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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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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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

 
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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NEWSPAPER "MAKELEIO" CONVICTED FOR AN ANTI-SEMITIC ARTICLE TARGETING A JEWISH LEADER Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 November 2020 08:51
"A harsh Jew, manager of a smell-blood company, which assumed the clearance of the non-performing loans of the poor Greeks. The President of the Jewish Community who pretends to be our friend, is stealing our money from the back door". This is what Stefanos Chios wrote, in huge title-letters, in the web site of "Makeleio" newspaper, on the 10th of December 2017, about Minos Moissis.

Minos Moissis, the previous President of the Jewish Community of Athens took legal actions and sued the newspaper, its publisher and its reporter Stefanos Chios. The claim was put on trial on the 28th of March 2019 and on the 8th of October 2020 the sentence of the civil proceeding was published. The penal proceeding has not been heard yet before the judge. 

The Court of Justice of First Instance by its sentence no. 949/2020 accepted the claim and by a very clear legal statement obviously considered that the accused parts tort against Minos Moissis, insulted him and thus offended illegally his personality, mentioning unnecessarily and οn purpose his Jewish origin, in order to accentuate their offense.   

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