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MESSAGE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL FOR RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS GEORGE KALANTZIS TO THE CEO OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE DAVID HARRIS Print E-mail
Monday, 29 October 2018 14:55
"Dear David, shocked by the worst terrorist attack against Jews in the USA, I feel that our commitment to fight against antisemitism has to become more strong, more decisive and more persisting. This the only way to honor the victims and to minimize the possibility of one similar attack in the future.

Our prayers and our thoughts are for the victims and their families. I would like you to know that in your fair fight, you are not alone because this fight is also our own fight.

Respectfully
George

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE VANDALISM OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN KASTORIA – THE IMMEDIATE REACTION OF THE LOCAL SOCIETY Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 December 2018 14:29

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the dismay of the Greek Jewry for the vandal attack against the Holocaust Monument of Kastoria, erected to remind of the 1.000 Jews of the city deported and exterminated in Auschwitz by the Nazis. Using back spray-paint to deface the inscription on the Monument, the fanatic preachers of hatred aimed both at erasing the memory of the once flourishing Jewish community and at destroying the symbolisms that the Monuments transmits.

They got the best response through the reaction of the local society, with the official condemnation of the Mayor of Kastoria as well as the prompt reaction of the motivated citizens who cleaned the monument. The law enforcement authorities have to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to Justice.

Thirteen cases of vandalism against Jewish targets were registered within 2018. The outburst of intolerance, the vandal attacks against monuments and sacred sites, intensify the need to realize that antisemitism is only the beginning of the decadence of a society that in order to be protected by the followers of obscurantism has the obligation to transmit knowledge and memory so as to prevent new crimes against humanity.

Athens, December 27, 2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
WHO WILL STAND UP FOR THE CHRISTIANS? Print E-mail
Friday, 22 August 2014 10:06

The following opinion article authored by World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder was published in the “New York Times” on August 19, 2014

WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.

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RADIO INTERVIEW of VICTOR ELIEZER ON MAKIS VORIDIS’ NEONAZI POLITICAL PAST Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:56
In a radio interview (News 24/7, July 12, 2019) to journalist Seraphim Kotrotsos, the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Victor Eliezer, with accuracy and clarity, presented the position and the feelings of the Greek Jewry towards Makis Voridis whose political past was linked to neo-nazi ideology.

AUDIO FILE of the interview (in Greek) HERE

The full transcript of the interview:

JOURNALIST S. KOTROTSOS: Therefore, I asked to speak with the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr Victor Eliezer, a man who of course knows very well both the affairs of Israel and those of Greece as well, because of his capacity as a journalist he can realize even better the way the Israeli  media react. Mr Eliezer, good evening, thank you for being with us.

V.ELIEZER:  Good evening Mr. Kotrotsos, good evening to your listeners.

S. KOTROTSOS: Firstly let’s mention the very good words of Netanyahu to Mitsotakis as a result of an excellent relation between Greece and Israel, that has been built over many years, which I think is not easy to crack.

V.ELIEZER:  Well, this is true, it is very accurate. Bilateral relations of all levels have been built over the last ten years. Also regarding cooperation for the exploitation of natural resources, as you know, with the participation of Cyprus. There are excellent bilateral relations in the field of cultural exchanges, and in the field of economy, with tourism being the prevailing factor.

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SALONICA – MOTHER OF LOVE AND PAIN Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 13:01

By Yvette Nahmia-Messinas, Jerusalem Post, January 2nd, 2017

Where should I start? I’ll start at the end. On Saturday we went to see the film “Ouzeri Tsitsanis” (Cloudy Sunday) by director Manousos Manousakis in the framework of the Jewish Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. “Ouzeri” in Greek is the place where people drink ouzo and eat mezedes. Vassilis Tsitsanis was one of the most important figures in the formation of modern Greek music, a master bouzouki player and among the forces shaping the Rebetiko (urban Greek music) in Salonica before and during WWII. The screening hall was filled with known faces of Greek Jews, Greek music lovers, philhellenes and beyond.

The film was balanced, nuanced and rich, and succeeded in telling the story of the Greek Jews of Salonica, the “madre d’Israel,” from different perspectives. We saw the Sephardi Greek Jews, heard them speak in Greek and Ladino and sing songs in Judeo-Espagnol in their communal choir as well as get involved in the new socialist ideas. We were exposed to the foreign sounding names of the foods they ate, the synagogue they went to, the controversial rabbi they followed. We also saw the inner strife among them, of those who suggested not listening to the rabbi and his directives of going along with the Germans’ requests, and those who felt safer in complying with the Jewish community’s policy rather than straying away from it and going on their own.

We were shown Estrea, the young Sephardi Jewess (Christina Chila Fameli) who is active in the resistance by typewriting its messages in a well-hidden basement. Although she is issued false identity papers as a Greek Orthodox woman, and has the option to escape with her Greek Christian boyfriend Giorgos (Charis Fragkoulis) to Athens, Estrea opts to turn herself in as a Jew and get on the train to be with her family. Estrea knows that the train is headed for Poland, but doesn’t know its ultimate destination is Auschwitz, where 96% of Salonica’s Jews perished.

 

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