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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

In an article published on the news site (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.


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».

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.

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):

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.

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.

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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