GREECE - THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
- A Short History of the Jews of Greece by Nikos Stavrolakis . [October 2000]
- http://www.sephardicstudies.org/entrance.html Sephardic Genealogy Resources from the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture
- The Jewish Museum of Athens The Jewish Museum of Athens, 36 Amalias Avenue, Athens. Tel 323-1577
- http://www.haruth.com/JewsGreece.html [October 2000]
- indexing, Source: Daniel Kazez
- Synagogues Without Jews: see photos. "Jewish roots in Greece reach back to the time of Alexander the Great, mid-4th century B.C.E and to the dawn of the Hellenistic world, with its fusion of peoples, religions and cultures. The meeting of these cultures nourished the roots of nascent Christianity and the many-faceted Western civilization.Greek language and culture attracted much of the upper class in Judea. Under Hasmonean leadership, Judea revolted against the Hellenizers and the declining Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes IV. The victorious Hasmoneans purified and rededicated the Temple in 164 B.C.E., established an autonomous Jewish state, and set up a royal and priestly dynasty that lasted until 37 B.C.E. Tolerantly treated, the Jews adopted the Greek language.
- Emperor Constantine of the Eastern Roman Empire established his capital, Constantinople, early in the 4th century, in former Byzantium and granted equal status to Christianity and the pagan cults. In 380 C.E., Theodosius I adopted Christianity as the state religion and thereby rendered the Jewish position equivocal. Under Arab-Moslem rule, the Mamluks decreed that Jews must wear yellow turbans. Jews of the Romaniot (Greek) tradition continued to inhabit several large cities, especially Salonika.
- The 4th Crusade in 1204 was harsh to the Jews in Greece as the Crusaders conquered land southward from Salonika. However, the Turks regrouped and by the mid 15th century nearly all the Byzantine territories in Greece came under the control of the rising Ottoman dynasty. Jews from Spain and Portugal (1492-97) immigrated in large numbers to Greece until the Sephardic element culturally dominated the Jewish community as late as the aftermath of WW II. The loyalty of Greek Jewry to Greece during the war against Turkey in 1897 did not prevent anti-Jewish riots. Jews fled to Salonika for refuge. Most Ashkenazic immigrants from northern Europe arrived in the 19th century, among them the German banking family of Baron de Rothschild. After the Balkan war (1912-1913), the number of Jews in Greece increased to 100,000.Increased competition for jobs in the port city of Salonika caused a brief deterioration in Jewish livelihood. Despite state policy aimed at Hellenization and assimilation of ethnic minorities, Salonika's 75,000 Jews maintained 30 synagogues in some 40 active communities, with an active Jewish press in Ladino, French and Greek.
- After the Nazis occupied Greece, they pressured their Bulgarian and Italian allies to deport the Jews; 70,000 Greek Jews were sent to the extermination camps. Archbishop Damaskinos ordered monasteries and convents in Athens and other towns to shelter Jews. For his defense of the Jews in a letter to the Nazi General Stroop, the brave Archbishop got only threats of his own execution. Many Jews were saved by heroic action of Greek clergy, police and the resistance. Some Jews hid with Christian neighbors and escaped later by boat to Turkey. Eighty seven percent of Greek Jewry perished in the Holocaust, leaving 10,000 survivors. Rebuilding Jewish life in post-war Greece entailed a slow recovery, aided by various Jewish Institutions. Respected by their Christian neighbors, fewer Jews are now observant although they still tend to socialize mainly with other Jews.
- About 5,000 Jews remain in Greece today, resident primarily in Athens. The Greek government and the Greek national tourism organization view the Jewish heritage in Greece as part of their national heritage and concern themselves with the upkeep of orphaned Jewish sites. They have recently refurbished the Jewish Museum of Greece in Athens. On the island of Crete, the 17th century Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life) synagogue was restored as a research center on the history of the Jews of Crete. Perhaps the oldest synagogue site in Greece is a ruin from the 5th century B.C.E. in Athens' ancient market place, the agora at the foot of the Acropolis." [February 2009]
- Tragger, Mathilde. Printed Books on Jewish cemeteries in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem: an annotated bibliography. Jerusalem: The Israel Genealogical Society, 1997.
- Stavroulakis, Nicholas. The Jews of Greece: An Essay. Athens: Talos Press, 1990.
- Stavroulakis, Nicholas. Jewish Sites and Synagogues in Greece. Athens: Talos Press, 1992.
- The Jewish Travel Guide. London: Jewish Chronicle, 1992.
- Jewish Sites and Synagogues of Greece. __: Talos Press,1992. ISBN 960-7459-01-6.
- Galant, Abraham. Histoire des Juifs de Rhodes, Chio, Cos etc. Istanbul: Soci Anonyme de Papeterie et d'Imprimerie (Fratelli Haim), 1935. 177,ii p. p., facsims., 23 cm. Language: French. Most of the book deals with Rhodes and the rest with smaller communities: Chio, Cos, Lemnos, Metelin, Cassos, Castellorizo, Halki, Patmos, Calymnos, Symi, Carpathos, Leros, and Nyssiros.