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 ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the establishment and the inauguration of the first Islamic mosque in Athens. The functioning of the mosque will give the opportunity to the Muslims to pray and exercise their religious duties.

The Church, the Synagogue and the Mosque symbolize the harmonious coexistence among people of different religions living in the same city. The freedom of religion and the respect of the sanctity of faith of the followers of all religions are fundamental pillars of the civilization of a society, and the Greek state demonstrated the high importance that attributes to these values.

Athens, June 11, 2019

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS FOR THE ELECTION OF MOSES ELISAF AS MAYOR OF IOANNINA
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its warmest congratulations to Mr. Moses Elisaf for his election as a Mayor of the city of Ioannina, which seals his long-lasting contribution to the city of Ioannina, as well as to the scientific life of the country.

For the Greek Jewry, the success of Moses Elisaf, signals a very important cornerstone for the history of the Jewish presence, both at the city of Ioannina, as well as in Greece, since it is the first time a Greek Jew is elected as Mayor. It is a success that causes admiration and deep emotions. The citizens of Ioannina have shown that they condemn the hate that is born from intolerance and antisemitism and appreciate the value of a person regardless of his religious belief.

At the city, where during the Holocaust the Jewish Community was almost exterminated, that almost 2000 Jews found horrifying death at the extermination camps, 75 years later, at the same city, a descendant of Holocaust survivors is elected as Mayor. Moses Elisaf! The citizens of Ioannina have chosen a worthy person to lead this city towards the path of development and progress. The citizens of Ioannina have also sent a strong message against fanaticism, intolerance and antisemitism.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE USE OF HOLOCAUST SYMBOLS

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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RACIST VIOLENCE REPORT FOR 2018 - The antisemitic attacks Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 07:25

Athens, 19.4.2019- The Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) presented yesterday April 18, 2019,  their annual report, which analyses findings of racist violence and hate crime across Greece in 2018, recorded by the 46 organizations participating in the Network. From January to December 2018, the RVRN documented, through interviews with victims, 117 incidents of racist violence, with more than 130 victimsIn 74 incidents the victims were migrants or refugees on grounds of ethnic origin, religion, colour, associations of third country nationals, human rights defenders due to their connection with refugees and migrants, as well as a memorial to the victims of shipwrecks. In six (6) incidents, Greek citizens were targeted due to their colour, foreign or ethnic origin. In nine (9) incidents, the targets were Jewish sacred or symbolic places and the Jewish community and in one (1) incident the target was a Greek citizen due to educational activity against anti-Semitism or perceived religion. In 27 incidents the targets were LGBTQI+ persons, including five (5) refugees, asylum-seekers and EU citizens. In 59 incidents more than one victim was targeted, whereas in 63 incidents the assault was committed by a group of at least two people. 

For more information see here the site of the RVRN. See here the full report in pdf.

Excerpt from the report (p. 19) on antisemitism: In 2018, the RVRN recorded 9 anti-Semitic attacks. In particular, there were 6 incidents of desecration of Holocaust memorials in Athens and Thessaloniki, 2 incidents of desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Nikaia and Trikala as well as 1 incident of vandalism of the synagogue in Volos. In these incidents the perpetrators drew Nazi symbols or words and slogans referring to the Holocaust, threatening the Jewish community as a whole. Additionally, there was an incident against a teacher, who is being harassed severely due to his educational activity against anti-Semitism.

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THE ATHENS JEWISH COMMUNITY CELEBRATED PESSACH AT THE GREEK EDUCATION MINISTRY IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Monday, 22 April 2019 11:02

On the occasion of the Jewish festivity of Passover, the Jewish Community of Athens organized, the traditional Seder of Pessach, on Saturday April 20, 2019, at the events’ hall of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. 

The leadership of the Ministry that kindly offered the venue, was represented by the Minister of Education Mr. Kostas Gavroglou and the Secretary General for Religious Affairs Mr. George Kalantzis. The Seder was also attended by Archimandrite Dionysios, representative of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos. Approximately 350 members of the Athens Jewish Community, under the guidance of the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, read and recited the Haggadah, the narration of the Exodus from Egypt, which is linked to the festivity of Pessach. 

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“Never Again’ March in Thessaloniki marked anniversary of first deportation to Auschwitz Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 March 2019 10:19

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL, March 18, 2019, by Vassilis Kyriakoulis: Two thousand people held a silent march in Thessaloniki, marking the anniversary of the departure in 1943 of the first train taking members of its Jewish community to Auschwitz. Participants held white balloons bearing the message “Never Again.” They gathered at the city’s old railway station where that train pulled out on March 15, 1943. Among those present for the 76th anniversary commemoration was Jurgen Haus, grandson of a German soldier, who expressed his “deep regret” for the actions of his Nazi forebears. “I am here to break the silence… I love Israel, I cannot remain silent in the face of antisemitism,” he said in a speech. 

Holocaust survivors Heinz Kounio and Achileas Koukovinos were honoured during the commemorations. Thessaloniki had a population of more than 50,000 Jews before World War II, some 46,000 of whom were deported and killed in German Nazi death camps. 

Before the deportations started, the community in the city, which was composed mainly of Sephardic Jews chased out of Spain in 1492, had developed to the point where it earned the nickname the “Jerusalem of the Balkans.”

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THE SPECIAL ENVOY ON COMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:26
A meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had the Special Envoy on Combatting Anti-Semitism, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, in view of the visit of the Primate of Orthodoxy to the Auschwitz concentration camp, in order to lead the March of the Living, on May 2nd, 2019.

The Ecumenical Patriarch blessed the mission of removing every anti-Semitic stereotype and highlighted the need for co-operation between the actors of Christianity and Judaism, which the Ecumenical Throne has been realizing throughout its ministry through interreligious dialogue and many other initiatives of joint action. 

He also stressed that he was willing to take coordinating action in the Christian world in order to eliminate the social pathogenesis of anti-Semitism and to preserve the commitment to fight any negative prejudice and persecution in the name of religion. 
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CYPRUS, GREECE, ISRAEL ALLIANCE SERVES US INTERESTS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:42
by endy Zemenides  & David Harris, 28.3.2019

Long ago, the Mediterranean was known as the Middle Sea, because for centuries it provided the principal means of communication between empires and civilizations. Today’s Mediterranean is reclaiming much of that historic legacy.

The limitless potential of the region was on full display during the sixth trilateral summit between Cyprus, Greece and Israel that took place in Jerusalem last week. The gathering was especially noteworthy because the United States, represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also participated for the first time.

American strategic interests face challenges around the Eastern Mediterranean basin. The Shia-Sunni divide that has helped put the Middle East in even deeper turmoil is playing out on its shores, with the involvement of both state and non-state actors.

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