THE JEWS OF GREECE THROUGH THE AGES
August 30 - September 7, 2023
Led by Prof. Shalom Sabar and Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller
The seminar in Greece covers a history of more than two thousand years. It tells a story that starts with the encounter of the Jews with Hellens and Hellenism, proceeds with the ever-growing Jewish presence in mainland Greece and in the islands, through Roman, Rhomanian (usually wrongly called Byzantine), and Ottoman times, until the creation of the modern Greek state and the Holocaust, when most of Greek Jews, Romaniote or Sephardic, were annihilated. However, similarly to a Phoenix from Greek mythology, a small but highly active Jewish Community, with its centers in main cities, revives Jewish life in Greece. All of its members are still aware of their different Jewish ethnic backgrounds; but with the young generation speaking Modern Greek as their only mother tongue, and acquiring some Hebrew in their religious education, the differences between the Romaniotes and the Sepharadim are becoming less and less important or even notable.
The seminar will focus on several central “episodes” in the history of the Jews in what’s today’s Greece, starting with the encounter between Judaism and Hellenism, via the Sephardic “conquest” of the land after the 1492 expulsion, the Sabbatean movement and the creation of a Muslim Jewish sect of Dönmeh – and ending with the Holocaust and its aftermath.
Wed Early arrival to Salonika, a coastal city with historical ruins and Ottoman gems and
Aug 30 once home to the largest Jewish community of Greece. Transfer to the hotel.
Orientation and lecture: The Jews of Greece in Antiquity, K. Aron-Beller
City sightseeing by bus followed by dinner. SALONIKA
Thu Lecture: The Influence of Greco-Roman Culture on Jewish Art and Culture
Aug 31 of Late Antiquity, S. Sabar
Lecture on the bus: Jewish Life in Byzantium, K, Aron-Beller
Travel to Vergina where we will see the famous Royal Tombs.
Continue to Veroia where we will visit the old synagogue.
Return to Salonika and visit of Yeni Cami (New Mosque) of the Dönme, the
Sabbateans, built in 1904. SALONIKA
Fri Lecture: Romaniot Jewry: Tradition, Ritual and Culture, K. Aron-Beller
Sep 1 Lecture: Jewish Art of Greece: Between the Romaniotes and the Sephardim
through the Ages, S. Sabar
Visit the Jewish Museum of Salonika, the Jewish cemetery and the
Monasterioton Synagogue, built in 1925-7. Shabbat services in Yad Lezikaron Synagogue, reconstructed in 1984.
Kosher Shabbat dinner. SALONIKA
Sat Shabbat services in Yad Lezikaron Synagogue.
Sep 2 Kosher Shabbat lunch SALONIKA
Sun Travel to Ioannina, the capital of Epirus spreading around the beautiful
Sep 3 Lake Pamvotida.
Lecture on the bus: The Most Famous False Messiah: Shabbetai Zevi,
Visit the synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Yashan, inside the fortified part of the town,
built in 1829, on the site of an older one.
Proceed to the museum in the old mosque.
Overnight in Ioannina. IOANNINA
Mon Travel by ferry to Corfu, an island in the Ionian Sea with two imposing
Sep 4 Venetian fortresses and medieval lanes.
Visit the synagogue, Scuola Greca or Tempio Greco, from the 17th century.
Visit some of the historical sites and monuments.
Evening flight to Athens, the capital of Greece, still dominated by 5th century BC
Tue Lecture: Messianic Dreams in Jewish Art: The Iconography of Shabbetai Ẓevi
Sep 5 and His Movement Between Judaism and Christianity,S. Sabar
Tour the Acropolis, the famous sanctuary of the age of Perikles.
Visit the Acropolis Museum
Travel to Chalkis on the Island of Euboea to visit the Romaniote synagogue
and the cemetery from the sixteenth century. ATHENS
Wed. Lecture: The Jews in 20th century Greece, K. Aron-Beller
Sep 6 Lecture: ‘El oio ve, la alma desea’ (“The eye sees, the soul desires”): Jewish
Postcards from early 20th c. Salonika, S. Sabar
Visit the Jewish Museum, containing artifacts from all over Greece.
Continue to visit the Synagogues: Ioanniotiki, originally for Romaniote Jews,
and Beth Shalom which follows the Sephardi ritual.
Farewell dinner ATHENS
Thu Transfer to the airport
PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Prof. Shalom Sabar (Emeritus), Dept. of Folklore/Dept. of Art History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller, Lecturer in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University
Price for land arrangements only: Euro 3345 per person in a double room
***EARLY REGISTRATION UNTIL Dec 25, 2022: Euro 3295 per person in a double room***
Single supplement (Double room for Single Occupancy): Euro 965
Price is based on minimum participants
Price for airfare from Israel (Tel Aviv-Athens-Salonika/Athens-Tel Aviv) Euro 379
(Based on airfares in effect at time of publication and subject to change)
People joining us from abroad should meet us in the hotel in Salonika or at the
Salonika airport at the arrival of the Aegean flight of the group coming from Israel.
Deposit: Euro 900 with registration, of which Euro 450 is non-refundable.
Remainder of payment is to be paid by May 15, 2023. Please register promptly as our
trips fill quickly.
Feb 1-May 30, 2023…..……............................30%
May 31-July 29, 2023…….…...…….………...50%
July 30, 2023-Departure..…..…….......…..…100%
Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar & Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller
JHS Tour escort
Local English speaking tour guide
8 nights accommodation in 5 star hotels with daily buffet breakfasts, 1st and last dinners plus
kosher Shabbat dinner and Shabbat lunch.
Local transport by bus
Flight from Corfu to Athens
Entrance fees according to itinerary
Not included in the price:
Obligatory health and cancellation travel insurance (which also covers Covid)
Tips Euro 95
Program subject to change: All rights are reserved by Jewish Historical Seminars to make
staff substitutions if necessary and/or make changes to the program and conditions as
required by force majeure, including cancellation of the trip at any time due to drastic
changes in the situation. Participants are reminded that weather conditions cannot be
predicted and cancellations or changes to visits may be unavoidable.
Each participant needs to be vaccinated against COVID.
Contact Debbie: Tel: 972.2.534.5191, Cell: +972.54.2212503 Fax: 972.2.5700005
The trip is run in conjunction with Ayala Travel and Tours, Jerusalem