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LATEST NEWS

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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AT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL IN GREECE, WJC PRESIDENT RONALD S. LAUDER SAYS: ‘INDIFFERENCE HAS NOT GONE AWAY’

WJC, Athens 30.1.2017: Ronald S. Lauder on Monday addressed an official Holocaust commemoration ceremony in the Greek capital Athens, and in recalling the tragedy that nearly destroyed the Jewish community in Greece, asked whether the world has really learnt the lessons of the Holocaust.
 
“What has been the world’s reaction to the genocides since 1945? In Cambodia: silence! In Rwanda: silence! In Darfur: silence! Christians are being slaughtered today throughout the Middle East and Africa, and the world is silent. Indifference has not gone away,” Lauder told the gathering. The slogan ‘Never Again’ is easy to say but it’s really meaningless, because it happens again and again. And unless we want our children and grandchildren dealing with the same questions, it is time for this silence to end, once and for all.”

“The Jewish community here suffered such a heart-breaking loss. Almost 90 percent of the thriving Jewish population in Greece was murdered in World War II. Mothers, fathers, children… so many children. But we should always remember that this was not just a tragedy for the Jewish people. It was a tragedy for Greece as well. Greece lost some of its best and most productive citizens when the Jewish community was destroyed. When the Nazis came here in 1941 everyone lost,” Lauder added.
 
Lauder also highlighted the resistance of many Greeks against the occupiers during World War II, mentioning the people of Zakynthos, who hid the island’s Jews from the Nazis, Greek-Orthodox Archbishop Damaskinos, who instructed church members to issue false identity cards to Jews, and the “many ordinary Greeks whose name we will never know: they all set an example for the entire world to follow.”

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POSTPONEMENT OF THE CONFERENCE FOR THE ELECTIONS AT KIS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 12:22

The 22nd Conference of Representatives of the Jewish Communities of Greece, which convened in Athens on June 26, 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, decided to postpone the Conference. The new date was set for the 18th of September 2016.

The current KIS administration, presided by Mr. Moses Constantinis, will remain in office until the Conference of September 18, 2016.

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE DEADLY TERRORIST ATTACK IN TEL AVIV Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:18

On June 8, 2016 Israel was hit by a new terrorist attack. Specifically, two Palestinians opened fire in the center of Tel-Aviv, at the Sarona complex, a symbol of modern lifestyle.  The death toll is heavy: four Israelis were killed and many more were injured. This bloody event is the worst since the beginning of the year. Overall, 32 Israelis were murdered in terrorists attacks since last October. Hamas welcomed the murderous act and announced that the two perpetrators are members of the organization, without however taking official responsibility for the attack. As long as the Palestinian political organizations praise such abominable events and describe them as ‘heroic operations’, it is certain that peace and stability in the area would be constantly postponed. The same is true for the Palestinian residents, who also welcomed the attacks. Unfortunately, while Israeli medical staff is working hard to save the life of one of the perpetrators, the Palestinian authorities gloat about these crimes and encourage citizens to take similar action in the future.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece considers that the strong condemnation of such hideous events has to be self-evident for any political organization and every democratic citizen. Finally, our thoughts are with the victims’ families, to which we express our deepest condolences.

Athens, June 10, 2016

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
ATHENS MAYOR KAMINIS TAKES A STAND AGAINST ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 07:54

Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis in an exclusive interview to Victor Eliezer for “Alef” magazine, edited by the Athens Jewish Community, (issue no 60), spoke about his clear stance against anti-Semitism and referred to pressing issues as the rise of neonazism. Some characteristic excerpts from the interview:  

Q: You recently signed the declaration of Mayors against anti-Semitism. Why did you decide to sign this petition? What made you think that Athens should join the network of cities that are against anti-Semitism?

A: It was self-evident that I should sign the Mayors’ declaration. Athens is a city of tolerance, a capital that shines at the fight against discriminations based on color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. This is our Municipality’s main principle. We have built a permanent front against intolerance, fanaticism and violence.

Q: Which do you think is the reason why ideas that adopt racism and xenophobia have been strengthened and spread among our society, nearly 70 years after Europe was done with Nazism?

A: Throughout modern history the main reasons for the strengthening of extreme tendencies are always poverty and misery, as well as the marginalization of several social groups, which are most affected by the financial and social crisis. For this reason, it is the duty of every public institution, such as Municipalities, to embrace the people that are most affected by the crisis, in order to avoid their embracement –for selfish reasons – by other organizations. The social structures of Athens supply with food and essentials more than 25.000 people in the city.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON ANTISEMITIC STATEMENT LAUNCHED BY GOLDEN DAWN MP Print E-mail
Monday, 06 June 2016 13:21

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement with regard to the anti-Semitic statements launched by ‘Golden Dawn’ MP Christos Pappas, during a parliamentary session:

On May 31st, 2016, anti-Semitic statements were once again heard inside the Greek Parliament. More specifically, during a conference of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs,Golden Dawn’ MP Christos Pappas, fulminated against Israel, claiming that Israel constitutes «the eternal enemy of Greece and Orthodoxy».

It is not surprising that such a statement was made by a member of the ‘Golden Dawn’. The anti-Semitism of ‘Golden Dawn’ is so profound that they even deny the existence of the extermination camps. However, it is still infuriating the fact that this kind of statements are heard in the Parliament of the Hellenic Republic.

For our part, as the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, we would never get tired of denouncing every anti-Semitic statement, every stereotypical characterization against the Jews and the State of Israel. However, we will always demand from the State to undertake any necessary action, in order to condemn immediately, officially and, above all, unequivocally any similar anti-Semitic statements. The fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry is a daily struggle. We therefore have to fight with dedication and perseverance.


Athens, June 3, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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THE GREEK FLAG HEADED THE 2016 MARCH OF THE LIVING Print E-mail
Friday, 13 May 2016 13:33

Τhe March of the Living, a march in memoriam of the victims of the Holocaust, took place on May 5th, 2016, in Auschwitz, Poland. The march follows a route of 3 km from Auschwitz to Birkenau concentration camp.

Following the initiative of  chief rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the Greek flag was put at head of this year’s march, along with a banner reading “Anti-Semitism equals antichristianism”, a slogan inspired by the Bishop of Dimitrias and Almyros, Mr. Ignatios. The Greek flag, in this honourable position in front of all the world flags and official guests, was carried by the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and President of the Jewish Community of Volos, Mr. Marcel Solomon.

People were marching alongside the rails of the trains that used to unload families so that it would be decided who was to put to death in gas chambers  and who was going to “live” in the concentration camp. In front of the Greek flag, the parade was led by a survival of the Holocaust, Mr. Edward Mosberg, who was born in Krakow on 1926 and has the number 85454 on his arm.

In his speech, chief rabbi Lau underlined that anti-Semitism is hatred against humanity. “Anti-Semitism did not die in Auschwitz. It just changed its words, its slogans, so we must be careful in order to avoid repetition of the crimes of the past”, he said.

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