Jerusalem of the Balkans

The Greek city of Thessaloniki had 53,000 Jewish residents before the German occupation in World War II. The vast majority was murdered in Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor. Less than 2,000 survived. My friends Eleftheria and Tsako showed me some of the places where the heritage of the once largest ethnic group of the city is still visible.

Continue reading


Yom Kippur in Ioannina

My Cousin Vangelis and I are travelling in Epirus in the north-west of Greece. High up in the Pindos mountains, Ioannina – the regional capital – is located. The trip gave me a unique opportunity to join the Yom Kippur service in the local synagogue and to learn more about one of the most outstanding Jewish communities in Europe.

Continue reading