A CONVERSATION WITH FANIA OZ Print E-mail
Monday, 13 May 2019 09:33
On May 9, 2019 a de profundis and stirring conversation about the legacy of Amos Oz in today's Israel took place at V. & M. Theocharakis Foundation for Fine Arts and Music. The daughter of Amos Oz, Professor Fania Oz Salzberger, was invited to attend the event which marked the 71st anniversary of the independence of Israel and was organized by the Embassy of Israel and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

Fania Oz, a professor of history at Haifa University Law School, discussed with journalist Elias Maglinis, a literature critic and author himself and with Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, a professor of history at the University of the Peloponnese.

During the event Fania Oz was welcomed by Mrs. Irit Ben-Abba, the Israeli Ambassador to Greece and by the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. Victor Eliezer.  In her speech the Ambassador referred to the carry of the work of this important Israeli author in Greece and on how well-loved is he by the Greek public. The Secretary General, in his turn, mentioned the book "Jews and words", written by both Amos Oz and his daughter Fania and read some precise excerpts reflecting the relationship between Jews and God, concluding that "today we feel that Amos is with us, as well".   
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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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