Tuesday, 29 October 2019 13:58

The 20th anniversary of the restoration of the Synagogue of Hania, on the island of Crete, was marked with the series of cultural events that took place in Hania from October 13 to 27, 2019. The events, which were organized by the Non-profit Corporation Etz Hayyim, included the celebration of Sukkot, a photographic exhibition on the restoration of the Synagogue and its remarkable cultural activity for the past 20 years, educational workshops on Jewish Cretan history, a concert with the “Klezmer Yunan band” who remix Jewish Klezmer and Greek folk songs, the exhibition of the Heritage Contact Zone entitled “Parallel points of view”, an audio-visual presentation of material on Etz Hayyim, a culinary experience with food sampling of Greek Jewish recipes based on Nikos Stavroulakis’ “Cookbook of the Jews of Greece”, a literary reading by the renowned British poet Ruth Padel on the theme “Etz Hayyim in poetry and prose”.

The celebrations culminated with the main event of Sunday October 27th, 2019, which was attended by the Metropolitan Bishop of Kydonia - Apokoronou Damaskinos, the Αmbassador of Austria in Greece Mrs Ermine Popeler, the German cultural attaché Mrs Monica Frank, who addressed the event, the deputy Mayor of Hania,  the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Victor Eliezer, the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, representatives of the Greek Jewry, volunteers from Austria, members of the Greek Jewish Youth and international visitors. 

The blessings of Rabbi Negrin were followed by the main speech of the Secretary General of KIS, Victor Eliezer, who referred to the project of the restoration of the Synagogue -which started in 1997 and concluded in 1999 with the inauguration of the Synagogue- and to all those who assisted it, with special mention to the late Nikos Stavroulakis, instigator of the project, and the Synagougue’s director until his passing away in 2017.

“We want the Etz Hayyim Synagogue to continue being a vibrant cell of the Greek Jewry, a house of prayer and solemnity, as well as a place of culture, academic research and transmission of knowledge to the next generation”, Eliezer stressed and congratulated the president and the board of trustees of Etz Hayyim synagogue of Hania for their commitment and support.