Heritage and Memory – Focus on Jewish Greece

Welcome note Jewish tour full collage

A ten-day virtual event, Heritage and Memory: A Focus on Jewish Greece, will be held January 27 – February 6, 2021 – bringing together the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Greece’s assumption of the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The purpose of IHRA is to unite governments and experts to promote, advance and shape Holocaust education, research and remembrance and this online event is a great example of advancing awareness. 

Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Greece to the United States and Dr. Efstathios Lianos-Liantis, Special Envoy of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Combating Anti-Semitism and Safeguarding the Memory of the Holocaust and Head of the Greek Delegation to the IHRA will offer welcome remarks during the event. The event is being held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Papadopoulou noted: “It is an honor for Greece to assume the Presidency of the IHRA on March 1 of this year. This ten-day event of interesting presentations and films will provide important information about the history of Greece’s Jewish community and its darkest hour. I am confident that the viewers will greatly benefit from understanding our past and the need to reaffirm our relentless commitment to be vocal and take action so that people never forget and that these horrors are never repeated.” Partners include the Panepirotic Federation of America and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. The event is being supported by the philanthropists Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank.

Four prestigious speakers will present views of Greece’s Romaniote and Sephardic communities to an international audience.

Moses Elisaf, Mayor of Ioannina, and Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, Museum Director of Kehila Kedosha Janina, the Romaniote synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side, will discuss the history of the Romaniotes, the oldest Jewish community in Europe. Historians Leon Saltiel and Rena Molcho will discuss the tragic history of the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki. They will also speak of incorporating the Holocaust into the collective Greek memory.

Award-winning author Rika Benveniste will present her book, Luna: An Essay in Historical Biography, at an open meeting of a Modern Greek Book Club.

Responding to the richness of program, Dr. Sharon Gerstel, Director of the UCLA SNF Center, noted: “This is a critical time to reflect on the history of Greece’s Jewish communities, to reclaim the voices of those who can no longer tell their stories, and to chart a future in which anti-Semitism is no longer a threat to society.” Registration links for individual events can be found at: https://hellenic.ucla.edu/events

Zoom Lectures

(to RSVP, click link or see https://hellenic.ucla.edu/events/)

January 27 – 12 pm CST
Conversation With The Mayor: Moses Elisaf, Mayor of Ioannina (Co-Sponsored By The Panepirotic Federation Of America) introduced by Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador Of Greece to the USA

January 29 – 12 pm CST
Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, Museum Director Of Kehila Kedosha Janina, NY, “Meet Me On The Corner Of Broome And Allen: A Visit To Kehila Kedosha Janina” (Co-Sponsored By The Panepirotic Federation Of America)

February 1 – 12 pm CST
Leon Saltiel, University Of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, “Dehumanizing The Dead: The Destruction Of Thessaloniki’s Jewish Cemetery During World War II

February 3 – 12 pm CST
Rena Molcho, Historian & International Award-Winning Author “Problems Of Incorporating The Holocaust Into The Greek Collective Memory

Greek Jewish Film Festival from the LA Greek Film Festival

Free screenings of eleven films and one extended preview include the feature-length works and documentaries that look at the Jewish communities of Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Kastoria, Zakynthos (Zante), and Rhodes. Several films trace the experience of Jews who were sheltered by Christian Greeks during the Nazi Occupation. Streaming dates are below:

For details on these films & to register for a link to watch anytime during the streaming dates, click the links below:

[The] Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has always been present in supporting filmmakers and films that make a difference in art and in life as well. We are very happy to participate by providing the platform, expertise and infrastructure for an event that brings people from various countries together and further spreads the knowledge and history of Greece’s Jewish communities and heritage,” stated Aris Katopodis, Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.

Free tickets for film screenings can also be found at: https://heritage.eventive.org/films.

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