June 23, 2011

Memorial Service 2011

Under: Events by admin at 15:28

Όπως κάθε χρόνο, από το 2001, έτσι και φέτος στην Συναγωγή Χανιών (Ετζ Χαγιιμ) πραγματοποιήθηκε  επιμνημόσυνη δέηση για τα μέλη της εβραϊκής κοινότητας των Χανίων που σκοτώθηκαν το 1944 κατά την διάρκεια της Ναζιστικής κατοχής. Ο χώρος της Συναγωγής ήταν γεμάτος με πολίτες των Χανίων καθώς και επισήμους εκπροσώπους της Τοπικής Ορθόδοξης και Καθολικής εκκλησίας, τον αντιπεριφερειάρχη Χανιών κ. Απόστολο Βουλγαράκη, εκπρόσωπο του Δήμαρχου Χανίων, εκπρόσωπο του Κεντρικού Ισραηλίτικου Συμβουλίου Ελλάδος, της εβραϊκής κοινότητας Αθήνας καθώς και μέλη των εβραϊκών Κοινοτήτων Ηρακλείου και Ρεθύμνου.

Η τελετή άρχισε με τον χαιρετισμό προς τους καλεσμένους από τον κ. Νίκο Σταυρουλάκη. Στη συνεχεία ακολούθησε  ένα λεπτό σιγή καθώς και μια έκκληση προς όλους να συλλογιστούμε όχι μόνο τον χαμό της κοινότητας άλλα και όλων αυτών που έχουν χάσει τη ζωή τους, κάτω από παρόμοιες συνθήκες σε όλο τον κόσμο, τα τελευταία 60 χρόνια.

Ακολούθησαν  προσευχές και η επιμνημόσυνη δέηση, το διάβασμα του ποιήματος της Ζέλντα Μισκόβσκυ «Ο ΚΑΘΕΝΑΣ ΜΑΣ ΕΧΕΙ ΕΝΑ ΟΝΟΜΑ» και, αμέσως μετά, το διάβασμα των ονομάτων των 276 θυμάτων και το άναμα κεριών. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο έκλεισε η τελετή.

Since 2001 we have been able to have a memorial service for the Jewish Community of Hania that perished in 1944. This year was especially significant as we had not only a very large attendance (a full synagogue) but the memory of the Community was honored by the presence of official representatives of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, City- Council as well as the Jewish Community of Athens and the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece.  The service opened with a short homily by the director of the Synagogue (Cf. below) and then as is normal with us – the service was taken over by members of the fraternity. Leon Gavrielides recited the prayers, blessings and admonitions of the Shema. Gabriel Negrin led the Amidah of Arvith and Nataly Ventura read a poem – Each of us has a Name.  As we had more than a formal minyan Roger recited the Kaddish and then the Ehal was opened and in common we formally recited the Yizchor for Martyrs and read out the names of all of the 276 member of the Community who perished in 1944. At the end of this votive candles were lit and distributed throughout the two gardens of the Synagogue.

*

This is not an event that calls for us to make long speeches that do little more than stress something about ourselves.  Neither, to my mind, is it necessary for us to linger over the pain and suffering of a community that was left in 1941 with no leadership and that perished in some form of wonderment.  Ten years ago I spoke here at the re-dedication ceremony and re-defined the new role of the Synagogue – not as a focal point for a Jewish community but rather as a place of prayer, recollection and reconciliation. In some strange way Etz Hayyim has done this and at the same time has remained a vivid sign of memory of the tragedy of 1944 when its last formal community ironically met its death – not in the camps of Germany and Poland but embraced in the Cretan Sea.

What meaning we can give this is to be found only in how we respond now to our lives and to the world about us which for many has not really changed appreciably.  Genocide, hunger, displacement and insecurity are still with us - hidden and at times justified in another context dictated by time and the abuse of language.

Before we begin I should like us all to sit in silence and see if there is any meaning that we can give to the death of our community in 1944 – or in the deaths under similar circumstances that have followed in the course of the past 60 years. If there is no meaning then these tragedies are empty and futile.

N. Stavroulakis

June 3, 2011

Memorial Service Invitation

Under: Events by admin at 16:26

Σας προσκαλούμε να παρευρεθείτε στο ετήσιο μνημόσυνο για τα μέλη της Εβραϊκής Κοινότητας Κρήτης που χάθηκαν μαζί

με τους Έλληνες συμπολίτες τους και Ιταλούς αιχμαλώτους το 1944.

Μετά την ετήσια επιμνημόσυνη δέηση θα ακολουθήσει

η ανάγνωση των ονομάτων

των θυμάτων και το άναμμα των κεριών.

Τρίτη, 21 Ιουνίου, ώρα 20:00

Συναγωγή Χανίων Ετζ Χαγιíμ

Πάροδος Κονδυλάκη

You are cordially invited to the annual memorial service for the Jewish Community of Crete that perished with their

fellow Greek citizens and Italian prisoners in 1944.

The traditional memorial service will be followed

by the reading of the names of the victims

and the lighting of the  memorial candles.

Tuesday, June 21st at 20:00

Etz Hayyim Synagogue

Parodos Kondylaki

Update on the Etz Hayyim Library

Under: News by admin at 16:21

Since January 2010, when two arson attacks damaged and destroyed large parts of the library of Etz Hayyim Synagogue Hania, Crete, as well as damaged the walls and ceiling of the Synagogue proper and two offices, we’ve received many generous donations for the reconstruction as well as donations of books from supporters worldwide. About 1,400 books were donated; including several sets of prayer books and various chumashim, furthermore encyclopedias and books on Jewish history, theology and philosophy along with books on general history and art history. The donations allowed us to replace a considerable amount of the destroyed or damaged books but many were also valuable additions to our collection.

The majority of the book donations came from the US, mainly due to a call for donations published on the website of the Yiddish Book Center. We are very grateful to the Yiddish Book Center for facilitating this call for donations and most of all off course to the many donors who helped us recover after the two arson attacks. Most generous donors were Judy Humphrey and Ken Schoen.

More than a year after the two arson attacks, we’ve embarked on a new project that adds yet another valuable aspect to Etz Hayyim Synagogue. With a generous donation by Nikolaj Kiessling we were able to set up a space for a research center for Cretan Jewish history. A research and resource center had been envisioned by Nikos Stavroulakis ever since he initiated and directed the rebuilding of Etz Hayyim Synagogue in the 1990s.

The Research Centre, named after the last chief rabbi of Crete, Avraham Evlagon (1846-1933) is to provide the institutional venue for the study of the more than 2,500 years of Cretan Jewry history from Antiquity to the Shoa. For this purpose the Research Centre will run a library and an archive; initiate and/or facilitate research projects; publish findings of this research for the academic community as well as present those findings to the general public. The center is located on the upper floor adjacent to the Synagogue, above the apartment of the Synagogue’s caretaker. In spring 2011, Etz Hayyim’s collection of books on Jewish history, theology, and philosophy as well as books on general history were moved to the new research center to provide the core of its resources. The renovation of the space and installation of book-shelves for the center has been accomplished. However, we still hope to expand our library collection to include further relevant publications on Hellenistic Judaism as well as Greek and Cretan history. Technical equipment for the research center like a computer, a library database as well as a filing cabinet for the archive still need to be acquired. We very much appreciate any support.

A.Z.

Top of page