Athens, Delphi and Thessaloniki, Greece
September 11-23, 2008
Jewish settlement in Greece began after the Hellenistic conquests of Alexander the Great, in the third century BCE. Ancient synagogue evidence bears witness to the growth of the Jewish population in Greece following the Hasmonean uprising and the Judaic Wars- when many Jews were brought there as slaves. Ultimately, the Greek Jewish population thrived and prospered to the point where Thessaloniki, second Ottoman city after Constantinople, boasted one of the largest Jewish communities in the world.
The Jewish Museum in New York city, in cooperation with the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece and the Jewish Museum of Greece, is pleased to present a unique trip – limited to 32 participants- that will explore the history and culture of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. During the course of this trip, we will meet the Jewish communities of Athens and Thessaloniki, whose leaders eagerly await the opportunity to share their proud history and customs with us. We will visit important monuments of classical antiquity- including the Acropolis and its new Acropolis Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2008.
Travel with us as we learn about the two separate groups of Greek Jews- the Romaniote, who came to Greek lands from ancient Israel, and the Sephardim – who fled Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition to find a welcome home in Greece when it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Other highlights include ancient temples on the island of Aegina, not far from Athens and at Delphi, where we will spend a night en-route to Thessaloniki; viewing mythical Mount Olympus; Vergina, site of the Royal Tombs of Philip of Macedon, and the restored 18th century Jewish quarter and charming synagogue in Veria.
Accompanied by excellent, English speaking guides, along the way we will hear presentations by local scholars, enjoy wonderful cuisine and fine museums and experience Greece’s breathtaking countryside. Additonally, accommodations will include staying at the world-class Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, and at the Electra Palace Hotel, overlooking the bay, in Thessaloniki. We invite you to join us for a unique and fascinating experience!