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MAYOR BOUTARIS’ ADMINISTRATION INITIATIVES
TO BRING UP
THE JEWISH HERITAGE OF THESSALONIKI (2011-2016)
- The Mayor strongly supports and acts as an advocate for the idea to administer the Greek nationality back to the Jews who having survived the Holocaust fled Greece. They were deprived of their second nationality the Greek one after a controversial political decision was taken by the central government during the 50’s.
- In the context of the Boutaris’ Administration initiative to promote ‘cities’diplomacy’, the Mayor actively assists the efforts of Thessaloniki’s Jewish Community to bring back to Thessaloniki the historical Greek-Jewish Archives kept in Moscow for the past 65 ye It seems that this story is going to have soon a happy ending.
- On Boutaris’ Administration request Thessaloniki participates in the National Martyrdom Cities’ Network – something that the previous administrations denied systematically on the ludicrous allegation that “Thessaloniki’s Jews lost their lives elsewhere”.
- The Thessaloniki City Council paid honor to the last Holocaust survivors, Thessaloniki Jews citizens, as soon as the new Administration took office in 201
- In 2013 and for the first time ever, the Municipality of Thessaloniki participated with a big delegation representing all the city’s actors at the ‘March of the Living’ in Krakow, Poland. Mayor Boutaris was the head of the delegation and lit one of the six candles in memory of the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust.
- For the first time ever in 2013, the Municipality of Thessaloniki organized a Silent March in remembrance of the first train deporting Thessaloniki Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps 70 years after the Holocaust. The events were attended by the political authorities of the country, the region and the city, and by thousands of Thessaloniki citizen Relevant events took place also during 2014 (71 years after the Holocaust) and 2015 (72 years after the Holocaust). In 2016 (73 years after the Holocaust), the Silent March was also attended by the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Mr. Ron Huldai, and the Head of the “March of the Living”, Mr. Aaron Tamir.
- The “Liberty Square” (Platia Eleftherias) at the heart of Thessaloniki, Greece, a place of great importance for the city, since several historic events took place during the long Thessaloniki history, is planned to be restored into a proper public space for social gathering and relaxation (until now it has largely been used as a parking lot) as a way to pay real tribute to the important historical moments of the cit The remodeling of the square is the best opportunity to move the Holocaust Monument to a more prominent spot within this historical place.
- The Municipality of Thessaloniki promotes the founding of the HolocaustMuseum and Educational Centre close to the Old Train Station, the spot from where the Jews of Thessaloniki were deported to the concentration camp The Museum will serve as a symbol to remind the dramatic events of WWII and to uphold the memory of the more than 50.000 Thessaloniki Jews lost at the Holocaust. In that context, a memorandum with the Thessaloniki Jewish Community and the National Railways Services was signed during the first term of the Boutaris’ Administration to secure the land upon which the Museum is going to be built. Architectural plans are ready, and the project is in the stage of securing building permits, while funding is being sought.
- In early 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Thessaloniki Jewish Community and the Memorial de la Shoah of Paris was signed in the premises of the Thessaloniki City Hall and in the presence of Mayor Boutaris. This development opens the way for the organization of the Memorial de la Shoah to offer its experience and know-how for setting up the Holocaust Museum and Educational Centre.
- During the inauguration ceremony of the City Council (28 August 2014) for the new Local Administration term (which will last until 2019), M Boutaris wore the Star of David as a symbolic move against totalitarianism, racism and exclusion and as a move to remind the Holocaust, provoked by the fact that for the first time ever two Golden Dawn city councilors, who praise the Holocaust, have been elected in the Thessaloniki City Council.
The Spiritual Leader of AFJMG, Rabbi Martin A. Cohen, Ph.D., was honored by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, for 60 years of distinguished service as professor of history on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
A recognized authority on Judaism, Rabbi Cohen has written extensively on Jewish history, theology and education. His historical books include The Martyr, on the secret Jews and the Mexican Inquisition, Two Sister Faiths, on early Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity, and his edition of Sephardim in the Americas. The San Diego Opera Company premiered an opera entitled The Conquistador, based on The Martyr, in March 1997.The Martyr has now been reprinted (2001) by the University of New Mexico Press. Dr. Cohen’s translation into English of the classic work of the Portuguese Renaissance, Samuel Usque’s Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel, has undergone two editions and received wide acclaim. His theological works include the book Jewish Mission/Christian Mission, co-edited with Helga Croner. Dr. Cohen’s work in the field of education is exemplified by his co-editorship of the series entitled Adventures in Living Judaism. Dr. Cohen has contributed studies to various encyclopedias, among them The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible and the Encyclopedia of Religion, and seventeen articles to the Encyclopedia Judaica, of which he served as an editor of three departments. Dr. Cohen’s book, The Canonization of a Myth, dealing with the Inquisition and its political role in seventeenth century Portugal, was published in 2003. Dr. Cohen is presently working on a series of major projects in Sephardica and a book on the formation of Rabbinic Judaism.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1928, Rabbi Cohen attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his bachelor’s degree (1946) and master’s degree in Romance Languages (1949). He taught as an instructor in Romance Languages for four years at the University of Pennsylvania (1946-1950) and one year at Rutgers University (1950-1951) before entering the United States Air Force in 1951. He enrolled at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1953, was ordained in 1957 and received his Ph.D. in Jewish History in 1960. He began teaching at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1955, part time, and from 1960, as a full time member of its faculty, serving in Cincinnati until 1962. In 1962, he joined the faculty in New York, where he has served uninterruptedly, despite his many other activities, as Professor of Jewish History. In addition, Rabbi Cohen has served as visiting professor of history and theology in various colleges, among them Antioch College, Temple University and Hunter College of the City University of New York. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is listed in the Dictionary of American Scholars.
Rabbi Cohen’s devotion to the Jewish community is evidenced by his service as rabbi to communities in Cleveland, Ohio; Muncie, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Monroe, New York; Brooklyn, New York, and the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City. For over forty years he has served as Chaplain of the Metropolitan [New York] Conference of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods, which conferred upon him its first annual Solon Miles Chadabee Award for outstanding achievement, twice designated him Man of the Year, and in 1998 bestowed upon him its Tikkun Olam award for distinguished service to Brotherhood, the Jewish people and the community at large.
In the broader community, Rabbi Cohen has served as president of the American Society of Sephardic Studies; Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Historical Society of New York; National Chaplain of the AMVETS, in this capacity the first Korean War veteran to achieve national office in a major veterans’ organization; member of the Board or Directors of the Jewish Conciliation Board of America; Scholar and Consultant on International Affairs of the Foreign Relations Commission of the New York Board of Rabbis; Chairman of the International Scholars Committee of the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith; co-editor of Nuestro Encuentro, the Anti-Defamation League’s first publication in Spanish; and, for the last nine years of his long service to that organization, Chairman of its Commission on Jewish-Catholic Affairs and co-Chairman of its National Interfaith Department. Since 2005, Dr. Cohen has also been serving as the spiritual leader of the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece.
In August of 1998, Dr. Cohen presented the keynote address at Santangel 98, an international conference on Sephardic and related scholarship hosted by the Dominican University. Rabbi Cohen has been married for sixty-two years to Dr. Shelby Ruth Cohen, now Professor Emerita of Applied Psychology at Kean University.
Fotografía: Στρογγυλό τραπέζι, ‘El arte como proyecto social, de investigación y educativo.’
As part of the photographic exhibition of Artemis Alcalay Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors. A pictorial narrative historian Eugenia Alexakis art and the artist discuss on the possibilities of artistic action serve as social, research and pedagogical tool, the main objective being the creation of social – public “places”, literal and symbolic, temporary or permanent opportunities for people get together, interact and reflect on the past and present, trauma and healing.
Followed by a discussion with the audience.
7:00 pm on Mar 9, 2016
Instituto Cervantes de Atenas- Sala de exposiciones
10557 Athens, Greece
The Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day of the Greek Jewry was commemorated at the Consulate General of Greece in New York City on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.
The ceremony began with introduction by Ambassador Georgios Iliopoulos, Consul General of Greece in New York, followed by Rabbi Martin A. Cohen, Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew Union College.
The keynote speaker was Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, who gave a presentation “Understanding the Holocaust”.
Mr. Solomon Asser, President of the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece gave his remarks on behalf of AFJMG and presented an award to Ambassador Georgios Iliopoulos for his important work in promoting Greek-Jewish heritage.
The ceremony ended with closing remarks by his Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.