Artifacts that Nazis took from Jewish people. Photo:Tilemahos Efthimiadis
Jewish Museum of Greece Photo:Tilemahos Efthimiadis
The Greek Jews: History, Identity & Memory
This course explores the history of the Greek Jews from 1821 to the present, focusing on: their rich cultural and religious traditions; communal life; incorporation into Greek society and the events that shaped their lives - including the Holocaust and its remembrance. The Greek Jews include primarily two communities, the Romaniotes and the Sephardim. The Romaniotes have been present in the Greek lands for centuries and are considered the oldest Jewish community in Europe. The Sephardic Jews settled in the Greek lands after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Their large concentration in Salonica - present-day Thessaloniki – made the city known as “Mother of Israel.” We will study the evolution of this extraordinary blend of Jewish history and culture, its place in Greek society, the devastation endured in the Holocaust, and its survival and memorialization in present-day Greece and Israel.