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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THE JEWS OF HALKIDA Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 August 2022 07:23

Georgia N. Gleoudi*

“When we returned, we had no bed to sleep in, no pots to cook in, nor clothes to wear. We went to our house and it had been taken by others. We rented a room in our house and the whole family lived there.”

Mair Maissis is in the synagogue of Halkida (Chalcis), eager to serve as a guide for anyone who wants to learn more about the town’s Jewish community and cemetery. Willing and full of energy, he starts explaining the architecture of the Romaniote synagogue.

“The two columns of our synagogue prove its antiquity. A large number of scholars regard the Synagogue of Chalcis as the oldest in Europe and many believe that the first presence of Jews in Evia (Euboea) dates back to 586 BC. Around the synagogue was the Jewish ghetto, the Jewish quarter where most Jews lived until the end of the Ottoman domination.

“On Good Friday in 1854, a great fire broke out which destroyed the biggest part of the synagogue. Of course it was arson. Nearly all community archives, books, heirlooms and manuscripts were destroyed. Only three Torah scrolls dating to the 13th and 14th century have survived until today. The synagogue was rebuilt in 1855 with a donation from the Duchess of Plaisance [Doukissa tis Plakentias]. Luckily today, we do not have any anti-Semitic incidents here in our city. We are completely assimilated.”

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS FOR THE 80 YEARS SINCE THE ROUND UP OF THE JEWS OF THESSALONIKI AT ELEFHTERIAS SQUARE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 09:32

On July 11th, 1942 at Eleftherias Square (Freedom square) in Thessaloniki, a day known as the "Black Sabbath" of the Jews of Thessaloniki, the German occupiers humiliated 9.000 Jews of the town and put the "Final Solution" plan into practice. The “Final Solution” resulted in the deportation and extermination of 45.000 Jews of Thessaloniki.

Elefhterias Square signals the place where the Nazis began to dehumanize people who were born Jews. It was the beginning of the "absolute evil" that led to the Holocaust of 6.000.000 Jews, among them, 60.000 Greek Jews, many of whom, defended their country, fought against the Italian and German invaders and left their last breath in the concentration camps with Greece deeply rooted in their souls.

Exactly eighty years later, we hope that the commitment of the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. Konstantinos Zervas, will be realized and Eleftherias Square will finally take its historical character as a place of Remembrance of the thousands of Jews who were tortured by the Nazis before been deported to the labor camps and then to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It is our responsibility to make Eleftherias Square again a place of remembrance, so that citizens and visitors of Thessaloniki see the place where the Jews of the town martyred, remember and be taught how easily a society can follow the path of barbarism when oblivion prevails.

July 11, 2022

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
ANTI-SEMITISM SHOULD CONCERN US ALL by LEON SALTIEL Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 11:29

Politico, June 20, 2022

As Sweden prepares to host this week’s meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), I find myself grappling daily with how anti-Semitism still thrives, some eight decades after the end of World War II.  

I routinely think about this ongoing enigma as part of my work but also in a more personal context, as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors.  

What may not be immediately obvious is that contemporary anti-Semitism should be a grave concern not only to Jews, whom it most immediately and directly impacts, but to those outside the Jewish community as well.  

While it denotes hatred of the Jewish people, anti-Semitism actually threatens all societies and is an indicator of wider problems. As the world’s “oldest hatred,” it exposes the failings in each society, and though Jews are often the first group to be scapegoated, unfortunately, they are not the last. History has shown us, time and again, that hateful discourse initially targeting Jews soon broadens to other members of society.

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CEREMONY FOR AWARDING DOCTORATE DIPLOMA TO DAVID SALTIEL Print E-mail
Monday, 11 July 2022 07:22

During the graduation ceremony for the students of New York College which took place on 6.7.2022, the president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece (KISE), Mr. David Saltiel, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Bolton of Great Britain for his business and social contribution. The doctorate was awarded to Mr. Saltiel by the Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Earl of St Andrews, George Nicholas Philip Windsor. 

Mr. David Saltiel, upon receiving the diploma, addressing the audience stated emphatically: "Don't forget to set your goals and work to achieve them continuously, even with a little effort but on a daily basis. You will see that in the end you will achieve them.

Your studies and your education have been rewarded with success today. Do not forget that you are the generation that has the privilege of knowledge and understanding needed to build a great, civilized and humane future. Don't forget this!'

At the ceremony, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece was represented by the Treasurer, Mr. Daniel Benardout. It was also attended by Ministers, representatives of the military and municipal Authorities, as well as by many people.

 
A JEWISH RENAISSANCE IN GREECE: ABANDONED SYNAGOGUES GET NEW LIFE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 12:32
 By ELIAS V. MESSINAS

Something is changing in Greece. The Jewish heritage sites once abandoned or demolished or serving other uses, are now slated for reconstruction and reuse as synagogues, nearly 80 years after the Holocaust.

Jewish communities – the Greek-speaking Romaniotes – were established in Greece in antiquity, in cities such as Ioannina and Halkis. Sephardic communities were established after 1492, in important Jewish centers such as Salonika (Thessaloniki), and throughout Greece – from Corfu to Rhodes and from Didimoticho to Crete.

In the Holocaust, 87% of the Jewish community in Greece perished. The destruction took a heavy toll in Jewish heritage as well. Synagogues, libraries, community buildings, Jewish schools, and Jewish clubs were either demolished or taken over by other organizations. Important synagogues in Salonika were demolished, while in November 1943, the ancient Jewish cemetery of the city, with valuable marble tombstones, was turned into construction material. Some tombstones can still be found today in private courtyards.

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