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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GREEK JEWRY
OLD JEWISH TOMBSTONES FIND NEW LIFE IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Friday, 07 July 2017 09:05

By Zack Bodner*,

I recently saw one of the most unnerving things I’ve ever seen in my life.

The largest cemetery in Europe — with more than 350,000 graves — was the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki, Greece, the epicenter of the Greek Jewish community and the preeminent location of Sephardic life after the Inquisition. The cemetery was destroyed by the Greeks after the Nazis invaded in 1942 and the marble tombstones were then used to pave sidewalks, build walls, homes, buildings and even swimming pools. So much marble flooded the market that the cost of marble went down to almost nothing.

I was in Thessaloniki recently, traveling through Greece with 16 relatives on my wife’s side to investigate her family roots; my father-in-law’s parents were born in the city.

Eight adults and eight kids spent more than two weeks touring the country and learning the history of the Greek Jews. In our investigation into the family roots, we learned that a tombstone of a member of the Alcheck family might be built into a wall in a particular neighborhood. So we drove there — the Thessaloniki suburb of Panorama, an upscale neighborhood with beautiful three-story villas.

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LET’S JOIN FORCES AND SAVE A SYNAGOGUE Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017 07:31

The Synagogue of Trikala is in danger. The Ka’al Yavanim Synagogue of Trikala -a monument of unique outstanding architectural, cultural and historical value of the Greek Jewish tradition- is threatened. Ka’al Yavanim is the oldest Synagogue in Trikala and the only one that survived World War II, out of three Synagogues that functioned in this beautiful city of Thessaly prior to the War. The historical building of the Ka’al Yavanim Synagogue in Trikala is in danger of collapsing: the passage of time has left its imprint with significant damage to the floor, the roof and the columns, due to corrosion that is the main agent of decay.

Restoration is urgently needed so that we all join forces in order to save the synagogue of a town with significant historical Jewish presence and heritage. The small Jewish community of Trikala is struggling hard to keep the synagogue standing and functional. But these efforts are not sufficient enough.

For this reason, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Community of Trikala turn to all our coreligionists, inviting them to contribute to the funding of the restoration of the Synagogue, which is not only a sacred place of prayer but also considered to be a unique cultural monument of the Trikala Jewry.
We also call upon all Jews of Greek descent living abroad to support this effort in this particularly difficult economic period that our country as well as Jewish Communities of Greece are going through.
Become a donor now and help us save a Synagogue, return to the Synagogue its prestigious glamour and deliver it to the public again.

You may contact the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece -KIS  (e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or the Jewish Community of Trikala (e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

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THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN GREECE, THE OLDEST COMMUNITY IN EUROPE Print E-mail
Friday, 05 May 2017 10:26

by VICTOR I. ELIEZER, EJP May 04, 2017

The first Greek Jew known by name was "Moschos, son of Moschion the Jew", a slave identified in an inscription dated approximately 300 - 250 B.C. found in Oropos, a small coastal town 40 klm from  Athens. It could be assumed that as a result of frequent Jewish movement through Greece,  a Jewish Community was eventually established. This community is believed to have grown further after the Hasmonean uprising (142 B.C.) when many Jews were sold into slavery in Greece. 

In the early Christian era, the fact that Paul the Apostle, upon his arrival in Greece, preached in the Jewish Synagogues in Athens, Corinth, Veria, Kavala (Philipus) gives proof of the existence of many Jewish Communities in this Country. These Greek Jews were known as Romaniote and had developed their own customs and language (Judeo-Greek). Remnants of this unique tradition survived to our days.

From the end of the 14th century Jewish refugees emigrated from Spain and Portugal to the Greek mainland and adjacent islands. Mainly in Thessaloniki, the Jews known as the Shephardim introduced their own language (Judeo-Espagnol) and customs. During the 16th-18th centuries, Thessaloniki had one of the largest Jewish communities in the World and a solid rabbinical tradition.

Today, the Jews in Greece are organized in eight active Jewish Communities. In Athens, with almost 3000 Jews, there are two synagogues and the Lauder elementary school. In Thessaloniki (Salonika), with 1000 Jews, there are two synagogues and one elementary school while another 1000 Greek Jews are living in six different cities, having a synagogue which is the center of the Jewish life, in Larissa, Chalkis, Volos, Corfu, Trikala, and Ioannina. There are also synagogues located in Greek cities where no Jewish Communities exist, as in the islands of Rhodes and Crete in Chania, which are open for visitors and special services for Yiamim Noraim and Pessach as well as weddings and Bar Mitsva. There are also two Jewish Museums, one in Athens which preserves the heritage of the Greek Jewry and one in Thessaloniki preserving the history of the local Community. The Holocaust Museum and Research center of Human rights is going to be opened in Thessaloniki in 2017 by the Municipality headed by the Mayor John Boutaris and the local Jewish community headed by David Saltiel. 

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