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                        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,

                            K. Aron-Beller

                            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

                              Landmarks.                                                                                                   ATHENS


   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

  Sep 7        


                                                     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.                                                         


Cancellation fees:                                                  

                 Feb 1-May 30, 2023…..……............................30%

                 May 31-July 29, 2023…….…...…….………...50%

                 July 30, 2023-Departure..…..…….......…..…100%                


 Trip includes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  •   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.


Further information:

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

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