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LATEST NEWS

KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE TERROR ATTACK IN LONDON

Terror has returned to London on Wednesday March 22, 2017, this time with a new blind terrorist attack near the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Bridge. The attack resulted in the death of five people –among whom the perpetrator as well as an unarmed policeman who was stabbed by the attacker in his effort to stop him for entering the Parliament- and the injury of forty passers-by, among whom two Greeks.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its repudiation for this cold-blooded attack and firmly condemns terrorism. This new strike is added to the long list of blind, bloody attacks that frustrate Europe and explicitly indicate that Europe -in unity and unanimity- needs to react now –not tomorrow- in order to deal with terrorism.

We must fight with all our forces and policies against the ideology that motivates such attacks. 

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece stands in solidarity with the British Government and conveys the most sincere condolences of the Greek Jewry to the families of the victims.

 Athens, 23rd March 2017

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 

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AMENDMENT VOTED ON THE REINSTATEMENT OF GREEK CITIZENSHIP TO DESCENDANTS OF GREEK DIASPORA JEWS – ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the vote by the Greek Parliament of an amendment which permits to the descendants of deceased Greek Jewish citizens to have the right to obtain a Greek citizenship.

The amendment corrects a legal vacuum of the earlier relevant law of 2011, which gave the right to obtain Greek citizenship to the Greek Jews of the Diaspora, but only if they were alive themselves. With the specific amendment, it is now possible for the descendants of the deceased Greek Jews to reestablish ties with their country of origin, where their fathers or grandfathers had lived until the War and the Holocaust, or after that. 

At the beginning, we were surprised by the position of the leading opposition party in the Greek parliament, “Nea Demokratia”, not to vote “yes” but to vote “present” during the procedure, since we know that the party of “Nea Demokratia” has already expressed positive views about the specific matter and its leader has a generally positive attitude in matters which concern the Jews both in Greece and abroad.

The party of “Nea Demokratia” issued finally a Press Announcement on 18.3.2017, which explains that the “present” vote was registered by mistake and that the spokesman of the party in the Greek Parliament, Mr. Kefaloyiannis, had spoken in favor of the particular amendment during the discussion, citing his exact words in the minutes of the Parliamentary session.

In this context, we can conclude that the amendment in favor of granting the Greek citizenship to the descendants of the deceased Greek Jews who live abroad was voted by the vast majority of the Greek Parliament and we express our satisfaction for that.

Athens, March 20, 2017

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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THE CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE STANDS BY THE US JEWS FOLLOWING OUTBURST OF ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, motivated by the vandalism of 170 graves in the Jewish cemetery of St. Louis, in the State of Missouri, on February 24th sent the following letter of solidarity to the Jewish Community of St. Louis, in relation to the anti-Semitic incidents affecting the US during the last days.

KISE had the same communication with Jewish organizations, as well as with prominent US Jewish personalities who made statements, issued press releases and published articles, on the rise of anti-Semitism in the US urging the US government and the new President Donald Trump to react with clarity and determination.

The Greek Jewry’s support to the unusual wave of anti-Semitic incidents in the US was welcomed by international Jewish organizations.  

Specifically the letter of KISE mentions:

“It is with great dismay and concern that we were informed about the vandal attack against the Jewish cemetery of St Louis and the recent anti-Semitic incidents in the USA.

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE REFERENCE OF THE DEPUTY EDUCATION MINISTER TO THE HOLOCAUST Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 12:47

An anti-Semitic statement pointing out that “the Jewish people appropriated the Holocaust in order to earn the sympathy of the civilized world and be justified”, was made by the Deputy Education Minister Theodosis Pelegrinis, during his speech at the Greek Parliament (on September 15, 2016), delivered on the occasion of the Commemoration Day of the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish state (1914-1923).

The Minister made this statement suggesting that the Greeks should follow the example of the Jews with regard to the Holocaust. Following a large wave of reactions that condemned this reference, the Deputy Minister made a clarifying statement arguing that the term “appropriation” was misinterpreted by the media. The political parties of the Opposition (N.D., PASOK, and Potami), issued statements urging Deputy Minister Pelegrinis to resign.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece addressed the following  letter of protest to Deputy Minister Pelegrinis which reflects the Board’s position:

Dear Deputy Minister,

The Greek Jews -as well as all democratic citizens, were unpleasantly surprised by your speech of September 15, at the Parliament.

Your agony for the future of Greece should not allow you to misuse the meaning and the reality of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust does not just refer to the “persecution and the genocide implemented by a state or a regime against any ethnic, religious or political group functioning within a society”. The Holocaust is the unique in the history of mankind crime of the genocide of the Jews during WWII by the German Nazis and their collaborators in their effort to implement their horrific plan of a world without Jews. It is not something that the Jews “achieved”, it is exactly what they suffered.

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NEW BOARD elected at the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Print E-mail
Monday, 19 September 2016 12:58

The 22nd Conference of Representatives of the Jewish Communities of Greece (which was postponed on June 26, 2016) convened in Athens on September 18, 2016, in order to elect the new Board of Directors of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), the umbrella organization of the Greek Jewry. During the opening of the Conference, the outgoing President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. Moses Constantinis referred to his decades-long commitment to the Greek Jewish issues and expressed his firm belief that the new leadership will bring progress to the Community.

After the elections, the new Board was formed under the Presidency of Mr. David Saltiel, President of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, who has also served as KIS President from 2010 – 2013.

The newly elected President David Saltiel spoke of the challenges the Greek Jewry faces and announced his administration’s priorities, namely the continuity of Jewish heritage in Greece especially with regard to the maintaining of the small Jewish Communities, the need for more measures to overcome economic crisis and render the Communities viable, anti-Semitism and Holocaust education, the development of welfare programmes for the needy Holocaust survivors, projects for the support of young Jewish adults and the strengthening of relations with International Jewish Organizations.

The Board Directors of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (as of September 18, 2016):

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR SWASTIKAS GRAFFITI ON THE SYNAGOGUE OF IOANNINA - OFFICIAL GREEK REACTIONS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 07:17

On September 12, 2016, the exterior of the Synagogue of Ioannina was found by local Jewish Community members desecrated with swastikas graffiti. The authorities were notified. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement:

"Vandal racists defaced with swastikas the exterior of the surrounding wall of the historic Synagogue of Ioannina, situated in the old walled city, the Kastro (Castle). Vandals drew swastikas also in some houses of the surrounding area.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for this hideous act and urged the competent authorities to work for the arrest of the perpetrators as well as for the adequate protection of the Synagogue so as to contain such incidents that stain the image of the city of Ioannina".  

The reaction of the Greek authorities was expressed in a series of condemnation statements, issued on September 13, 2016, by the Mayor of Ioannina Thomas Begas, the governing party of SYRIZA, and the New Democracy opposition party.

 
GERMANY SUPPORTS THE CREATION OF HOLOCAUST MUSEUM AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Monday, 19 September 2016 09:35

Michael Roth’s meeting with the leadership of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki  

On 15-9-2016 the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki welcomed the Minister of State of the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Michael Roth today, who in 2014, during his visit to Thessaloniki, had expressed the intention of the Federal Republic of Germany to support the creation of Holocaust Memorial Museum and Education Center for Human Rights.

During his visit yesterday, Mr. Michael Roth, had an extensive meeting with the President of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki Mr. David Saltiel, the Mayor of Thessaloniki Mr. Yiannis Boutaris and President GAIAOSE Mr. Athanasios Schizas. During the course of the meeting the various aspects of the creation of the Holocaust Museum and Education Center for Human Rights and the steps to be followed for its gradual completion, in the near future, were discussed in detail.

Mr. Roth reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Republic of Germany to contribute financially with an amount of €10,000,000 to the realization of the project, emphasizing once again the importance of creating such an institution of international scope, not only for the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and the city but for Greece as a whole.

The Minister of State of the Federal Republic of Germany also visited the Monastiriotes Synagogue, the only prewar Synagogue of Thessaloniki, the restoration of which was recently completed, with funds donated by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Herbert Simon Family Foundation.

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WJC REPRESENTATIVES VISIT ATHENS Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 September 2016 12:02

WJC Press Release, September 6, 2016, ATHENS:  World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO Robert Singer and the leadership of the Greek Jewish community held a series of meetings with senior Greek government officials, including Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Education Minister Nikos Filis, Minister of Public Order Nikos Toskas, opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the head of the Orthodox Church in Greece Archbishop Ieronymos II and others.

Singer emphasized the good relations between Greece and Israel and raised a number of issues, including the threat posed by the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, the security of the Greek Jewish community, and anti-Semitic statements made by Greek Orthodox church officials recently. 

Robert Singer said: “Archbishop Ieronymos reassured us that the Greek Orthodox Church does not agree with these statements and that he is open to intensify the interfaith dialogue with the World Jewish Congress.”

Singer said that although there had been few violent incidents against Jews and Jewish sites in Greece in recent months, anti-Semitic stereotypes were still widespread in Greek society. He welcomed initiatives undertaken by the government to teach about the Holocaust in public and private schools in Greece. 

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