GREECE


GREECE
GREECE (Heb. יָוָן, Yavan), country in S.E. Europe. -SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD (TO 330 C.E.) Although the earliest known Jews on the Greek mainland are to be found only from the third century B.C.E., it is highly probable that Jews traveled or were forcibly transported to Greece by way of Cyprus, Ionia, and the Greek isles by various enemies of Judah during the biblical period (cf. Joel 4:6; Isa. 66:19; see javan ). The first Greek Jew known by name is "Moschos, son of Moschion the Jew," a slave mentioned in an inscription, dated approximately 300–250 B.C.E., at Oropus, a small state between Athens and Boeotia. This date coincides with the reign of the Spartan king areios i (309–265), who, according to later sources, corresponded with the Judean high priest Onias (I Macc. 12:20–1; Jos., Ant., 12:225). If this fact is to be accepted (cf. S. Schueller, in: JSS, 1 (1956), 268), one can assume that such a correspondence entailed a certain amount of Jewish travel to Greece and is thereby possibly connected with the establishment of a local Jewish community. Further growth of the Jewish community probably took place as a result of the Hasmonean uprising, when numbers of Jews were sold into slavery. At least two inscriptions from Delphi (Frey, Corpus, 1 (1936), nos. 709, 710) from the middle of the second century B.C.E. refer to Jewish slaves. Among those Jewish fugitives to reach Sparta during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the high priest Jason (II Macc. 5:9). During the Hasmonean period the Jewish community in Greece spread to the important centers of the country, and from the list of cities in I Maccabees 15:23 – probably dating to the year 142 B.C.E. – it appears that Jews already resided at sparta , Delos, Sicyon, Samos, rhodes , kos , Gortyna (on crete ), Cnidus, and cyprus (cf. F.M. Abel, Les Livres des Maccabées (1949), 269). A similar list of Jewish communities in Greece is transmitted by Philo (Legatio ad Gaium, 281–2), and thus reflects the situation during the first century C.E. Among those places containing Jews Philo lists "Thessaly, Boeotia, Macedonia, Aetolia, Attica, Argos, Corinth, and most of the best parts of the Peloponnesus. Not only are the mainlands full of Jewish colonies but also the most highly esteemed of the islands of Euboea, Cyprus, and Crete." That a sizable Jewish colony existed at Delos is further attested by the Jewish inscriptions in the area, including a number from the local synagogue (Frey, Corpus, 1 (1936), nos. 725–731; cf. Jos., Ant., 14:231–2, regarding Jews of Delos who are also Roman citizens). It may be assumed that the community at Rhodes was in close contact with the Judean king Herod, who is known to have generally supported the needs of the island (Jos., Wars, 1:424; 7:21; Ant., 16:147). The Jews of Crete are also mentioned by Josephus in reference to the imposter claiming to be the prince Alexander, who had been put to death by Herod (Jos., Wars, 2:103). The second wife of Josephus was also a resident of Crete (Jos., Life, 427). The Jewish population of Greece probably grew considerably during and after the Jewish War (66–70), and in one case Josephus relates that Vespasian sent   6,000 youths from Palestine to work for Nero at the Isthmus of Corinth (Wars, 3:540). An extremely large and powerful Jewish community also existed by the second century on Cyprus, for during the Jewish wars under trajan (115–7) the capital of Cyprus, Salamis, was laid waste by Jewish inhabitants and thousands of non-Jews were murdered. The consequence of this uprising, however, was a total ban on Jewish residence on the island, under pain of death (Dio Cassius 68:32; Eusebius, Chronicon 2:164). After Trajan, Hadrian (117–138) retorted with severe penal laws against the Jews, prohibiting circumcision, but these laws were allowed to lapse by Antoninus Pius (138–161), and henceforth the Jews were accorded a larger degree of tolerance. From the second century they were subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of a hereditary patriarch resident in Palestine. The Jews of the Diaspora early forgot Hebrew and adopted Greek (except for liturgical purposes), using a translation of the Bible – the Septuagint – which was begun at Alexandria under Ptolemy II. Apart from Cyprus, Greek Jews did not suffer any particular upheaval during the Roman period, and the ancient Jewish settlement served as a foundation for the Jewish settlement during the Byzantine period (from 330 C.E., see below) – when the capital of the Roman Empire was removed to Constantinople – and a basis for Jewish settlement in other Balkan countries (see individual countries). (Isaiah Gafni) -EARLY AND MIDDLE BYZANTINE PERIODS (330–1204) Byzantium's secular institutions, with the emperor at their head, gave her long periods of stability, while in the West the Church added to the feudal disorder. These characteristics had their bases in the seventh-century Heraclian dynasty, which brought agrarian reform and a reorganization of the provinces, producing an army from small landowners and controlling the capital of the empire. The Heraclians were not only able to preserve their domains after Syria, Palestine, and Egypt had fallen and Constantinople had been besieged, but were also able to maintain their own authority against incursions from the outside. The struggle against Islam and the internal and external threats to imperial sovereignty were the dangers, which faced Byzantium up to the First Crusade. Her successes in these realms shaped her external and internal policy. The emperor received and held the secular and ecclesiastical support of the people, enough so that this did not become a problem to the underlying unity of the empire. Religious conflicts which existed were largely resolved by the emperor, a believing Christian, who decided for the Church who was a heretic and who was not. A far greater threat arose in the tenth century, when the Macedonian emperors had to fight against the attempts to destroy the foundations of Byzantine economic and military security through the acquisition of great estates, i.e., the liquidation of the smallholdings and the control of the soldiers settled upon them. Although the emperors were successful for a time, the end of the old order came in about the middle of the 11th century. Great landowners, partially independent from the emperor's influence, caused radical changes in the structure of Byzantine society. Additionally, the Normans in the western parts of the empire, the seljuks in Anatolia, and finally the Normans again – this time as Crusaders – succeeded in shattering the empire. Byzantine Jewry in the seventh century is assumed to have continued in the status it held during the Roman period, as urban life was preserved and with it the main centers of Jewish population. Greece suffered greatly from Slavic incursions but the towns were hardly affected. salonika 's Jewish history was unbroken and there were Jews in Rhodes and Cyprus. The Middle Ages, for the Jew at least, begin with the advent to power of Constantine the Great (306–337). He was the first Roman emperor to issue laws which dramatically limited the rights of Jews as citizens of the Roman Empire, which were conferred upon them by Caracalla in 212. With the growth of Christianity the Roman emperors were influenced to further restrict the rights of the Jews. Constantine denied the Jews the right of proselytizing and prohibited intermarriage and Jewish possession of slaves. The legal status of the Jews was established by Christian Rome in the fifth century, when Theodosius II (408–450) introduced specific regulations into his codification of the laws, in his Codex Theodosianus (438). The Jewish community was recognized legally, even though not in a friendly manner, and religious worship was protected. In the sixth century, although more hostile and interfering, Justinian I (527–565) left the basic situation unaltered. It remained so in the seventh century also. Leo III (717–741), in the next imperial compilation of laws, the Ecloga ("Selections," 740), made no reference to the Jews. This preservation of legal status was very important to the Jewish community, as the Christian heretic had no legal status at all. Formal protection of the law minimally meant that the Jew had a place in the social structure. Forced Conversion In 632 Heraclius ordered the conversion of all Byzantine Jewry. This was a major point in his program of strengthening imperial unity, as he looked on the Jews as a political threat. Feeling that the Jews had shared in Persian military successes, he wanted to minimize their independence and influence within the empire. This policy of forced conversion was extended to Christian heretics but never took root for the Jews, who continued to be active in the civic life of the empire. In 721 Leo III issued a decree, which later proved to be ineffectual, ordering all Jews to be baptized. In leading a new dynasty to power he, like Heraclius, wished to insure imperial unity and also may have suspected a lack of Jewish loyalty. The messianic movements to the East, having aroused fears in Leo's mind, had attracted Jewish support and may have caused the order to forcibly convert the Jews of the empire. In spite of these state actions Jewish prosperity still had   Major Jewish settlements in Greece. Jews are known to have settled in Greece in all the above periods, but in very few places was their settlement continuous, even within any specific period. Major Jewish settlements in Greece. Jews are known to have settled in Greece in all the above periods, but in very few places was their settlement continuous, even within any specific period. Although there were Jews in many cities in the contemporary period, their numbers in the early 21st century were insignificant except in Athens (3,000) and Salonika (1,100).   room for existence in the empire and the results of the decree were as limited as they were in 632, even though some Jews left the empire and some converted outwardly. The termination of this decree seems to have been by 740. The second Council of Nicaea in 787 reversed Leo's policy and criticized his handling of the Jews, proclaiming that Jews had to live openly according to their religion. According to Gregorios Asbestas, then metropolitan of Nicaea, the Jews who actually accepted Leo's inducements to convert were numerous enough to arouse this religious statement. Generally, these actions by Heraclius and Leo had little, if any, effect on the Jews of the empire. Basil I (867–886), like his predecessors, also made an effort to convert the Jews forcibly, possibly to increase imperial unity but more probably to show his hand as a knowledgeable ruler in religious matters. Failing, where earlier Christians had, to persuade the Jews to convert, he issued a decree of forced conversion about 874. Like the Byzantine rulers before him, he failed in his efforts. The legal code of the period, the Basilica, made no basic changes in what Justinian had to say about the Jews, i.e., their legal status in religious and communal affairs continued to be recognized, and in some sense protected. Leo VI (886–912) apparently tried to follow in his father's policies but quickly gave it up.   Under Romanus I Lecapenus (920–944), who ruled in Constantine VII's (913–959) stead, further forced conversions, as well as persecutions, of the Jews were effected. This possibly happened by 932 and definitely by 943. His policy is known to have caused considerable migration to Khazaria. These acts may have been caused by Romanus' insecurity on the throne, as Constantine was the legitimate ruler and the former looked for ways to insure his position. In any event the persecutions were particularly severe, surpassing those of his predecessors. They were stopped quite suddenly when Ḥisdai ibn Shaprut wrote to either Constantine or Helena, Romanus' daughter and the former's wife. The last 250 years before the Fourth Crusade seem to have been a relatively quiet period for the Jews of the empire and it can be inferred that the situation actually improved and that no attempts were made by the authorities at coercing the Jews to convert. Further emphasis of this situation is provided by the fact that when the monk Nikon (tenth century) incited the inhabitants of Sparta to banish the Jews from their midst, his words were to no effect. In Chios an expulsion decree in 1062 was issued against those Jews who had recently settled there. There is no reason to believe that during the First Crusade in 1096, which took place during the reign of Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, the Jews were attacked when the Crusaders passed through the Balkans. The Jewish quarters, however, were looted. In the general panic which struck the Jewish world, a messianic effervescence also came to the surface in Salonika, Adrianople, and other cities. It is related that certain communities left their homes for Salonika in order to sail to Palestine from there. A tremendous emotion seized the community of Salonika, where both the authorities and the archbishop showed a positive attitude to the messianic spirit. Social and Economic Conditions The legal disabilities of the Jews during the period, known from the Basilica, were minimal and included exclusion from service in the armed forces and the government, even though Jews had been employed as tax collectors on Cyprus during the first two decades of the 12th century. Jews were forbidden to buy Christian slaves, but this had little effect on them. No other restrictions existed concerning economic matters which did not also affect Christians. The charging of interest in trade and the purchase of land, except Church land, were permitted, although the emperors tried to control these matters for themselves. The question as to whether there was a specific Jewish tax seems to be open to a great deal of debate, but J. Starr (see bibl. The Jews in the Byzantine Empire) felt that such taxes did exist but were little enforced after the seventh century. In short, the taxes provided for by Theodosius II in 429, Justinian's Corpus, and again three centuries later in the Nomocanon had little more effect on the Jewish community in the later period than on the Christian one. Such legal restrictions which did exist included the absence of the right of Jews to testify in cases involving Christians; the overriding imperial authority over religious matters between Jews; the right of Jewish testimony before Jewish judges only in civil litigation between Jews; the prohibition of Judaizing; and the necessity for Jews to take an oath in legal cases, which was contemptuous of the Jewish faith. Nevertheless, circumcision was officially permitted, the Sabbath and the Festivals were protected, synagogues were allowed, and even though the building of new ones was formally proscribed, the prohibition was not rigidly enforced. Although the Jew was restricted, he was in a much better position than Christian heretics. Jews were active as early as the seventh century as physicians and skilled artisans, particularly as finishers of woven cloth (e.g., in Sparta), dyers (in Corinth), and makers of silk garments (in Salonika and Thebes). Jews were also involved in commerce and farming and as owners of land. In religious matters Hebrew remained the language of the Jews, although it was paralleled by the limited usage of Greek. Karaism began to appear in the empire in the tenth century (see Ankori, in bibl.) but only began to take root after the First Crusade. R. Tobiah b. Eliezer of Kastoria was an important Rabbanite spokesman. Aside from R. Tobiah little if any writing was apparently done in the areas of Midrash, Talmud, and halakhah during this entire period in Byzantium. There was literary activity in southern Italy, but then this area can only be included in the widest definition as to what was territorially part of Byzantine Greece. Additionally, about this time both Rabbanites and Karaites began to come to Byzantium from Muslim territory. benjamin of Tudela, the 12th-century traveler, states that in his time there were Jews in Corfu, Arta, Aphilon (Achelous), Patras, Naupaktos, Corinth, Thebes, Chalcis, Salonika, Drama, and other localities. The Greek islands on which Jews lived were Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, and Cyprus. He found the largest community in Thebes, where there were 2,000 Jews, while in Salonika there were 500, and in other towns from 20 to 400. The Jews of Greece engaged in dyeing, weaving, and the making of silk garments. After Roger II, the king of the Normans in Sicily, conquered some Greek towns in 1147, he transferred some Jewish weavers to his kingdom in order to develop the weaving of silk in his country. On Mount Parnassus Benjamin of Tudela found 200 farmers; there were also some serfs among the Jews. During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachus (1042–1055), there were 15 Jewish families in Chios who were perpetual serfs to the Nea Moné monastery. The Jews of Chios paid a poll tax – in reality a family tax – which the emperor transferred to the monastery. The Jews of Salonika also paid this tax. The majority of the Jews conducted their trade on a small scale and with distant countries. The Greek merchants envied their Jewish rivals and sought to restrict their progress. pethahiah of regensburg describes the bitter exile in which the Jews of Greece lived (see also byzantine empire ). -FOURTH CRUSADE AND LATE BYZANTINE PERIOD (1204–1453) Greece from 1204 to 1821 was the subject of many conquests, divisions, reconquests, and redivisions at the hands of the Normans   of Sicily, the Saracens, the Crusaders, the Venetians, the Genoese, the Seljuks, the Bulgars and the Slavs, the Byzantine emperors, the Cumans, the Ottoman Turks, and others. Greek Rule During this period Theodore Ducas Angelus, the Greek despot of epirus (?1215–30), who was defeated in 1230 by the czar of the Bulgars, John Asen II (1218–41), was notorious for his cruelty. Theodore added the kingdom of Salonika to his domain in 1223 or 1224, holding it until 1230. He initiated an anti-Jewish policy which other Greek rulers followed after him. Theodore apparently enriched himself by confiscating the wealth of the Jews, and refused them redress against his abuses. He is also charged with proscribing Judaism. After Theodore was defeated by John Asen, he was condemned to death and two Jews were ordered to put out his eyes. When they took pity on him and did not fulfill the emperor's order, they were thrown from the summit of a rock. The Greek rulers of the Empire of Nicaea were also harsh in their policy toward the Jews. John III Ducas Vatatzes (1222–54) apparently continued Theodore's decree against the Jews. The motive for persecuting the Jews is conjectural, but it seems to reflect the upsurge of nationalism in the provinces which remained under Greek rule. Jewish presence in the Latin states and in the areas ruled by the ambitious John Asen apparently strengthened the distrust, which the Greek rulers had for their Jewish subjects in both Asia and Europe. Bulgaria's territorial expansion might have offered a degree of relief for the Jews, but the decline of the Latin Empire must have had a negative effect on them. By 1246 John III had entered Salonika and controlled the area from Adrianople to Stobi and Skopje, including the town of Kastoria. With the restoration of Byzantine rule (in the guise of the Nicaean Empire) over a large part of the Balkans, various Jewish communities felt the weight of the rulers' anti-Jewish policy. Little information is available on this but it can be assumed that the communities of Kastoria, Salonika, and several others suffered from the Greek advances. Once the Greek "rump state" of Nicaea had recovered Constantinople under the leadership of Michael VIII Palaeologus (1258–82), the anti-Jewish policy became outdated. He then began to resettle and reconstruct the ravaged capital, evidently realizing that his program required the cooperation of all elements, other than those who were then hostile (notably the Venetians and the subjects of the kingdom of Naples). It is not known whether there were Jews in Constantinople when Michael captured it, but after his conquest he renounced the policy of John III and made it possible for Jews to return and live there quietly. From the end of the Latin Empire the Byzantine emperors began to recover part of the Peloponnesus, nevertheless being frustrated in part in their attempts by Murad I, who held Salonika from 1387 to 1405, and Murad II, who secured Salonika for the Ottoman Empire (1430–1913). The disintegration of the Byzantine Empire and in a large part its seizure by the Ottoman Turks led to generally favorable conditions for the Jews living within the Turkish sphere (see ottoman empire ; Covenant of omar ). Jewish Immigrations into Greece The important Jewish communities which existed after the Fourth Crusade were Crete, Corinth, Coron (korone ), modon , patras , and chios . The romaniots (Gregos) – the acculturized Jewish inhabitants of Greece – were Greek-speaking. Until recently Greek was still spoken by the Jews of Epirus, Thessaly, Ioannina, Crete, and Chalcis (see also judeo-greek ). From the end of the 14th century refugees immigrated from Spain to Greece, and from the end of the 15th century from Portugal and Sicily. Jews who were also expelled from Navarre, Aragon, Naples, Provence, and elsewhere in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean Papal States in the late 15th and 16th centuries migrated to the Greek Peninsula. In towns such as Trikkala, Larissa, Volos, and above all in Salonika the Sephardim introduced their own language and customs. With the flight of the Jews from Hungaria in 1376 (probably connected with the Black Death and the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe at the time) many Jews settled in the towns of Kavalla and Siderokastron; they brought their special customs with them. As a result of Sultan Suleiman's journey to Hungaria in 1525, a number of Jews emigrated from there to Greece (the Greek Peninsula), which was actually part of the Ottoman Empire then. The descendants of the Hungarian Jews were completely absorbed by the Sephardim after a few generations. A third group in Greek Jewry was that of the Italian-speaking Jews of Corfu, whose ancestors were expelled from Apulia in southern Italy. During the 16th and 17th centuries the Jewish population increased with the addition of the Spanish Marranos, who fled to the countries dominated by the Turks, and after the persecutions of 1648, Polish refugees. The congregations (kehalim) were organized according to the regions of origin, and by generation and migratory waves. The Salonikan kehalim from Italy, Lisbon, Catalan, and Sicily were each divided into Yashan (old) and Ḥadash (new) based on migratory waves. Thus, during the 16th century in Patras there were the following kehalim: Kehillah Kedoshah Yevanim ("Greek Holy Community"), Kehillah Kedoshah Yashan ("Ancient Community," of Sicilian origin), Kehillah Kedoshah Ḥadash ("New Community," refugees from Naples and smaller Italian towns), and Kehillah Kedoshah Sephardim ("Sephardi Holy Community"). In Arta there were kehalim whose founders had come from Corfu, Calabria, Apulia, and Sicily. -OTTOMAN (AND LATE VENETIAN) RULE (1453–1821) The important communities during the Turkish (and late Venetian) periods were, in the first place, Salonika, which was probably the largest Jewish community during the 16–18th centuries and which until the beginning of the 20th century was populated most of the time by a majority of Jews; Naupaktos; Patras, whose merchants were known as courageous travelers who went as far as Persia; Arta; Thebes, which was "renowned   for its wisdom" (responsa of Elijah Mizraḥi (Constantinople, 1559–61), No. 71); and ioannina (Janina), the largest Romaniot community. On Crete the Jews played an important part in the transit trade; the island was also known for its rabbis and scholars, notably the capsali family, delmedigo , and others. There were also some Jews on Cyprus. After the conquest of Rhodes by the Turks in 1552, Jews from Salonika arrived on the island, where their commercial role became an important one. The island also became a stopping place for pilgrims on their way to Palestine. It was widely known for its rabbis, especially the rabbinical dynasty of the israel family. When Sigismondo Malatesta conquered Mistra (Sparta) in 1465, he burned down the Jewish quarter. In 1532 when the forces of Andrea Doria attacked the Greek towns which were in the hands of the Turks, the Jews of Coron, Modon, and Patras suffered greatly. Their property was confiscated and they were taken captive. During the reign of Selim II (1566–74) Don joseph nasi was appointed duke of Naxos and the surrounding isles of the Cyclades. In 1669 the Venetian armies attacked the island of Chios. To commemorate the miraculous stand against their siege, the local Jews annually celebrated "Purim of Chios" on Iyyar 8. With the Venetian invasion of the Peleponnese in 1685, the Jews abandoned Patras in fear and fled to Larissa. They were also compelled to flee for their lives from the islands of the Aegean Sea. The Greek-Orthodox of the Peleponnese, who often rebelled against the Turks, massacred the Jews whom they considered allies of the Turks. During this period of confusion in the 18th century the communities of Patras, Thebes, Chalcis, and Naupaktos were greatly harmed and almost destroyed. In 1770, when Russia captured several sea towns of the Greek coast, the Ottoman Turks sent forces to the area. They did not differentiate between Greek-Orthodox and Jews and the Jewish communities of Patras, Thebes, Chalcis, and Lepanto (Naupaktos) were almost destroyed. Religious Culture Under Ottoman Rule The 16th century was the Golden Age of Salonikan Jewry, with religious figures like the decisors rabbi samuel de medina (Rashdam) and isaac adarbi ; rabbi joseph caro , who prepared a good part of his halakhic work Beit Yosef while residing 17 years in the city; the eminent Joseph Taitazak, gadol ha-dor (the foremost rabbi of his generation); Judah Abravanel; moses alshekh ; levi ben habib (the Ralbaḥ); Jacob ibn Verga; Eliezer ha-Shimoni; Joseph ben Lev; the paytan Solomon Alkabeẓ, author of the Sabbath hymn "Lekha Dodi"; and the poet Saadiah ben Abraham Longo. The talmud torah was a mammoth center that not only was a school for over 10,000 pupils and 200 teachers but had a printing press, produced fabrics, and served as the bank for the community where members kept their money. It relieved the individual kehalim from the financial burden of maintaining their own schools. Salonika as a world Sephardi center hosted the Beit Midrash Le-Shirah ve-le-Zimrah, which approved piyyutim before they were accepted into prayer. israel najara , a descendant of a Salonikan family, came to Salonika to develop and receive approval for his famous hymn "Ẓur mi-Shello Akhalnu." anusim left the Iberian Peninsula in the 16th and 17th centuries and returned to Judaism when they reached Salonika and other Ottoman communities. The physician Lusitanus arrived in Salonika with a profound knowledge of religious Judaism. He was an expert on the menstrual cycle, published numerous treatises on the subject, and established both a medical school and yeshivah when he settled in Salonika. The newly arriving anusim and veteran former anusim also brought religious fervor, fanaticism, and an acute and active messianism, which created great turbulence within the Jewish communities of the northern Greek Peninsula. Salonika hosted the false messiahs Solomon Molcho and Shabbetai Ẓevi ; the latter causing a great decline among Salonikan Jewry after he was proclaimed messiah in 1666. The Jewish masses were swept up in the messianic frenzy and abandoned traditional Jewish law and religious customs and beliefs. While the core supporters converted to Islam after Shabbetai Ẓevi was exiled by the Sultan, forced to convert to Islam, and finally died in Montenegro, most Jews did not convert. Strict religious takkanot were enforced within the Salonikan Jewish community. This did not prevent the community from falling into spiritual and economic decay, but in the 18th century many more religious exegeses were published than previously, in the new spirit of religious conservatism. Besides Salonika, which during the 16th and 17th centuries was a major Jewish center, there were also important rabbis and scholars in the smaller communities of Greece. During the 16th and 17th centuries these included Solomon Cohen (Mahar-SHa-KH) of Zante and the Peloponnesus; samuel b. moses kalai , the author of Mishpetei Shemu'el, of Arta; moses alashkar of Patras, the author of responsa; during the 18th century: Isaac Algazi, the author of Doresh Tov; Isaac Frances of Kastoria, the author of Penei Yiẓḥak; Ezra Malki of Rhodes, the author of Malki ba-Kodesh and other works; Jedidiah Tarikah of Rhodes, the author of Ben Yadid and other works; Isaac Obadiah of Patras, the author of Iggeret Dofi ha-Zeman; Eliezer b. Elijah ha-Rofeh ("the physician") Ashkenazi of Nicosia, Cyprus, the author of Yosif Lekaḥ on the Book of Esther. Economic Situation of the Jews During the Turkish period (1453–1821) the Jews of Greece were principally engaged in the crafts of spinning silk, weaving wool, and making cloth. They also controlled an important part of the commerce, money lending, and the lease of the taxes. In the Greek islands under Venetian rule the Jews only engaged in retail commerce, as the larger type of commerce was the monopoly of the Venetian nobility. Under Turkish rule, however, the wholesale trade was concentrated in Jewish hands. The Jews succeeded in developing connections in Italy, France, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and in the Orient with Constantinople, Izmir, and Alexandria. The merchants of Kastoria traded in hides, furs, cattle, metals, and broken silver   vessels. The Jews of Naupaktos were engaged in the trade of palm branches. At a later stage the tobacco, grain, sesame, hashish, and raw hides trades became those of the Jews. However in Thessaly, the Peloponnesus, and the Balkans the Jews engaged in peddling and tinsmithing, living in extreme poverty. In Salonika all the port activities were in Jewish hands and the port was closed on Sabbaths and Jewish festivals. -GREEK INDEPENDENCE (1821)–WORLD WAR II (1940) With the outbreak of the Greek revolt in 1821 Greek Jewry suffered intensively because of its support of and loyalty to Ottoman rule. In those towns where the rebels gained the upper hand, the Jews were murdered after various accusations had been leveled against them. In the massacre of the Peloponnesus 5,000 Jews lost their lives; the remainder fled to Corfu. From that time the condition of the Jews who lived among the Greeks, even within the boundaries of Turkish rule, began to deteriorate. From time to time there were blood libels, such as in Rhodes (Turkish until 1912; Italian until 1947) in 1840. In 1891 disorders broke out on the Greek islands; the Jews left in panic. During the same year there was also a blood libel in Corfu (Greek, from 1864). The Jews on the island, as well as on the neighboring island of Zante, were attacked. About 1,500 Jews left the Greek islands and settled in Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. The Jews of Corfu suffered a large-scale blood libel in 1891; for three weeks the Jews were locked into their ghetto during continual rioting, some 22 Jews died, and in light of apathy on the part of the Greek army, the Great Powers sent ships-of-war off the coast in order to pressure the government to restore order. Even the active participation of the Jewish citizens of Greece in the war against Turkey in 1897 was not mentioned in their favor; with the end of the hostilities in Thessaly, anti-Jewish riots broke out and an important part of the Jewish population was compelled to seek refuge in Salonika. At the beginning of the 20th century there were about 10,000 Jews in Greece. After the Balkan War (1912–13), with the annexation of further territories in 1912, which included Salonika, Chios, Crete, Epirus, Kavalla, and Phlorina, their numbers grew to 100,000. After the population exchanges between Turkey and Greece as a result of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) and the arrival in Salonika of 100,000 Greeks from Anatolia, the status of the Jews deteriorated because of the increased competition in commerce and the crafts. Many Jews were compelled to leave the city. The Asia Minor refugees introduced legislation in Salonika in 1924 forbidding work on Sunday, thus compelling Salonikan Jewry either to lose a day's work or break the Sabbath. When the legislation was promulgated nationally, Jews began leaving Ioannina for Ereẓ Israel. In the late 1920s, zealous elements amongst the Asian Minor refugee population continued to bait Salonikan Jewry and incited them in the Salonikan daily Greek newspaper Makedonia. In 1931, Isaak Cohen, a young Jew from Salonika and member of Maccabi who went to Sofia for a regional Maccabi meeting, was falsely accused on the front page of Makedonia of going to Bulgaria for Macedonian nationalist meetings and riots broke out against Salonikan Jewry in much of the eastern part of the city, which was heavily Jewish. The Campbell neighborhood, which housed Jewish fishermen and port workers, who had become homeless after the devastating 1917 fire, was burned to the ground by the student EEE (Nationalist Greek Union) and Jewish migration ensued to Ereẓ Israel. On the other hand, the economic position of the Jews in the provincial towns of Epirus, Thessaly, Macedonia, and the islands did not arouse the jealousy of their neighbors. Until World War II the situation of the Jews in Greece was satisfactory. They controlled the markets of paper, textiles, medicines, glassware, ironware, wood, and hides, and were also represented in heavy industry, international commerce, and banking. Many Jews were also employed in manual labor as stevedores, coachmen, and fishermen, as well as in various handicrafts. The number of Jews in Greece on the eve of World War II was 77,000. Civic and Cultural Conditions of the Jews Greece recognized the civic and political equality of the Jews from the time of its establishment as a modern state in 1821. In 1882 legal status was granted to the Jewish communities. This status was confirmed on various occasions when laws defining the privileges and obligations of the communities were passed. The community councils, which were elected by general suffrage, were responsible for the religious, educational, and social affairs. At the beginning of the 20th century the Alliance Israélite Universelle still maintained a number of Jewish schools in Greece. The Jewish schools were attached to the communities and did not have any attachment to religious or political trends. Jewish children attended the state schools and the religious studies were entrusted to ḥazzanim, who were content to teach the prayers in their traditional tunes. It was only in Corfu that the religious studies were of a higher standard. In those regions, which were under Turkish rule until 1912, such as Thrace, Macedonia, and Epirus, there was a Jewish school in every community, which was supported by the Alliance. The greatest concentration of Jewish schools was in Salonika. In Salonika alone, at the beginning of the 20th century, there were some seven schools under the auspices of this Parisianled Jewish school system. Between the two world wars there were 12 Jewish schools founded by the community, institutions of the Alliance, as well as private schools. In 1931 a law was passed which prohibited children of Greek nationality from attending foreign schools before they had completed their elementary education. This came as a fatal blow to the Alliance schools; the institutions of the Alliance amalgamated with the community schools in 1935. The Italians opened a seminary for the training of rabbis and teachers of Jewish subjects on the island of Rhodes, but it closed in 1938. -HOLOCAUST PERIOD The Italian army attacked Greece on Oct. 28, 1940, and the Germans invaded on April 6, 1941. According to statistics of   the salonika jewish community, 12,898 Jews, among them 343 officers, served in the Greek army and several hundred Jews fell in battle. The entire country was occupied on June 2, 1941, and split up among the Axis (German, Italian, and Bulgarian) forces. Treatment of the Jews differed from one occupied zone to another. German Zone Salonika was taken by German troops on April 9, 1941. Anti-Jewish measures were at once instituted, beginning on April 12 when Jewish-owned apartments were confiscated and the Jewish inhabitants ordered to vacate them within a few hours. Three days later, the members of the Jewish community council and other prominent Jews were arrested. A "scientific" delegation arrived from Germany for the purpose of plundering the community of its valuable Hebrew books and manuscripts for transfer to the Nazi "Institute for Jewish Affairs" in Frankfurt. Before long, the impoverishment of the community became overwhelming and the community council was unable to extend aid to all those who were in need. Contagious diseases spread and the death rate rose steeply, especially among the children. In July 1942 the men were sent on forced labor; a short while later, however, the community council made an agreement with the Germans, whereby it undertook to pay them the sum of 2,500,000,000 old drachmas, due Dec. 15, 1942, in consideration of which the Germans would refrain from drafting Jews for forced labor. At the end of 1942 Jewish-owned factories and groceries were confiscated and the well-known Jewish cemetery was destroyed. On Feb. 6, 1943, racial restrictions were introduced; Jews were ordered to wear a yellow badge and confined to a ghetto, while special signs had to be posted above windows and establishments belonging to Jews. Jews were also prohibited from using public transport and had to be indoors by sundown. The transfer to the ghetto, set up in a specially designated area, had to be completed by March 25, 1943. On February 25, the trade unions were ordered to expel their Jewish members; on March 1 the Jews had to declare all the capital in their possession, and 104 hostages were seized to ensure full compliance with this order. At this time, a rumor spread that the Jewish population was about to be deported to poland . The recently established Jewish underground warned the Jews of the danger confronting them, but little heed was taken and only about 3,000 escaped to Athens. The first transport of Jewish deportees left Salonika for the gas chambers on March 15, 1943, followed by further transports of 3,000 Jews each at intervals of two to three days. Thus, various sectors of the ghetto were systematically cleared of their inhabitants. Five transports left in the last two weeks of March, nine in April, and two in May; in June 820 Jews were dispatched to Auschwitz, the transport consisting of members and employees of the community council and teachers. On Aug. 2, 1943, skilled workers, "privileged" Jews, and a group of 367 Spanish citizens were sent to bergen-belsen , where they remained until Feb. 7, 1944. On Aug. 7, 1,800 starving Jewish forced laborers were brought to Salonika and deported from there in the 19th and final transport from Salonika to the death camps. In all 46,091 Salonika Jews were deported – 45,650 to Auschwitz and 441 to Bergen-Belsen – 95% of whom were killed. The renowned Salonika community, the great center of Sephardi Jewry, came to an end. Other Districts under German Occupation On Feb. 3, 1943, the chief rabbi of Salonika, Rabbi Ẓevi Koretz, was ordered to ensure adherence to the racial restrictions in the provincial towns under the jurisdiction of German headquarters in Salonika. These were the towns in East Thracia, near the Turkish border, as well as Veroia, Edessa, and Phlorina in central and eastern Macedonia. On May 9, 2,194 Jews from these towns were sent to Auschwitz. A few Jews were saved by the local population and the chief of police, e.g., in the town of Katherine. Prominent Greeks, among them the archbishop of Athens and labor leaders, tried to assist the Jews, and there were Greeks who offered shelter and helped the Jews escape to the mountains. ITALIAN ZONE The Italian forces controlled Athens and the Peloponnesus. As long as the zone was held by the Italians, the Jews were not persecuted, the racial laws were disregarded, and efforts were made to sabotage the Italian racial policy. After the Italian surrender (Sept. 3, 1943), however, the Germans occupied the entire country, and on Sept. 20, 1943, Eichmann's deputy, dieter wisliceny , arrived in Athens with detailed plans for the destruction of the Jews. Elijah Barzilai, the rabbi of Athens, was ordered by Wisliceny to provide a list of all the members of the Jewish community. Instead of doing so, the rabbi warned the Jews of Athens and himself fled to a provincial town. This enabled a considerable number of Athenian Jews to escape. On Oct. 7, 1943, juergen stroop , the hoehere SS und Polizeifuehrer in Greece, published an order in the newspapers, dated October 3, for all Jews to register, on penalty of death. Archbishop Damaskinos gave instructions to all monasteries and convents in Athens and the provincial towns to shelter all Jews who knocked on their doors. On March 24, 1944, the Athens synagogue was surrounded by the Nazis and 300 Jews were arrested; another 500 Jews were routed out of hiding. They were first interned in a temporary camp at Haídar and later sent to their death in Auschwitz on April 2, along with other Jews caught in Athens. The rest of Athenian Jewry hid with their Greek-Christian neighbors. The Jewish partisans supplied food to those in hiding in cellars and attics. BULGARIAN ZONE A large part of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia remained under Bulgarian occupation, including the towns of Kavalla, Serrai, Drama, Besanti, Komotine, and Alexandroupolis (Dedeagach). Over 4,000 Jews from Thrace and over 7,000 from Macedonia were deported by the Bulgarians (see Bulgaria, Holocaust ) to the gas chambers in Poland; about 2,200 Jews survived. The total number of Jews in Greece sent to death in the extermination camps is estimated at 65,000 – about 85% of the entire Jewish population.   Jewish Resistance The conquest of Athens by the Germans on April 27, 1941, marked the end of open warfare. Over 300 Jewish soldiers and 1,000 other Jews joined Greek partisan units. The Jewish partisans sabotaged German military centers and military factories, blew up German supply ships, and severed lines of communication. A group of 40 Jewish partisans took part in the blowing up of Gorgopotamo Bridge, causing a break in the rail link between northern and southern Greece. At the beginning of 1943 partisan units made up entirely or primarily of Jews were set up in Salonika, Athens, and Thessaly, under the command of Greek or British officers. The Salonika partisan units gathered information on troop movements in Macedonia and transmitted it to partisan headquarters in Athens. In Thessaly the national resistance organization, set up by the Jews in the towns of Volos, Larissa, and Trikkala, was under the command of an aged rabbi, Moses Pesaḥ, who roamed the mountains with a rifle in his hand. The courage and heroism displayed by the Jewish partisans earned them the praise of field marshal Wilson, the commanding officer of the Allied Forces in the Near East. Their main task was the establishment of contacts between the various parts of Greece and the Allied general headquarters in Cairo. The Jewish partisans also succeeded in hiding hundreds of Jews in the mountains and remote villages. Others worked for the Germans under assumed names in such places as the port of Piraeus and carried out acts of sabotage. The greatest single heroic act of the Greek-Jewish underground was the mutiny of 135 Greek Jews in Auschwitz; they were members of a Sonderkommando, charged with cremation of the corpses from the gas chambers. With the aid of a group of French and Hungarian Jews they blew up two crematoriums. Attacked by the SS guards and by five planes, the rebels held out for an hour until all 135 were killed. -CONTEMPORARY PERIOD In the autumn of 1944, when Greece was liberated from Nazi occupation, over 10,000 Jews, almost all of them destitute, were in the country. A variety of factors (the general political instability, successive changes in the composition of the government, and the extended economic crisis) made the reconstruction of the Jewish community difficult. The Greek civil war also made emigration difficult for the Jews, as the majority of the men were obligated by the draft and could not receive emigration permits. After Greece's de facto recognition of the State of Israel a Greek cabinet committee decided (on Aug. 4, 1949) to permit Jews of draft age to go to Israel on condition that they renounce their Greek citizenship. Until the end of the 1950s about 3,500 Jews from Greece settled in Israel, 1,200 immigrated to the United States, and a few hundred others immigrated to Canada, Australia, South Africa, the Congo, and Latin American countries. In 1950 the number of Jews in Greece was about 8,000; in 1958 it was 5,209; and in 1967 about 6,500 Jews were scattered among 18 communities; 2,800 in Athens, 1,000 in Salonika (a number which rose to 1,300 by 1968), and 450 Jews in Larissa. As early as November 1944 a meeting of Athenian Jews elected a temporary council of 12 members that was recognized by the government as the representative of the Jewish community; in June 1945 the council was accorded legal status. During the war, almost all of the synagogues had been destroyed or severely damaged; the synagogue in Athens was reconstructed, however, as were synagogues in other cities. A major obstacle to the reestablishment of Greek Jewry was the question of restitution of property that was confiscated during the occupation by the Nazis and compensation for the Nazi persecution. Although the anti-Jewish laws were repealed in most areas in 1944, they were canceled in Salonika only in June 1945. The question of compensation, however, involved a slower process. In 1949 the Organization for the Assistance and Rehabilitation of Greek Jews was established by official order to deal with this problem, but its work made no progress for a number of years. In spite of the lack of legal evidence as to who was deported to death camps, an agreement was signed in Bonn in March 1960 between the governments of West Germany and Greece on compensation to Nazi victims. About 62,000 claims for compensation were registered under this law; 7,200 of them were by Jews, of which about 6,000 were registered by Jews living outside Greece who had lost their Greek citizenship, and thus also their right to compensation. During the first years after the liberation, Greek Jewry was materially supported by world Jewish organizations – the American jewish joint Distribution Committee, the jewish agency , etc. Only slowly did it rise above its state of poverty. As late as 1954 large numbers of survivors of the Holocaust continued to live in substandard conditions. Over the years the situation improved: unemployment decreased, and by the late 1960s the Jewish population included many artisans, merchants, retailers and wholesalers, industrialists (especially in clothing and textiles), free professionals, etc. In spite of the stormy changes that passed over Greece after the war – and in spite of the influence of Nazi propaganda during the occupation – organized antisemitism was not evident in Greece, and the people generally refrained from activities motivated by hate against the Jews, except for some isolated incidents. Strong cultural contacts exist between the Jews and the Greeks, and the rate of intermarriage is on the rise. A special problem arose from the fact that during the occupation a relatively large number of Jews participated in the struggle of the partisans and some of them afterward went over to the Communist camp. After the civil war the minister of defense issued a special order that clarified the position of the Jews who served in the ELAS brigades. He emphasized that these Jews were not to be viewed as "Communists," since during the Nazi occupation they had no choice but to flee to the mountains. Nonetheless, a number of Jewish partisans were executed. Five Jews who were condemned to death and 21 others who were deported to the islands were freed on the condition that they immigrate to Israel and renounce their Greek citizenship. When the situation in Greece became more stable,   the Jews slowly returned to civilian life. They participated in elections – and were even candidates on various party lists – and a few were absorbed into government positions. In 1964 a Jewish school existed in Athens with 150 pupils. Other areas were deprived of Jewish educational activities because of the small number of children and a shortage of teachers. The religious and communal life of Greek Jewry was very weak. Synagogues were empty except during the High Holidays. In the 1950s, in addition to the rabbi in Athens, there were rabbis in Volos, Ioannina, and Larissa; later there was only the one rabbi in Athens who also served as the chief rabbi of Greek Jewry. The Council of Jewish Communities was affiliated with the world jewish Congress and published a bimonthly; wizo carried on activities for women. In the 1970s the Jewish population of Greece was approximately 5,000; 2,700 in Athens and about 1,000 in Salonika. The Council of Jewish Communities was affiliated with the World Jewish Congress and published a monthly magazine, Chronika. Other Jewish publications were Jewish Review (monthly) and New Generation published by the Jewish Youth Organization of Athens. There were three rabbis in Athens, while Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos, and Chalkis were served by ḥazzanim. The Athens Jewish school had 150 pupils, and there were educational facilities in Thessaloniki and Larissa. Women were particularly active in communal affairs and were organized in movements such as WIZO. There was also a chapter of B'nai B'rith and B'noth B'rith. The 1980s can be characterized as the beginning of an active historical commemoration of the Judeo-Greek and the Sephardi heritages in Greece. Greek Jewry had aged, but a new generation of youth was being educated. Assimilation had taken a great toll and the legalization of civil marriages by the Papandreou government in the early 1980s greatly accelerated the process. Since then, most marriages were mixed and conducted outside of the synagogue, and there was no compelling need for the female to convert to Judaism. Jewish communities dwindled due to deaths in places such as Corfu, and Ioannina, and in Didamotiko, Zakynthos, and Cavalla deaths of influential leaders and the elderly brought Jewish communal life to an end. During the Lebanon War, Greek society was very critical of Israel and hostile to Israeli tourists and athletes. The press and the media vociferously condemned Israel for invading Lebanon, the course of the war, the bombing of civilian targets, and its treatment of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Greek Jewry was very uncomfortable during this period. Until 1985, yad vashem had only recognized 42 Greeks as Righteous Gentiles during the Holocaust. By 1994, 160 were recognized. In October 1992, at the dedication of Yad Vashem's Valley of the Communities, Greek Jewry was represented with stones for the communities of Salonika and Rhodes, and one general stone with the names of the other annihilated Greek Jewish communities by the Germans in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem established a room in their archive in memory of the annihilated Jewish community of Rhodes, and a foyer with an exhibit on the destroyed Salonikan Jewish community. In July 1994, Yad Vashem recognized the late Princess Alice as a Righteous Gentile for saving two Jewish families in Athens in WWII. Her son, Prince Philip of England, and daughter came to Jerusalem for the ceremony. Greek opposition leader Miltiadis Ebert came to Yad Vashem in 1995 for a ceremony honoring his father, Angelos Ebert, deceased Athens police chief, who had issued new identification cards with Greek names to thousands of Jews during WWII. In 1999 at Yad Vashem, Bracha Rivlin, Yitzchak Kerem, and Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky published Pinkas Kehillot Yavan, a memorial volume on the history of the past Jewish communities of Greece destroyed in the Holocaust. The Holocaust Museum of Kibbutz Loḥamei ha-Gettao't established a permanent exhibition on Salonikan Jewry, the largest Jewish community of Greece annihilated in the Holocaust. The Jewish Museum in Athens was founded in 1979 by the art historian Nikos Stavroulakis. After several years, it moved from Amalias Street to a new building purchased on Nikis Street. Stavrolakis in the late 1990s also restored the neglected synagogue of Chania, Crete, and turned it into a Jewish museum. Greek Jewry, in particular in Athens, lost many of its elderly dynamic leaders. Owing to transportation problems in vast Athens, Jewish elementary school enrollment greatly decreased. The Jewish summer camp in Loutraki, operated by the Salonikan Jewish community, serving all the Jewish youth of Greece, increased its enrollment significantly in the latter half of the 1980s. The retiree, Moshe Halegua officiated as rabbi in Salonika in the late 1980s. Rabbi Elie Shabetai left his position in Athens at KIS to serve in Larissa. Several antisemitic events were passed over in the 1980s with little publicity and repercussions. During the Lebanon War, the doors of the Corfiote synagogue were damaged. In the 1989 Greek election campaign, the campaign staff of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou fabricated a photo of opposition leader Mitsotakis embracing two Nazis, when the latter was a resistance officer in Crete. In Larissa, the Holocaust martyrs' memorial was defaced several times with antisemitic graffiti. In the 1980s Greek society shared identification with Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Prime Minister Papandreou laid a wreath for Greek Jewry at Auschwitz in November 1984. In the 1980s, 40 years after the Holocaust, Jewish survivors from Greece began to speak of their World War II experiences. By the early 1990s several books of Greek Jewish survivor testimonies were published. In 1985, "Dor Hemshech," the second generation of Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv, was founded. It publishes an annual publication on Greek Jewry and the Holocaust on Yom ha-Shoah. The Salonikan Jewish community has been active in preserving its rich history. Local Jewish community historian Albertos Nar established the Salonikan Jewry Study Center in   1985. Salonikan Jewish academics founded the Society for the Study of the Jews of Greece, and organized a conference in fall 1991. Historian Yitzchak Kerem uncovered a rare photo collection of the Bulgarian deportation of Jews from Macedonia and Thrace in WWII to Treblinka. At Cambridge University, England, the Bulletin of Judeo-Greek Studies was founded to advance the field of the study of Greek Jewry since classical times. David Recanati published in 1986 the second volume of Zikhron Saloniki ("Salonika Memoir"). Greek Jewry received growing exposure through the arts. Films on Greek Jewry in the 1980s and early 1990s included Auschwitz-Saloniki, Ioannina, Athens, Jerusalem (Yitzchak Kerem & Israeli Television Society), and Because of that War (Yehuda Polikar). During the 1985–86 Austrian presidential election campaign, former UN secretary Kurt Waldheim was accused of WWII Wehrmacht activities in Yugoslavia and Greece as an intelligence officer outside of Salonika, and of connections to the deportations of the Jews of Ioannina, Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes. The Salonikan Buna (Auschwitz III) champion boxer Jacko Razon sued his former best friend and boxing apprentice Salomon Arouch and the producers for stealing his identity in the film Triumph of the Spirit. The problem of 700 Israeli Greek Holocaust survivors, who never received reparations from Germany, was aired on Israeli TV. The Israel government began to grant some of the survivors indemnities, but the Claims Conference, despite promises in writing in 1980 by its president Nahum Goldmann, did not recognize most Sephardi Holocaust survivors for German reparations. On May 7, 1995, Israeli Salonikan Auschwitz survivors appealed to the Israel High Court to upgrade their reparations payments parallel to German Jews. Prominent Greek Jews include filmmaker and author Nestoros Matsas, radio interviewer Maria Rezan, radio music commentator Jak Menachem, play director Albert Ashkenazi, Post Office Director-General Moisis Kostantini, former Energy Ministry Director General Raphael Moissis, retired brigadier-general Marcos Moustakis, and retired military colonels Edgar Allalouf and Doctor Errikos Levi. In the summer of 1993, the existing practice of listing one's religion on the identification card in Greece became a major news issue. A delegation of U.S. Jewish leaders met with Prime Minister Papandreou, and other officials, who promised to find a solution for the Jewish objections. The interior minister supported a change in the practice, but the political weight of the Greek-Orthodox Church was overwhelming. The European Parliament passed a decision noting that the obligation of entering one's religion on an identity card creates prejudice and is an infringement upon human rights. In the summer of 1991, there were anonymous threats to the Jewish summer camp in Loutraki. Several changes occurred within the Greek Jewish leadership. In the unprecedented holding of communal elections in fall 1993, the Jewish community of Salonika elected Andreas Sephiha as president. The new regime was committed to Jewish education, Jewish renewal and continuity, and historical restoration and commemoration. In Athens, Joseph Lovinger, Board of Greek Jewish Communities (KIS) chairman for many years, died and was succeeded by Nissim Mais, and later Mois Konstantini. The Beit Loḥamei ha-Getta'ot Holocaust Museum established a permanent exhibition on Salonikan Jewry in September 1993. At Bar-Ilan University, Shmuel Refael produced a temporary exhibit on Jewish life in Salonika. In New York in spring 1995, a Second Generation group of Salonikan Holocaust survivors was established by Dr. Joe Halio. For the Spielberg Foundation of the Shoah, Yitzchak Kerem filmed 99 Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors in the USA, France, and Israel, and Rena Molho interviewed several dozen survivors in Greece. Unfortunately, the Spielberg Shoah Foundation lacked the dedication to actively film Salonikan and other Greek Jewish survivors on a mass level in Tel Aviv. After the revelation of the Secret Archives in Moscow of captured documents taken from Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, hundreds of Salonikan Jewish community files as well as several from the Jewish community of Athens were microfilmed for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The Jewish population of Salonika increased to some 1,100 in 2000 from about 800 in the 1980s. Despite the establishment of numerous Holocaust memorials throughout Greece, media attention, and exposure to the Holocaust by both Jewish and non-Jewish Greek authors, the end of the 1990s marked a resurgence of Neo-Nazi activism and attacks on Jewish Holocaust targets in Greece. Worrisome was the secret and spontaneous international gathering of 500 Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers in Thessaloniki in 1999. Neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial literature was still published in Greece by publishing houses like Nea Thesis, and Eleftheri Skepsis (Free Thought). General antisemitic literature still flowed freely. The Greek government and the Greek Jewish community did not combat this danger. The small fascist Chryse Avge Party has been a very disturbing element. Remarks by antisemitic MP Yiorgos Karatzaferis about Greek Jewry or wild allegations about the Jewish roots of Greek politicians were generally not criticized by the government or Greek and Jewish organizations. Attacks on most of the public memorial squares and statues took place in 1999 and 2000. Holocaust memorials for the annihilated Jewish communities were tainted by antisemitic graffiti and vandalized in Larissa, Athens, Thessaloniki, and Chalkis. Some of the messages called for the Jews to leave Greece. Also the Jewish cemeteries in Thessaloniki and Athens were vandalized by both far left and Neo-Nazi groups. Opposed to Neo-Nazi activity in Greece, the Board of Jewish Communities (KIS) and general Greek-Orthodox groups have encouraged Holocaust education and commemoration. KIS encouraged students and authors to write essays on the Holocaust. In 1997, the Central Board of Jewish Communities   began an active public Holocaust education campaign. The active role of Greek television in the production of documentary films on Greek Jewry in the Holocaust in Greece has increased public awareness. The initiation of Jewish Holocaust squares and monuments in Athens, Salonika, Ioannina, Volos, Larisa, Castoria, Drama, Rhodes, and elsewhere has been a positive step in public Holocaust recognition in Greece. In 2000–1 the Jewish Museum in Greece began an educational Holocaust project with Greek public schools. In Autumn 2004 the first Greek Holocaust conference for educators was held in Athens. Following Neo-Nazi activity in the late 1990s and exacerbated by reactions to the second Palestinian Intifada, Greek antisemitism reached dangerous and unprecedented levels in the press, in desecration of cemeteries, synagogues, Holocaust memorials, and in threats and attempted attacks against Jewish institutions and individuals in Greece. Perturbing was the lack of condemnation by the Greek government and the Greek-Orthodox Church. Official revival and sponsorship by the Greek government and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Burning of Judas ceremony on Easter is equally heinous and surprising. Voices of Greek intellectuals and artists in support of Israel and Greek Jewry are rarely heard, and the singer Mikis Theodorakis created an international scandal with his pronouncements that the Jews and Israel are sources of all global evil and with his interview in Haaretz justifying his grandmother's belief in blood libel and Greek EON Fascist Youth Movement activities of the late 1930s. Neo-Nazi publications continue to be published actively in Greece, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been reprinted in Greek, and large segments of Greek society are influenced by conspiracy theories directed against world Jewry. In an October 2001 KAPA poll conducted amongst 622 households in greater Athens, 42% believed that 4,000 Jews intentionally did not go to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, while only 30% rejected the theory. In Salonika, a Jewish museum opened and the community was strengthened by the hiring of young Rabbi Frezis, a native Greek-speaking Athenian ordained in Israel. In Athens, a Chabad center was opened at the beginning of the 21st century. Relations with Israel The relations between Greece and Israel have generally been cool. Greece was the only European country to vote against the UN partition plan for Palestine in 1947. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Greece recognized the new state de facto, but for a time did not establish diplomatic ties with it. Diplomatic representations were set up in Athens and Jerusalem only in 1952, but not on the level of an embassy or legation. Greece usually supports the Arab side in disputes brought before the UN. However, shipping, air, and trade ties exist between the two countries. After the six-day war of 1967, Arab terrorists made Athens the scene of attacks on Israel air communications. In 1970 seven Arab terrorists were convicted by Greek courts and sentenced to various prison terms, from two to 18 years, for attacks on an El Al plane, throwing a bomb at the El Al office, killing a Greek child, and trying to hijack a TWA plane. In August 1970 when Arab terrorists hijacked an Olympic Air Lines plane and demanded the release of the seven convicted terrorists, the Greek government submitted to their blackmail and released them. After that incident, Greek authorities seem to have taken special precautions against the renewal of Arab terrorist activities on Greek territory. The main event of the 1980s was the culmination of the process lasting throughout most of the decade in preparing the terms and the establishment of full de jure diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel, which was technically achieved on May 21, 1990. With the election of the Socialist Pasok Party in 1982 under the leadership of Andreas Papandreou, gradual preparations were made for eventual full diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel. When the moderate Nea Demokratia Party came into power in 1989, full diplomatic relations with Israel were established. In November 1991, Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Mitsotakis paid an official state visit to Israel. Israel Ambassador Moshe Gilboa toiled for the exit of over 300 Albanian Jews, most of whom were of Greek Ioanniote origin, to immigrate to Israel. From the early 1990s relations between Greece and Israel have been cordial. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, returning to the premiership after sitting as opposition leader for four years, adopted a more moderate Israel policy than in the past. He apologized to Israel's deputy minister of foreign affairs, Yosi Beilin, for his past harsh policy toward Israel and his affinity for extremist Arab movements and countries. Following the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord Greek Defense Minister Gerasimos Ersenis visited Israel in December 1994. Greece and Israel signed a mutual military cooperation agreement. (Simon Marcus / Yitzchak Kerem (2nd ed.) -MUSICAL TRADITIONS OF GREECE AND THE BALKANS The eastern migration of Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula, at the end of the 15th century, toward the main centers of the Ottoman Empire, led to a synthesis of musical traditions in the Balkan Peninsula in which Spanish elements – of Mozarabic or medieval Christian origin – were deeply fused with Greco-Byzantine, Turkish, and Slavic ones. Among the Balkan Jews, three distinct stylistic traditions could still be discerned at least up through the late decades of the 20th century: (1) the Sephardi, which was most evident until World War II among the Jewish cultural centers of Salonica, Larissa, and Volos (Greece) as well as in Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Monastir (Bitolj, Yugoslavia), Bucharest, and Creiova (Romania). This Sephardi musical tradition differed from those of the dominant Arabic communities of the Near East, as well as the Andalusian in northern Morocco, and the Portuguese, which was more prominent in Western Europe (Amsterdam, Bayonne, Leghorn (Livorno), etc.). (2)   The romaniot , evident in such isolated centers of continental Greece as Arta, Chalkis (Euboea, Negroponte), Ioannina, Patras, and Trikkala, and Crete, preserved remnants from the musical and liturgical traditions of the Byzantine period, in spite of the overwhelming influence of the Sephardi newcomers. The Romaniot Jews maintained a Judeo-Greek dialect in their hymnographic tradition, whose characteristic melodic conventions evolved independently during the 16th through 18th centuries. Even though they adopted the Sephardi rite in their liturgy, they did not entirely abandon their traditional music. (3) The Italianate, evident on the island of Corfu and neighboring centers – such as Zante – reflected the liturgical and musical influences of southern Italy which the Jews carried with them as early as the 14th and 15th centuries. A similar influence, traceable to Venice, was apparent in the now extinct Sephardi communities of Dalmatia – such as Dubrovnik, Split, and Vlona. The chant of Balkan Sephardim, which was directly linked to that of the communities of Asia Minor (Izmir and Rhodes), integrated Greek and Turkish elements. The Makam scales of ḥiijāz and ḥiijāz Kar were widely used in secular songs; the Phrygian cadence (a-g-f-e) was frequent, while the Makam Sika (Siga) was preferred for the reading of the Torah. The stylistic differences between the men's and women's repertoire, however, was not as striking as one might surmise. The men's style, more Orientalized (microtonal) and ornamented, had been influenced by the florid kontakionic and kalophonic styles of Byzantine hymns and chants, respectively, and by the florid Muslim chant which was practiced mainly in the synagogue repertoire. The women, who preserved a domestic repertoire in Judeo-Spanish, sang in a more relaxed manner, yet with varied degrees of vocal ornamentation, microtonal inflection, and in a medium to high vocal register. Within the more predominantly Greek communities, the 15th-century Castilian ballads (romances) which had survived in their repertoire were stylistically different from ballads sung in other centers of the Balkans and northern Morocco. The predominant Greek traits included those that were found in Greek klephtic songs, wherein the textual hemistichs did not coordinate with the melody phrases, and the popular ⅞ epitrite dance meter. Even their texts varied greatly from those preserved in non-Greek centers. Like the folksongs of pre-World War II Greece, the varied Sephardi communities also assimilated elements from classical Greek and Byzantine church music. Chants, songs, and hymns in Judeo-Spanish played an important role during the varied liturgical and paraliturgical occasions. The chants, sung as vernacular translations of Hebrew texts, could be heard during the removal of the Torah scroll from the Ark, as well as the homiletic translations of Jonah, and the haftarah sung on the Ninth of Av. The songs were interspersed during the reading of the Haggadah; and the hymns were fervently rendered for Simḥat Torah. The earlier Byzantine ("Romaniot") style flourished much more overtly in the areas where Judeo-Greek was spoken, particularly in Ioannina, Chalkis, and partly in Corfu. The men's synagogal chant was highly influenced by the Greek kalophonia and the microtonal intonations of the surrounding Greek and Muslim cults (as in Ioannina). Among the women, the style was plaintive, with minimal ornamentation and flourishes, and there existed the ancient practice of singing funeral lamentations mainly as distichs or quatrains bearing short verses that were sung responsorially or antiphonally. The women were also assigned the singing of paraliturgical hymns, like those on Purim, often based on midrashic traditions. These songs flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries, coinciding, more or less, with the post-Shabbatean period that also gave rise to the mystic brotherhoods. The traditional literature of liturgical music was performed in rhymed distichs or quatrains, often with refrains or intercalations in Hebrew, which revealed the existence of a more ancient homiletic tradition, preserved both orally and in manuscripts. It reached its highest level in the 17th century with the poet-composer Samuel Hanen. Three distinct traditions coexisted and still exist to some degree among the Corfiote communities in Tel Aviv and Trieste: 1) the Italian or Pugghiesi (from Salento in Apulia-Puglia), which has remained the only important witness to the tradition of the medieval Jewish communities of southern Italy; 2) the Greek or "Romaniot," which was similar to that of Ioanina; and 3) the Sephardi. Some are sung alternatively in four languages (Judeo-Greek, Italian, Judeo-Spanish, and Hebrew) which confirm this symbiosis. A well-known bilingual folksong, which concerns a lubricious quarrel between mother and daughter, provides a good example of the differences of class and culture between the more bourgeois and assimilated Greeks, and the earthier Pugghiesi. However, the translations in the ancient Apulian dialect and the songs of this tradition, which are included in the Passover Haggadah, were the common property of all Corfiote Jews. A considerable number of manuscripts bear witness to the existence of a Minhag Corfu, rich in piyyutim, such as the elegy on the destruction of the Temple, for the Ninth of Av, in the Apulian-Venetian dialect. The chant of the Pugghiesi displays a singular persistence of medieval styles, also preserved in Greco-Italic church chants (mainly in those of the 8th mode). The more recent religious synagogue and domestic chants, Sabbath hymns, and popular poems in Hebrew, or in their Italian translation, are performed as polyphonic settings for three to six voices, similar to the folksongs sung among the gentile populations in the Adriatic-Dalmatic region. (Leo Levi / Israel J. Katz (2nd ed.) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: GENERAL: B.D. Mazur, Studies on Jewry in Greece (1935); Joshua Starr Memorial Volume (1953). SECOND TEMPLE AND ROMAN EMPIRE PERIOD: Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 55–57; Lewis, in: JSS, 2 (1957), 264–6. BYZANTINE PERIOD: J. Starr, The Jews in the Byzantine Empire, 6411204 (1939); idem, RomaniaThe Jewries of the Levant after the Fourth Crusade (1949); idem, in: PAAJR, 11 (1942), 59–114; idem, in: JPOS, 15 (1935), 280–93; idem, in: Byzantinisch-neugriechische Jahrbuecher, 12 (1936), 42–49; idem, in: JQR, 38 (1947), 97–99; J. Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue (1934), index; J.R. Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source   Book, 3151791 (1938), 3–8; S. Krauss, Studien zur byzantinisch-juedischen Geschichte (1914); idem, in: Recueil jubilaire en l'honneur de S.A. Rosanès (1933), 53–67; M. Molho, Histoire des Israélites de Castoria (1938); E.S. Artom and M.D. Cassuto (eds.), Takkanot Kandiyya ve-Zikhronoteha (1943), passim; G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (1956, 19682), index; Z. Ankori, Karaites in Byzantium (1959), 148–50; A. Sharf, in: World History of the Jewish People, second series, 2 (1966), 49–68; Perles, in: Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 2 (1893), 569–84; Kaufmann, ibid., 7 (1898), 83–90; E. Csetényi, in: Etudes orientales à la mémoire de Paul Hirschler (1950), 16–20. OTTOMAN RULE AND INDEPENDENT GREECE UNTIL 1940: M. Molho, in: Homenaje a Millás Vallicrosa, 2 (1956), 73–107 (Fr.); Rosanes, Togarmah, passim; AZDJ, 54 (1890), 3–4. HOLOCAUST PERIOD: M. Molho and J. Nehama, In memoriam: Hommage aux victimes juives des Nazis en Grèce, 3 vols. (1948–53); idem, Sho'at Yehudei Yavan 19411944 (1965); I. Kabeli, La Contribution des juifs à la libération de la Grèce (1946); idem, Troisétapes de la tragédie juive en Europe (1946); idem, in: YIVO Bleter, 37 (1953), 205–12; idem, in: YIVOA, 8 (1953), 281–8; Moissis, in: Les Juifs en Europe (19391945) (1949), 47–54; R. Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews (1961), 442–53 and index; G. Reitlinger, Final Solution (19682), 398–408; Melamed, in: Cahiers de l'Alliance Israélite Universelle, 95 (1956), 12–18; 96 (1956), 13–21; 97 (1956), 15–20; Roth, in: Commentary, 10 (1950), 49–55; Elk, in: Yad Vashem Bulletin, 17 (1965), 9–15; Sabille, in: Le Monde Juif, 6:49 (1951), 7–10; Neshamith, in: Mi-Bifnim, 22:4 (1960), 405–9; Yedi'ot Beit Loḥamei ha-Getta'ot, 22 (1960), 109–16; P. Friedman, in: Joshua Starr Memorial Volume (1953), 241–8 (bibliographical survey on Holocaust period in Greece). CONTEMPORARY PERIOD: D.J. Elazar … (et al.) (ed.), Balkan Jewish Communities: Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey (1984); J. Neḥama, in: Cahiers Sefardis, 1 (1946/47), 12–15; AJYB, 49 (1947/48), 434–6; S. Modiano, ibid., 54 (1953), 294–300; M.G. Goldbloom, ibid., 57 (1956), 359–65; V. Semah, ibid., 61 (1960), 217–22; 66 (1965), 399–405; P.R. Argenti, The Religious Minorities of Chios (1971); M. Novitch, Le Passage des Barbares, Nice (no date). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Rivlin, Y. Kerem, and L. Matkovetski, Pinkas Kehillot Yavan (1999); Y. Kerem, "Rescue in Greece in the Second World War," in Pe'amim, 27 (1986), 77–109. MUSICAL TRADITIONS: S.G. Armistead, "Greek Elements in Judeo-Spanish Traditional Poetry," in: Laografia, 32 (1979–81), 134–64; R. Dalven and I.J. Katz, "Three Traditional Judeo-Greek Hymns and Their Tunes," in: The Sephardic Scholar, 4 (1979–82), 84–101; N. Kaufmann, "The Folk Songs of the Bulgarian Jews in the Past," in: Annual of the Social Cultural and Educational Association of the Jews in Bulgaria, 18 (1995), 184–209; A. Petrovic, "Sacred Sephardi Chants in Bosnia," in: World of Music, 24:3 (1982), 35–51; S. Weich-Shahak, "Childbirth Songs among Jews of Balkan Origin," in: Orbis Musicae, 8 (1982–83), 87–103; idem, "Wedding Songs of Sephardi Jews from Bulgaria," in: Dukhan, 12 (1989), 167–80; idem, "The Bosnian Judeo-Spanish Musical Repertoire in a Hundred Year Old Manuscript," in: Jahrbuch fuer musikalische Volks- und Vokerkunde, 14 (1990), 97–122; A. Shiloah, "Les chants de noce dans la tradition musicale des Juifs de Joannina," in: Le Foklore Macédonien, 5 (1972), 201–10; idem, Greek-Jewish Musical Traditions (Folkways Records, FE4201, 1978).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Greece — • History of the country and church Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Greece     Greece     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Greece — (englische Bezeichnung für Griechenland) bezeichnet: Greece (Stadt), eine Stadt im US Bundesstaat New York Greece (Vorort), ein Vorort im Monroe County im US Bundesstaat New York Siehe auch:  Wiktionary: Greece – Bedeutungserklärungen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Greece — Greece, NY U.S. Census Designated Place in New York Population (2000): 14614 Housing Units (2000): 6170 Land area (2000): 4.331068 sq. miles (11.217414 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.331068 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Greece, NY — U.S. Census Designated Place in New York Population (2000): 14614 Housing Units (2000): 6170 Land area (2000): 4.331068 sq. miles (11.217414 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.331068 sq. miles (11 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Greece — Greece, n. pl. See {Gree} a step. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Greece — (spr. Grihs), Städtischer Bezirk mit Postamt in der Grafschaft Monroe des Staates New York, am Ontariosee; 5000 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Greece — a country in southeast Europe on the Mediterranean Sea, which is a member of the EU. Population: 10,624,000 (2001). Capital: Athens. →↑greek …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Greece — c.1300, from L. Graecia; named for its inhabitants; see GREEK (Cf. Greek). Earlier in English was Greklond (c.1200). The Turkish name for the country, via Persian, is Yunanistan, lit. Land of the Ionians. Ionia also yielded the name for the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Greece — [grēs] country in the S Balkan Peninsula, including many islands in the Aegean, Ionian, & Mediterranean seas: in ancient times, the region comprised a number of small monarchies and city states: 50,949 sq mi (131,957 sq km); pop. 10,260,000; cap …   English World dictionary

  • Greece — /grees/, n. 1. Ancient Greek, Hellas. Modern Greek, Ellas. a republic in S Europe at the S end of the Balkan Peninsula. 10,583,126; 50,147 sq. mi. (129,880 sq. km). Cap.: Athens. 2. a city in W New York. 16,177. * * * Greece Introduction Greece… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.