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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LATEST NEWS

KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MANCHESTER TERRORIST ATTACK

The recent deadly terrorist attack that occurred yesterday, the 22nd of May 2017, in the foyer of the “Manchester Arena” of the city of ​​Manchester, shocked Great Britain. The attacker detonated an improvised explosive device killing 22 people, including children, and injuring at least 59 others. It is the deadliest terrorist attack in Great Britain since July 2005, when four British Muslims killed 52 people in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bomb attacks in London which targeted civilians using the public transport system.

Once again, this blind terrorist attack targets young people in places where they go for entertainment, and its terrible symbolism is more than clear.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the abhorrence and deep sorrow of Greek Jewry for this hideous terrorist attack and expresses once more its concern about the almost mimetic spread of terrorism and blind violence.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families in these difficult moments. We express the wholeheartedly solidarity of Greek Jewry to the British people and the British Government.

May 23, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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KIS CONDEMNS “NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”

In an article published on the news site enikos.gr (May 10, 2017), entitled “In bloody ink”, journalist and cartoonist Stathis (Stavropoulos) denounces attempts to incriminate criticism against Israel that present it as anti-Semitism in order to annul such political criticism. The article is accompanied by a cartoon which pictures free opinion killed by Israel. The article and cartoon were Stathis response to the publication of a survey on Anti-Semitism in Greece which shows high rates of anti-Semitic feelings in Greece. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement on New Anti-Semitism:  
Certain anti-Semitic articles and cartoons in the press and on the internet contribute to the building up of a stereotype based on drawing parallels among “Jews”, “Zionists” and “Nazis”, equalizing the first with the latter, within a context of a frenetic trend to demonize the Sate of Israel and its people, present them as “Nazis” and as the incarnation of absolute evil. This is the fundamental principle of the so-called “New Anti-semitism”.

Journalists, cartoonists and media use deliberately the term “agents” of Israel, to avoid being accused of anti-Semitism, giving as a pretext that they do not aim against the Jews but against the Zionists. In this spirit, the Extreme Right coined the term “Jewish Zionist”. This new form of Anti-semitism is in use both by the Extreme Right, as well as by many groups of the Left who wish to delegitimize the very right of existence of the State of Israel. 

We were very disappointed when we read the new anti-Semitic libel of the Greek columnist Stathis, which he accompanied with an outrageous cartoon. He defies Greek and international surveys which underline the rise of anti-Semitic stereotypes among the Greeks; he demonizes the State of Israel (the only democratic state in the wider sensitive area of the Middle East, and a precious ally of our country in very difficult circumstances); and he accuses and incriminates, with disgraceful, pejorative and insulting characterizations all those who disagree with his opinion and fight boldly against racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic stereotypes.

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EU COORDINATOR ON COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM IN THESSALONIKI FOR BOOK PRESENTATION

The research study «Anti-Semitism in Greece today: Expressions, causes and tackling of the phenomenon», which is one of the very few pertinent public opinion polls, has been presented in Thessaloniki during a special event that took place on Wednesday May 3, 2017. The event, which was attended and addressed by European Commission’s Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism in Europe, Katharina von Schnurbein, was organized by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Greece, the foundation that published the research in a book with the same title.

The research program, conducted by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel, has been presented by George Antoniou (Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Thessaloniki) and Spyros Kosmidis (Lecturer, University of Oxford).

The important current research looks into the causes and expressions of anti-Semitism in Greece, proposing measures and policies effectively dealing with the phenomenon, based on the assumption that the Holocaust was an unprecedented crime against humanity that cannot be time-barred.

The EU Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, in her opening remarks stressed that not all EU states have integrated into their law systems the European legislation against Anti-Semitism; she also informed the audience that Europe is in cooperation with the biggest foreign companies in the social media, in order to fight the spread of Anti-Semitic stereotypes through the social media. Maria Giannakaki, General Secretary of Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, stressed that «[Anti-Semitism] is the most time-resistant form of racism and discrimination».

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THE GREEK JEWRY MOURNS THE LOSS OF SHIMON PERES Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 12:50
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the entire Greek Jewry join the mourning for the loss of the ninth President of the State of Israel and convey their deepest condolences to his family and the people of Israel.

Shimon Peres has been a great political and academic figure who has identified his name and activity with the history of the State of Israel for seven decades.
From the office of the President of Israel, as Prime Minister –a position which he was elected in three times- as well as from all public offices he hold, Shimon Peres worked for the security, the achievement of peace and the progress of Israel. He pioneered the Oslo agreement. His tireless work for peace was recognized at international level and in 1994 he was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Peace, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

“Shimon Peres’s bond with Greece has been special and has deep roots”, said the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Mr. David Saltiel. As stressed in his condolences message: “Shimon Peres has been a friend of Greece and of the Greek Jewish Community. He grew up with his father’s memories of his passing through Greece when during 1941 Yitzhak Persky fought with the Jewish Brigade against the Nazis. In 2003 the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki proclaimed Shimon Peres an honorary member of the Community. Last June he visited Greece and the characteristic statement of the Greek President Pavlopoulos was that “Peres represents a source of inspiration for peace in the Middle East”.

Shimon Peres has also been an admirer of the Greek-Jewish cultural heritage. I am profoundly touched to recall the meeting that he had with the leadership of the Greek Jewry during his state visit to Greece in August 2012. I vividly remember his address to the Youth: “The scientists represent the true wealth of a country, thus, arm yourselves with knowledge and invest in research”. I quote these words as I believe they reflect his wisdom, his character and his innovative thought. Let those words be his legacy to the people of Israel and the entire world for the benefit of progress and development”.

Shimon Peres didn’t simply speak about peace. He worked throughout his whole life with persistence in order to accomplish it. He believed in turning the impossible into possible. He knew well that Israel could not survive depending either on military force, or on diplomacy or on economic power alone, but on the commitment and continuous development of all three parameters together.  

Shimon Peres carried on his shoulders for 70 years the visions and the hopes of an entire people and through his continuous participation in its fights, identified the history of the State of Israel with his own personal history which is a source of inspiration to future generations.

In 2005 Shimon Peres stated: “My vision is to have a State as old as the Ten Commandments and as new as the internet”.

Athens, September 28, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
AJC HONORS CYPRUS PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 08:07

September 23, 2016 – New York – AJC honored Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades with the global advocacy organization’s prestigious Light Unto the Nations Award for his steadfast defense of democratic values, relentless pursuit of peace, and unwavering commitment to friendship with the United States and Israel.

David Harris, AJC’s Chief Executive Officer, who has met with President Anastasiades many times in Cyprus and New York, presented the award. Honorary AJC President Stanley Bergman welcomed the nearly 100 guests to his home, where the event took place. John Shapiro, AJC President, concluded the session.

“As the Prophet Isaiah said, the highest calling in life is peace or “eirini” in Greek, but to have peace requires courage (‘tharros’) and wisdom (‘sofia’). President Anastasiades has shown these qualities in his determination to reunite his island nation peacefully, and in his genuine friendship to the United States and Jewish people,” said Harris.

Anastasiades said he is “immensely proud” to receive AJC’s Light Unto the Nations Award. Saluting the close, cooperative partnership developed over the years between his country and AJC, the president said the award is “a testament to our joint belief in advancing closer Cypriot-Israeli cooperation and strengthening regional synergies and transatlantic relations.”

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WJC PRESIDENT RONALD LAUDER HOSTS AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR CHRISTIAN KERN, THANKS HIM FOR BEING 'TRUE FRIEND OF ISRAEL AND JEWISH PEOPLE' Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 September 2016 13:03

NEW YORK, 21 Sept. 2016: World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder hosted Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern for a special reception at his Neue Galerie on Tuesday evening, and called him “a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Lauder specifically thanked Kern for spearheading an exhibition during his former tenure at Austria’s Railway company, ÖBB, addressing its role in Nazi operations during World War II. “It was a very controversial show and it showed real courage,” Lauder said. Kern was awarded the ‘Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal’ in 2013 for this initiative by the Vienna Israelite Community. 

The Austrian chancellor told Lauder, before the more than 90 guests gathered at the Neue Galerie, “I honestly and deeply admire what you have achieved in your life and more than appreciate your contribution to Jewish life in Austria.”

On Wednesday, representatives of the U.S. and Belorussian governments will gather at the World Jewish Congress headquarters in Manhattan at 1 P.M. to sign an agreement to preserve burial places, places of worship, memorials, historic sites, and archival material in the former Soviet state, with a focus on those who were victims of the Nazi genocide. The agreement will be signed by Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makai and U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad Chair Lesley Weiss.

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RIVLIN MEETS DAUGHTER OF MAYOR WHO SAVED JEWS IN THE HOLOCAUST Print E-mail
Friday, 23 September 2016 12:51

President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Tuesday) met in his office with Lana Carrer, daughter of the Lucas Carrer, who served as Mayor of the Greek island of Zakynthos during the Nazi occupation of the island. Mayor Carrer, together with the local bishop, were responsible for saving the nearly 300 Jews who lived on the island by refusing the order of the Nazi occupying forces to provide a list of the Jewish community.

President Rivlin greeted and hugged Mrs. Carrer and thanked her for the actions of her family and her community for the sake of the Jewish people. He said, “We want to thank you for the actions of your family. Their bravery is an example of the very best of what humanity is capable of. Their actions go to the very heart of the history of the Jewish people.”

Mrs. Carrer thanked the President, and spoke of the respect and warm relationship between the peoples of the island, and spoke of her admiration for the President and his work to combat discrimination.

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UNTANGLING THE TALE OF A JEWISH WWII ORPHAN IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:19

by GIOTA MIRTSIOTI

Just a few days before the mass deportations of Thessaloniki’s Jews to Nazi concentration camps began in the cold tail-end of winter 1943, many Jewish parents left their children in the care of the Aghios Stylianos Foundling Home for their protection. Unable to bear the separation, most took their children back; but some stayed. One of them was David Barzilay, born on March 4, 10 days before the first death camp train left the northern port city.

What happened to the baby that was declared by the foundling home as being “of unknown parentage” and survived the Holocaust? How many more Jewish families tried to save their children in this way and what kind of life did the youngsters go on to have afterward?

These and other such questions came to social anthropologist Aigli Brouskou’s mind as she studied the Aghios Stylianos archives for her book “Logo tis kriseos sas charizo to pedi mou” (Because of the Crisis I Give You My Child), published by the Scientific Society of Child and Adolescent Care. The answers came later with painstaking research at three official archives, while the evidence pertaining to one particular case turned out to be very revealing: It allowed a name to be erased from the long list of Thessaloniki’s Holocaust victims; shed light on fabricated records; allowed the survivor to rewrite his autobiography; and exposed the complex and often conflicting roles of those who saved lives during the Nazi occupation.

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