Kol haKEHILA
The Newsletter of the Greek Jewish Monuments         VOL. 1, NO. 2, Fall 1998

Table of Contents
Editorial
Conservation of the synagogue of Veroia
by Elias V. Messinas
Professor Nandor Glid - Sculptor of the Holocaust Monument in Salonika  
A letter from Volos
by Asher J. Matathias
The Jewish Museum of Rhodes
Raphael Program 1998-1999 
Become a partner in Preserving Greek Jewish Monuments 

 Kol haKEHILA is an independent publication, published four times a year. Its purpose is to inform the general public on the state of the Jewish monuments in Greece today. Its goal is to encourage support, research and assistance towards the preservation of the Jewish monuments throughout Greece. Readers of Kol haKEHILA are encouraged to contribute information on research, documentation, preservation, exhibitions, new publications, and all other information relevant to the history, architecture, current state and preservation of the Greek Jewish monuments. Production and distribution of Kol haKEHILA is made possible through your support. 
This issue was written and edited by Elias V. Messinas. Special thanks to all those who supported Kol haKEHILA and contributed information. 
Editor:  Elias V. Messinas, AssocAIA, RA, Architect-researcher 
Address: Kol haKEHILA, POB 8062, Jerusalem 91080, Israel 
E-mail: elias.messinas@aya.yale.edu

mail to:
KOL haKEHILA

Opening the second issue of Kol haKEHILA, we would like to welcome all the new subscribers! All of you new members of our KEHILA, that joined our effort in the preservation of Greek Jewish monuments, have shown with your subscription and letters that this effort is a worthy cause, at a time when everything is lost to progress, assimilation, and high-technology. Your warm welcoming of this effort, which came in the form of letters, e-mails, postal cards and telephone calls, was the best proof that despite all, there is indeed a special group of people, our KEHILA, that is still interested and worried about the disappearing Jewish heritage of Greece. We thank you all, and we hope that this effort will continue, until we have secured the future of the existing Jewish monuments of Greece. 
As we promised in the previous issue, we are dedicating a large part of this issue to present in detail the project of the conservation of the synagogue of Veroia. This endangered synagogue, the oldest synagogue of northern Greece, is in the center of our attention, in an effort to complete the conservation effort that begun in 1994. In this issue we are also remembering the late Prof. Nandor Glid, the sculptor who created the Holocaust monument of Salonika, we are briefly previewing the Jewish Museum of Rhodes and the Raphael Program 1998-1999, we are presenting KEHILA members? letters, and our new subscribers - i.e. the new members of our KEHILA. 
Since the conception of Kol haKEHILA, we have been making every possible effort to make this newsletter available through the web. Our wish is to be able to provide not only an online newsletter, discussion groups, and other features to strengthen our KEHILA, but also to be able to hold online temporary, or permanent, exhibitions on Greek Jewish monuments and links to other related sites. Before we are able to realize this wish and have our own site, though, we have made the newsletter available online, at the site of the European Sephardic Institute, courtesy of Moise Rahmani, editor of Los Muestros. Kol haKEHILA extends its gratitude to the European Sephardic Institute for its hospitality! Please visit Kol haKEHILA online at www.sefarad.org. 
Before we close, we would like to thank Sam Gruber, director of the Jewish Heritage Research Center, and Prof. Carol Krinsky for their contribution to this issue. 
In the next issue we will feature among others a detailed presentation of the Raphael Program 1998-1999 that Greece, Italy and Germany prepared, in cooperation with the Center for Jewish Art in Jerusalem, towards the documentation and preservation guidelines for their synagogues; a presentation of the synagogue Kahal Kadosh Yashan, in Ioannina, the building that was chosen in Greek as a case-study for the Raphael program, and an update on the restoration of the synagogue of Chania, Crete, by Nicholas Stavroulakis, director of the project. 
Kol haKEHILA wishes to all the Jewish members of our KEHILA - Happy New Year 5758 to you and your families - Aniada buena y alegre para vostros todos i voestras famillas!

Conservation of the Veroia synagogue
by Elias V. Messinas, AssocAIA, RA


Interior of the synagogue of Veroia in 1995. The eihal is to the right. 
(Photographer: Socratis Mavromatis) 
(Source: Messinas, E., The synagogues of Salonika and Veroia, Athens 1997, p. 130)
Veroia, a small town in the Greek province of Macedonia, has a very long history dating from antiquity. Veroia, located only about one-hour?s drive from Salonika, was one of the cities that St. Paul the Apostle visited during his second trip to Greece, in the 1st century AD. The Jewish community of Veroia, which received St. Paul at its synagogue, dates from antiquity. It was a Romaniot community, which grew further after the 15th century, and the arrival of the Sefardi Jews from the Iberian peninsula. 
The almost completely preserved Jewish quarter, called Barbouta, dates from the early and mid-19th century. It is of a defensive and introverted typology, where the houses are built around an open courtyard, with access only through two gates that used to be locked at night. The houses communicated among them with doors that opened from one to the other, without being exposed to the common courtyard. The Jewish quarter is located west of the Byzantine walls of Veroia and adjacent to the sloping banks of the Tripotamos River, both of which form a second layer of defense to the protected quarter. This protective and introverted arrangement is common to the Jewish and Greek Orthodox quarters of the Ottoman Empire prior to the Tanzimat Reforms that led to the emancipation of the Ottoman Jews and other minorities (1839-1856). Prior to the Second World War, 460 Jews lived in this quarter. In May 1943, during the German occupation, 424 Jews were arrested by the Germans, and locked temporarily inside the synagogue, before being deported and killed in concentration camps in Poland. 
   Today, there are only two families living in Veroia. The Jewish quarter, empty of any Jewish life, still stands but with new occupants, most of them children of refuges from the surrounding villages, who took over the houses after the deportation of the Jews. They later legally purchased these houses from the temporarily re-established Jewish community in the 1950s and 1960s. The Jewish houses, though, still keep their original identity, in the form of inscriptions and dates in Hebrew, drawn on the exterior walls of the houses. For example, on the exterior walls of the house of the Mordochai family, one of the few who escaped deportation, thanks to their Christian neighbors who hid them inside the attic of an old mosque, is adorned with the following inscriptions: 
  "If I forger thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget her cunning" (Psalms, 137, 5) and the date 5619 (1858). 
The synagogue, built before 1850, is located at the northern point of the triangular open courtyard of the Jewish quarter. It blends modestly with the surrounding fabric of adjacent Jewish houses, in scale, materials, and detailing. It is a wooden frame building built behind a stone masonry wall and a portico, the only elements that give this building a more prominent character. According to Nicholas Stravroulakis, Emeritus Director of the Jewish Museum of Greece, "the structure is somewhat theatrically built insofar as the front is of stone and appears quite solid and only in examination is it apparent that the entire structure rests on wooden supports and these have rotted in place, making the entire structure tremble at times." The synagogue is constructed in the local vernacular style, and built by Balkan local builders, who formed the builders? guilds of the Ottoman empire, called isnaf. Throughout the Ottoman Empire these men built houses, palaces, aqueducts, mosques, churches, and other commissions for their Turkish, Armenian, Greek Orthodox and other patrons within the vast borders of the Ottoman Empire, preserving with their work the construction traditions that evolved during Byzantine times. 
In terms of its historical importance, the synagogue of Veroia is unique. It is the last remaining standing synagogue in northern Greece, outside Salonika, a region where there used to stand over 100 synagogues before World War II (Salonika alone had over 60 synagogues and midrashim). These synagogues were destroyed during the war, and the years immediately after. The synagogue in Veroia is also the oldest standing synagogue in northern Greece (Monastirlis in Salonika dates from 1927). It is a very unique example of local vernacular architecture, the work of the Balkan builders? guilds, and it is the last remaining example in northern Greece within a fairly well preserved Jewish quarter. The synagogue itself is a unique combination of local builders? tradition used for a religious Jewish building: the synagogue in Veroia, together with the synagogue in Ioannina (Eprirus) are the last surviving such examples in Greece. 
The synagogue is a rectangle, single-story structure, with interior women?s gallery, and basement. It is approximately 192sq.m. (2,066sq.ft) of floor area. The interior is divided by six columns; four mark the central core of the main prayer hall, and two separate it from the entrance. The portico of the main entrance is an influence from outside Veroia, probably Kastoria or Pilio. The women?s gallery is elevated and accessed from a door outside the south wall. It is also separated from the rest of the prayer hall with a wooden lattice, a common traditional separation prior to the Tanzimat Reforms. The basement consists of two spaces, an open one to the south and a closed one, reached from a door on the north wall. To the west of the synagogue, adjacent to the steep sloping river bank of Tripotamos, are the remains of the mikveh. The decorated eihal of the synagogue is located on the east wall, towards Jerusalem, while the temporary readers? desk, that serves as a bimah, is located in the center of the hall. The ceiling decoration, including an octagonal rosette and a shallow dome, in the center and western part of the ceiling respectively, may suggest that the permanent bimah, probably destroyed in World War II, was located along the western wall, rather than at the center of the hall. The floor of the synagogue is plain wood, except for the central area, among the four columns, that is adorned with decorative terrazzo tiles. The wooden areas of the floor were once adorned with colorful carpets, a local tradition of Veroia. 

The conservation effort 
The synagogue although registered by the Ministry of Culture as a national historic monument, and characterized as "Maintainable at 1st degree" by the Ministry of Culture (presidential decree no. 450/20.4.1994, published in the official Gazette no. 383/D), has been in disrepair for many years, and further neglect would almost certainly have led to its collapse. Unfortunately, other synagogues, such as those of Didimoticho and Komotini, that indeed collapsed and were eventually demolished, support this frightening scenario. It was therefore urgent to do anything possible to preserve this structure. The present conservation effort begun in 1994. 
In March 1994 the synagogue of Veroia was briefly revived for services during a seminar organized in Veroia by the Jewish Youth of Athens. At that seminar I delivered a lecture on the present state of the synagogues of Greece, where I emphasized the dangers that the abandoned synagogues were facing. I spoke about the synagogues in Komotini and Xanthi that were demolished shortly after, and about the abandoned dilapidated synagogue of Veroia, which we were planning to visit the same afternoon. At that time I had already been working for over a year on the documentation of the synagogues of Greece, thanks to the seed support that I received from the World Monuments Fund, secured through Sam Gruber, director of the Jewish Heritage Research Center, and the Jewish Museum of Greece, secured through M. Mordochai, treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Museum. 
It was only the same afternoon that my words of the same morning were understood in their true proportions. We were visiting the Jewish cemetery, only to realize that it was cleared of its Jewish tombstones, and in their place stood a recently build open basketball court. Some of the tombstones lay on one side of this court, under a pile of construction debris and garbage. Although I was familiar with this site from my previous visits to Veroia and other Jewish sites, such as the cemetery in Xanthi, in a similar state, it was a shocking sight for the visiting youth. Some cried, some lit candles, some read "askava". They were all silent witnessing the death of their history, of their heritage. For them, this was the experiencing of the destruction of the Shoah. 
During that seminar, the former deputy mayor of Veroia, Costantinos Vafides, was present, and after my lecture he approached me for help: he was looking for sources of support in order to conserve the synagogue in his city. This is how the project began, or better, the mission to conserve the synagogue of Veroia was born. 
Nicholas Stravroulakis first brought international attention to the plight of the building at the New York "Future of Jewish Monuments" conference in 1990.  At the time, in situ preservation of the building seemed an impossibility, and arrangements were discussed to move surviving fittings and furnishing to the Museum in Athens, as had been done with synagogue of Patras shortly before that building was demolished in the early 1980s. Indeed, prior to 1995, when the Identification phase took place, there was no other organized conservation program in effect for the synagogue of Veroia, or no apparent intention of creating such a program. All previous attempts were local repairs (e.g. local repair and replacement of broken roof tiles), mostly to prevent water penetration in the building. Some of these repairs, although necessary, were not sensitive and responsive enough to the original fabric, and had altered its original character (e.g. the entrance portico, color repairs in the interior, etc.). 
Following that seminar, I was able through my contacts in the United States and my experience in similar projects, to secure two grants from the Getty Grant Program - the first, in 1995, for the identification of the synagogue, and the second, in 1997, for the preparation of the construction documents of the conservation work. 
The Identification phase work was conducted between 1995 and 1996, and following it, the Preparation phase, was completed in 1997. During these two phases the team of E. V. Messinas (architect, project coordinator), P. M. Koufopoulos (architects - conservators), P. Panagiotopoulos (structural engineer), G. Dogani and A. Galanos (conservators), Socratis Mavrommatis (photographer), A. Giourousis (quantities surveyor), FASMA (electromechanical engineers), and Geoerevna (material testing laboratories), prepared a complete and detailed documentation survey on the present condition of the building and the necessary documents for the conservation work. These documents included architectural, structural and photographic survey documents, preparation of architectural, structural, and electromechanical construction (conservation) documents, investigation sections in the fabric of the building, material testing, and specifications for the conservation work. Upon completion of the work, two reports were prepared which summarized the work performed in these two phases. Copies of these reports, titled Identification Phase report and Preparation Phase report are located in the Getty Conservation Institute Library, available on a non-circulating basis to the staff of the J. Paul Getty Trust and to outside professionals in related fields. 
The Preparation phase also included limited Emergency Work, in order to maintain the building safely until the complete conservation work was implemented. This work included repair of the north wall of the synagogue, repair of the roof, repair of the pointing of the masonry wall to the east and the basement, and other external repairs to safely protect the building from the natural elements. As a result of this work, the buildings is no longer in a state of danger, in terms of withstanding natural decay, but it is in danger of remaining semi-completed, in terms of architectural and historical integrity. For this purpose, the efforts by the author continue, aimed at securing additional funds to complete the conservation work on the synagogue, both in its exterior and its interior. 
The conservation work proposed for the synagogue is based on the Identification Phase report recommendations (pp. 79-80), according to the designation of the synagogue as "Maintainable at 1st degree" no work is permitted that might change the typology and morphology of the building. Therefore, the following work will take place: 
a. The openings of the earlier ezrat nashim (women?s gallery) will be unblocked for the purpose of exposing the original wooden lattice (which has been found intact under the interior plaster layer of the blocked opening). This is meant to record the original location of the openings of the women?s gallery, prior to the later construction of the women?s gallery at the south wall of the synagogue. This earlier women?s gallery, which will be further explained and elaborated at the exhibition in the basement, has a similar typology and location to the 19th century synagogues found in Izmir, Turkey. This alteration to the present fabric of the synagogue will allow the visitor to understand the construction phases of the building and the different traditions that were alive in this part of Greece in the 19th century, such as the location of the women?s gallery, the use of wooden lattice on the women?s gallery windows towards the main hall, etc. 
b. The entrance portico posed a serious question as to whether it was an addition that enhanced or an addition that destroyed the original fabric of the synagogue. As has been already mentioned, porticos are not very common in the traditional architecture of this part of Greece and the Balkans. However, porticos have been found in rare occasions in Kastoria and Pilio, northern Greece, and in several instances in the Balkans outside Greece, such as in Berati and Permeti, Albania. The existing portico, which is considered a later (pre-World War II) addition to the original fabric of the building, while it was repaired recently. The proposed portico, like the synagogue itself, is based on the traditional work of the isnaf (builders' guilds). 
c. Missing benches will be rebuilt to complete the existing, on areas where benches are evident but destroyed. The new benches will be identical in construction, materials, details and colors to the existing ones. Decorative details of the existing benches will be repaired and completed, based on the available information. 
d. Interior decoration will be repaired, based on the conservation study of the Preparation Phase. For example, dampness in the building has destroyed many painted (mostly false-marble) surfaces, that will be repaired and re-painted to match the original. In addition, hidden decoration has been uncovered, on the octagon and 
shallow dome of the ceiling, and on the surfaces of the eihal. These delicately painted surfaces will have recent paint layers removed, cleaned, and repaired to reveal the full expression of their original character. These surfaces have revealed, during the conservator?s investigations, delicate paint work, in gold and other bright colors, depicting floral decoration and other naturalistic themes, similar to painted work found in the Veroia houses of the 19th century. 
e. New electrical wiring and light fixtures are proposed, of the same style as the existing ones, and those traditionally used in this area of Greece. Fixtures will be placed on the same locations as the existing ones, but with the wiring hidden from view (today all wiring is surface mount). The electrical panel will be located near the women?s gallery stairs, hidden inside a new - traditionally - built shallow closet. All wiring and other electrical work is specified to be fire-resistant and code complying. The exhibition space in the basement will be lit with track lighting, hidden between the ceiling rafters. Both the main synagogue floor and the exhibition basement floor will receive electrical outlets (with cover) conspicuously located on the baseboard  of the wooden benches and walls. 
f.  Electrical points (outlets) will be provided for movable electrical heaters for the heating of the synagogue space and exhibition. Cooling or other ventilation has not deemed necessary. 
g. A security system is specified both for the synagogue floor and the exhibition floor. The reason for this system is not only for the protection from burglary and stealing, as there are plans to exhibit, inside glass cases, old Torah scrolls, belonging to this synagogue, currently at the Jewish Museum of Greece. The protection is also destined to prevent the building from broken into and vandalized. 
h. A new service area will be established at the open basement of the building, complete with two toilets, and a storage area. This new addition has been located to least affect the exterior look of the building, but still be easily used by the visitors. The doors to this area will be securely locked when the building is not in use. 
i. A permanent exhibition will be accommodated within the building, for the presentation of the history of the synagogue and the Jewish community. For this purpose the ground floor (basement) of the synagogue has been chosen as the best location, as proposed in the Preparation Phase. The exhibition presentation panels will be attached to wooden panels, designed to project from the wall, and provide maximum flexibility.  These preparations for the exhibition will have a minimal effect on the original fabric of the synagogue. Recently, the Hellenic Society Paideia of Connecticut, has pledged to provide the funds for the creation for the permanent exhibition in the synagogue. Kol haKEHILA would like to thank Mr. Elias Tomazos, president of "Paideia" and the fundraising board that was formed for this purpose, for this initiative, and for their commitment to help in the preservation of the Jewish monuments of Greece. 
For the purpose of completing the conservation work at the synagogue, Kol haKEHILA is inviting all the friends and members of our special KEHILA to help find ways to support the completion of the work in this important building. In the meantime, we are making all necessary efforts to nominate and list this important synagogue in the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites for 2000-2001. We hope that this nomination will bring to the building more international attention, and will enable us to secure the necessary funds for its conservation. 

The budget of the conservation work 
Based on the specifications and budget prepared in the Preparation Phase, the budget for the implementation of the conservation work for the synagogue is the following (source: Preparation Phase report): 

Architecture

Wood 
Metals 
Plastering - pointing 
Roofing 
Covering - coating 
Glass 
Finishes (paint) 
Decoration (repairs, additions) 
Thermal and moisture protection 
Subtotal

Electro-mechanical 

Plumbing 
Electrical 
 High voltage 
 Low voltage 
Subtotal

Total

Misc. taxes (18%) 
Total

Unpredictable (15%) 
Predictable revision 
Total

V.A.T. (18%) 

GRAND TOTAL

 Estim. cost ($) 

 49,930 
96,830 
21,625 
8,455 
7,275 
1,590 
 39,210 
15,475 
5,940 
 
 
 

4,300 

12,455 
 5,660 
 
 
 

47,600 
 

46,807 
15,964 
 

67,466 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

246,330
 
 
 
 
 
 

18,115 

264,445
 

312,045 
 

 
374,816
 
 

442,282


Prof. Nandor Glid - Sculptor of the Holocaust monument in Salonika 


The Salonika Holocaust monument 
(source: Jerusalem Post )
In November 1998, the Jewish community of Salonika celebrates the first anniversary of the monument to Holocaust victims in their city. This month also marks the first anniversary of the death of the creator of this brilliant monument. Professor Nandor Glid, the sculptor who created the most unique holocaust monument erected in Greece to this date, passed away shortly before his piece was erected in its site. The monument was instead completed by his sons Daniel and Gabriel Glid, in the city that lost 96% of its Jewish population in the Shoah. 

The erection of the monument was undertaken on the occasion of the year 1997, when Salonika was declared the Cultural Capital of Europe. Following a national competition, announced in December 1996 by the Greek Ministry of Culture, department of the Arts and Erection of Monuments, which failed to bare a winner, the late Prof. Glid was invited to create the monument. The site chosen for the monument was a street intersection, near the pre-World War II Jewish quarter 151. 

During World War II Prof. Glid who was born in Yugoslavia in 1924, was taken to Szeged for forced labor, while his family was liquidated in 1944 at Auschwitz. He later fought on the side of the partisans until he was wounded in March 1945 at Bolman. He was awarded the Order of National Merit in 1972. He became a professor at the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade in 1975, and elected as chairman, and then rector of Belgrade University of Arts in 1979 and 1985 respectively. He exhibited his work widely. Among his monuments are those at Mauthausen, Zavala (Bosnia, 1958), The Ballad of the Hanged (Subotica, 1967), Dahau (1968), Yad Vashem monument (Jerusalem, 1979), and the monument of the Jewish victims of the genocide in Belgrade, on the bank of the Danube (1990). This last served as the model for the monument in Salonika. The Salonika monument to the victims of the Holocaust is in the form of a fire and a menorah, which rises from the ground on a tubular base, then springs out in an intricate composition that resembles bodies, until it reaches the sky, with the bodies transformed into birds with open wing - a very beautiful gesture and a very elegant composition in bronze. 
Kol haKEHILA extend our condolences to the Glid family, and wish well to his sons Daniel and Gabriel Glid, who executed this brilliant monument on behalf of their father, based on his design and wish.


A letter from Volos (excerpts)
by Asher J. Matathias

For a month, we have been enjoying the warmth and hospitality of Anna's parents -- Maurice and Toula Franses -- in Volos, Greece, the beautiful city of our birth, combining vistas of the seashore and nearby Mt. Pelion. 
        We travel to Macedonia, the country's northern province, and marvel my mother's (and Alexander the Great's) birthplace, Salonica, the European Union's 1997 cultural capital. Its recognizing structure is Lefkos Pyrgos (a white tower, which is really grey), reminiscent of the city's medieval Venetian past. Salonica is noted for its brilliant existence during the Ottoman Turkish occupation (1453-1912), when the sultan gladly welcomed the expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain in 1492, and with their energy and wisdom fashioned "the Jerusalem of the Balkans." 
In our travels we seek co-religionists, the synagogue, Jewish museum, or Holocaust monument, even the Jewish cemetery. In Volos I assisted the resident rabbi / cantor (my father-in-law) in chanting Shabbat worship services with gusto, employing tunes I learned at home, in America. Anna was engaged as an interpreter, when a touring group from Afula, Ramat Zvi, Israel made a scheduled stop in Volos. Jewish community president Rafael Frezis showed us the artist's depiction of a Holocaust memorial, soon to be erected in the plaza of Volos City Hall. The cost was assumed by a native son, now a successful businessman in New York, Victor Politis. 
The Jewish population continues to dwindle, even as many in the public and private sectors of life are voicing regret that this once vibrant contingent of the body politic is no more. Its demise was heralded in the Holocaust, with an astounding 95% casualty rate! Today, only 5,000 Jews live in Greece, a bare 100 men, women, and children in Volos, ever-challenged by assimilation and intermarriage. Last year, the handful that make up the contemporary Rhodes Jewish community, issued an appeal to their brethren in America for a Torah scroll. The message was carried by Byzantine scholar Marcia Haddad- Ikonomopoulos, recently a Queens College honors graduate. In a telephone call from Hania, Crete, she related the happiness of the community, and her own joy, when the cousins Reggie Goldberg and Marion Crespi (with their offspring) hand-delivered this invaluable parchment containing the Five Books of Moses, a portion of which is recited every Saturday morning in the synagogue. Bravo! Bravo to all who participated in this holy mission, making possible hope for this congregation's continued existence. 
May your summer have been as healthy, restful, happy, and eventful (in that order) as ours has been; and may we all, in the Five Towns, and everywhere, in the coming religious New Year 5759 strive "to live for each other ... to live with ourselves." 

Sincerely, and with affection, 
Asher J. Matathias 

Asher J. Matathias is originally from Volos and currently lives in the United States.


The Jewish Museum of Rhodes
from: www. rhodesjewishmuseum.org


Aron Hasson, Founder and President of the Rhodes Jewish Historical Foundation 
at the synagogue Kahal Shalom
(source: web site of Rhodes Jewish Museum)
We invite our readers to visit the site of the Jewish Museum of Rhodes, at www.rhodesjewishmuseum.org 
which includes visual and historic material on the Jewish community, the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery in Rhodes. Kol haKEHILA will present the synagogue Kahal Shalom and the Jewish  museum of Rhodes, in one of the future issues. 
Excerpts from the web site of the Jewish Museum of Rhodes: "So why a museum?  The Jewish community on the Island of Rhodes, known as "La Juderia", was once a thriving center for learning and living which was ended by the Holocaust.  Today, the Island of Rhodes is one of the most popularly visited vacation places in the Mediterranean Sea.  The vacationers come from all countries of the world, utilizing international charter air flights as well as luxury cruise ships. These visitors walk the streets of "La Juderia" lacking knowledge of its Sephardic Jewish history.  In fact, during the months of April to October, the Kahal Shalom has approximately 75 visitors per day. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing at the Kahal Shalom to inform it's visitors of it's unique history.  Although most of the remnants of Jewish life is absent as a result of the Holocaust, this Museum is an important first step of more expansive efforts in preserving the unique history of the Jews of Rhodes." 
Kol haKEHILA will present the museum and the synagogue Kahal Shalom in Rhodes in a future issue.

Raphael Program 1998-1999
Excerpts from the Program application

This year Greece is participating together with Italy and Germany in the European Community action program proposal titled: 
"Endangered Jewish Sites in Europe: The synagogue". 
The purpose of this year?s Community action program in the field of the Jewish cultural heritage, is designed to highlight the common cultural heritage features and transitional cross currents that have helped towards the emergence of a common cultural heritage across the European borders. Furthermore, this common Jewish cultural heritage that has developed across Europe, has maintained the uniqueness of the Jewish heritage of each specific country, offering a pattern of different architectural expressions, within a common type. 
Jewish heritage in Europe, spanning over 2,000 years of history in countries such as Greece [Nehama, J., Histoire des Israelites de Salonique, Vol. 1, Thessaloniki 1935, p. 10 and Acts (16-18)] is one of the most important extant Jewish heritage today. This heritage also includes nuclei of Jewish life and culture that have had a great deal of influence to other countries around the world, such as the Jewish heritage of Italy, with roots to antiquity [Foerster, G., A Survey of Ancient Diaspora Synagogues, in Levine, L. (ed.), The Ancient Synagogues Revealed, Jerusalem 1981, pp. 169-171]. This important heritage only lately has been receiving the attention that it deserves. 
 With only few exceptions, Europe suffered under the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s. However, the group that counted the greatest losses in people and property were the numerous and, many ancient (Such as the Jewish communities of Chalkis and Ioannina, in Greece), Jewish communities of Europe. For example, Germany itself lost hundreds of synagogues during Kristallnacht, in 1938. 
This program will offer the rare opportunity to the three participating high education EU partner institutions -Greece: National Technical University of Athens, Germany: Technische Universitat Braunschweig, and Italy: Jewish Community of Milan, to study and discuss in the depth issues pertaining to the architecture of the European synagogue. The network among these three partners will be further enhanced with the participation of the Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and the European Council for Jewish Communities, in London, UK. 
Kol haKEHILA will present this project in detail in the next issue.

Become a partner in Preserving Greek Jewish Monuments

Greek Jewish monuments, the synagogues, cemeteries, communal buildings, 
and the other architectural treasures of the pre-World War II Jewish communities of Greece, 
suffered a great deal from Nazi persecution. Half a century of ignorance and neglect 
led to the loss of the most part of this important heritage. 
The interest that has been raised in the last years, in Greek Jewish monuments 
has led to serious efforts towards their documentation, study and preservation.
Become a partner in this effort!
Send us this form today

__ YES! I would like to join the effort towards the preservation of Greek Jewish monuments

__ Basic membership $50 per annum - you will receive a gift of postcards depicting Greek synagogues. 
__ Patron $500 per annum - your contribution will enable the publication of Kol haKEHILA. Patrons will receive a signed copy of the book: The Synagogues of Salonika and Veroia

__ YES! I would like to become an active participant in this effort and help in the preservation of Greek Jewish monuments - Please contact us in what form you would wish to help in this effort!

__ YES! I would like to support the preservation of Greek Jewish monuments

__ Sponsor $500 or more 
To support specific research, publication, conservation, or exhibition projects (please indicate)
__ Benefactor $1,000 or more
To support specific research, publication, conservation, or exhibition projects 
Sponsors and Benefactors will receive a signed copy of the book The Synagogues of Salonika and Veroia. Benefactors of specific projects will be acknowledged in each project.

In the United States please make your tax deductible checks payable to International Survey of Jewish Monuments and mail to P.O.Box 8062, Jerusalem 91080 Israel

Name _________________________________Address _______________________________

Telephone _______________ Fax ________________ E-mail  __________________________

Enclosed is my check for $ ______________For the project ________________ / Kol haKEHILA 

Signature _____________________ Date  _________
 


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