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Asher M.: Recipies for a Greek Pesach - 15.3.01
S E D E R = H O O V A (in Ladino)
Greek Sephardic Tradition, according to Mrs. Anna Matathias:
The Seder plate consists of the following items:
- The Haroset
- The shank bone (from lamb)
- A brown egg
Karpas (celery)
- Maror (bitter herbs) Roman lettuce
- White vinegar (for the tears of our ancestors )
- The Afikomen (we wrap it in a napkin and we place it with a safety pin on the shoulder of the youngest member of the family and we tell him he is ready for the journey to Eretz Yisrael).
- Haroset, The Greek-Sephardic Way: black raisins, almonds (two teaspoons), walnuts (two teaspoons) hazel nuts (two teaspoons), chestnuts (two cooked), apples (one or two) dates (five), figs (two), prunes (two), the peel of one orange, and the juice of two orange and wine. My grand mother instead of cinnamon, she would scrape a dash of real brick to recall the bricks our ancestors used in Egypt. Place the above salad ingredients in a food processor and mix them, until there is a smooth texture. Shape like meatballs, and when time to use them, pour the wine and mix well.
- Huevos Haminados = Hard-boiled eggs ( Greek Sephardic Way): Oil, Salt & pepper, Eggs, 10 Onion skins
In a large pot with water, pour the above ingredients and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. When it's done, rinse the eggs, wipe them and place them in their carton in the refrigerator.
- Pasteli from lamb (Greek-Sephardic way): Matza soaked wet in water, 6 eggs Pieces of lamb meat, 2 onions, scallions, fresh dill salt & black pepper
In a saucepan, saute the onions, scallions and dill with a little oil. Add the pieces of meat and saute for a few minutes until brown. Then cover and simmer until ready. In a rectangle pan, place the matza, as a first layer, then the meat and then on top the second layer of matza. Beat eggs with the meat gravy and cover the matza. Leave it out for 1 hour so the juice will be absorbed. That is what gives the savory .Bake un covered in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until it's done.
- Pasteli from chicken liver (Greek-Sephardic way): Matza wet in water or broth, 5 eggs Pieces of chicken liver, 2 onions, scallions, fresh dill salt & black pepper
In a sauce pan with oil, saute the onions ,scallions and dill. Add the liver with salt and pepper. Put it aside. In a rectangle pan place the wet matzas as a first layer. Then put the liver, then on top the second layer of matza. Beat the eggs with liver gravy and pour on top. Leave out for 1 hour to absorb the taste. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until it's done.
- Pasteli from matza with ground meat (Greek Sephardic way): 5-6 matza pieces wet from water and chicken broth (4-5 cups), 2-3 lbs. ground meat, 3-4 onions, 5-6 eggs
Take a rectangle pan and place the 3 matzot to make a layer. In the mean time, you saute the onions with a little olive oil the ground meat with salt and pepper to taste. When it's done you beat 2 or 3 eggs, and mix well. Then put the meat on top of the layer of matza. Then you put another layer of matza. In the end you beat 2 or 3 eggs, mixed with olive oil, pouring it all over the pan. Add chicken broth, and bake with 375o heat for about hour, or until it's crispy.
- Meat soup with matza: Boil a piece of lamb. Put the meat aside. In a pot, pour the meat broth, salt and black pepper, as you bring it to a boil. Crush matza into pieces and put them in the pot. When that's done, beat an egg with lemon juice and pour it in the pot stirring constantly.
- Spinach balls (Greek Sephardic Way): 20 ozs. frozen spinach, or 2 lbs. fresh spinach (well drained), 4 eggs, 4 tbsp matza meal, salt & black pepper, 2 onions and a bunch of scallions, fresh dill & parsley, 2 tbsp of oil, walnuts (optional)
In a big bowl, mix all the above ingredients. Fry the balls in a preheated frypan with oil.
- Leek balls (Greek Sephardic Way): 4-6 leek, 3 eggs, 2 tbsp of oil, 4 tbsp. of matza meal, 1 onion, salt & black pepper, fresh dill & parsley
Cut and wash the leek, then boil until tender. Mix the above ingredients in the blender. Shape the balls and fry them in a preheated frypan with oil.
- Artichokes Hearts = Anginares ( Greek-Sephardic Way): 6 artichokes, 1 lemon, water, 1 egg, salt & black pepper, oil
In a pot with warm water, place the artichokes with the hearts facing down and stems up. Add salt and pepper with a little lemon juice. Cover and cook until tender. In a plate beat the egg and the juice of one lemon adding a little of the soup and finally pour the egg into the pot stirring constantly. Use this as a side dish, or as a soup.
- Bizelia me kookia = peas with fava beans (favas frescas): fresh peas or frozen ( washed), fresh fava beans ( peal the skin off & clean), onions & scallions, fresh dill, salt & black pepper, oil.
In a pot, saute the onions in a little oil. Pour the peas and the fava beans. Add salt & pepper, the dill and cover with water. Cover and simmer until is done. You may cook it with meat. If so, cook the meat first and then add the vegetables in the same pot.
- Pesach spinach pie: Matza ( soaked in milk), 20 ozs. spinach, 8 eggs (5 for the mix), One lb. feta cheese , 3 onions, a bunch of scallions, fresh dill and black pepper
In a pan brush oil. Place the matza in the pan. That is the 1st layer. Then pour over the mixture of spinach, eggs, black pepper, onions, scallions, dill and feta cheese. Then put the 2nd layer of matza. Pour over 3 eggs with oil. Bake in preheated oven, 375o for about 1 hour, or until golden.
- Lamb chops, Greek Style: Marinate the lamb for a few hours or over night in the refrigerator in a special sauce. The name of the bottle is MIKEE Garlic Stir Fry & Rib Sauce Net Wt.20oz. Or instead of this sauce you can use the Greek way: Fresh garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oregano. Mix all these ingredients with olive oil and potatoes and bake in the preheated oven 375o 400o for 1 -2 hours, or until golden. Cover the pan. You may put baby carrots , red , yellow or green peppers or green and yellow zucchini.
- Mocha Roll Cake for Pesach: cup matza meal, 6 egg yolks, cup sugar, cream of tartar, 1 cup ground walnuts, 1 pint heavy cream (for whip cream), powdered sugar, 2 tsp. coffee
Line cookie sheet with wax paper. In a large bowl, put cup of matza meal. Beat 6 egg yolks with a cup of sugar. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar. Slowly pour the mix into the bowl with the egg whites, and stir. Add walnuts. Pour the mix into the cookie sheet and bake for hour until done. Remove from oven. Put powdered sugar on a towel. Roll the baked mix while still hot. Make whipped cream and add 2 tsp. coffee so you make it mocha. Add powdered sugar to taste. Open towel carefully. Spread mocha all over the cake and roll the cake again (without towel) and put it on a platter with the whipped cream. Decorate with walnuts. When frozen, it tastes like ice-cream. This may be refrigerated.
- Boumuelos (Fried Matza Pancakes): Matza meal, tsp. salt, 2 eggs, oil to deep fry
In a bowl, put the matza meal and warm water until very soft. Add eggs and salt; mix well. In a frypan, pour oil to 1 inch deep. Form matza mixture with tablespoon into round shape. Drop in oil and brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel. Serve with honey or preserves.
KALI TIHI! = GOOD LUCK! And, Moadim LeSimcha Hagim Uzmanim LeSason!
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Sam H.: The Greek Jew's Hanukkah - 20.12.00
What does a greek jew do on Hanuka - day that the jews cellebrate their victory over "the greeks" - ie. the Hellenistic Kingdom of Antiochos Epifanes ? A good solution: read the poem of Kavafis on Alexander Yannai. (in greek, Alexandros Iannaios, the subject of a recent article by Prof. Ampatzopoulou of Thessaloniki Univ. on the jew in the greek poets Palamas, Sikelianos and Kavafis).


              Conscious of their success and plainly satisfied,
                            king Alexander Yannai

                   and Alexandra, his good wife and queen.

                  advance, preceded by the sound of bands,

                      amid high splendor and much pomp,

                advance along the streets of their Jerusalem.

                Accomplished brilliantly now stands the work

              that was begun by the great Judas Maccabaeus, and

                        his celebrated brethren four;

                   the work that was unswervingly pursued

               in spite of all its perils and all hindrances.

                 There's nothing left that is improper now.

                 No more subservience to the haughty kings,

                     the sovereigns of Antioch. Thus are

                            king Alexander Yannai

                   and Alexandra, his good wife and queen,

                   the peers of the Seleucids in all ways.

            God Jews, chaste Jews, devoted Jews--above all else.

                But yet, as is demanded by the circumstance,

                     fully conversant with Greek speech,

                    and with all Greeks and with Grecized

           sole rulers on good terms--as equals, be it understood.

                      Indeed, accomplished brilliantly,

                  accomplished most remarkably, now stands

         the work that was begun by the great Judas Maccabaeus, and

                        his celebrated brethren four.

(Translation from the Vrionis Center site)


  Zwgrafos kai poiitis , dromeys kai diskovolos,
  san Endymiwn emorfos, o Ianthis Anrwniou,

  apo oikogeneian filin tis synagwgis

  "Oi timiwteres mou meres ein' ekeines
  pou tin aisthitiki anazitisin afinw,

  pou egkataleipw ton wraion kai skliron ellinismo,

  me tin kyriarhi prosilwsi

  se teleia kamwmena ftharta meli.

  Kai genomai aytos pou ithela

  panta na menw: twn Evraiwn, twn ierwn Evraiwn, o yios."


  Enthermi lian i dhlwsis tou. "Panta

  na menw twn Evraiwn, twn ierwn evraiwn ..."

  Omws den emeine toioutos diolou.
  O idonismos k' h Tehni ths Alexandreias

  afosiwmeno tous paidi ton eixan.

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Sam H.: Press Release on Macedonian and Thrace Jews - 23.8.00

Please include in Kol Hakehila that my previous messages are an over-reaction to a clumsy translation error in the english translation of  the KKL spokesman anouncement in the changes of the King Boris III memorial ("Thrace" and "Thracian" have been converted into "Turkey" and "Turkish"). This is the e-mail they sent me:

On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 wrote:
Shalom Samuel H,

Thank you for pointing out the  error which inadvertently crept in through translation. We apologize for any insensitivity that was caused . Sincerely, Yehonathan Tommer, KKL-JNF Information Center, Division of Communications and Public Affairs

Original Message
Dear KKL,

I want to express my indignation on the wording used in the press release of July the 16th in which it is implied in no less than 3 places that the approx. 4000 jews of W. Thrace who have been sent to Treblinka are TURKISH !!! W. Thrace was and is a part of Greece and its pre-war inhabitants had NO relation to Turkey (whose jews have been spared of the Shoah, since their country stayed out of WWII). Turkey is mentioned in no less than 3 places in : I think that your press release should be reworded to erase any mention of Turkey - in the spirit of your February press release :  in which you speak, correctly, of Macedonian and Thracian Jews. Yours Sincerely, Samuel H.

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Lyn J.: Jews of Kos - 13.8.00
I read in a guide book that only one survivor from the Jewish community of Kos - who died about 10 years ago -  returned from the death camps and he inherited all the property belonging to the rest. Do you know if this true?  Are there any Jews at all living in Kos today? I was very impressed with your website which is very professional. You are doing great work trying to perpetuate the memory of these Greek edifices and what remains of their kehilot. Not many Sephardim in England know about the communities in Greece, although we do have one synagogue in London founded by people from Salonica and Istanbul.

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Samuel H.: Isaac Kabeli's article - 4.6.00

Anybody interested on our own greco-jewish version of Kustaritsa's "Underground", try Mr. Isaac Kabelli's article in the 1953 Yivo American Journal of Jewish Social Science. You will see that 40 of the fighters that secured the blowing up Gorgopotamos were jews, that the percentage of jewish losses in the war was triple the average, a large resistance organization in pre-expulsion Salonika and many other things - pliris kipwn kai alla fyta, according to the familiar Mpost expression. He also speaks of a jewish british officer called Jeffrey Rakkliff (double k double f - only double c and double u are missing) citing a very reliable source - "Thisavros" of 1949.

Leave it up to you to judge whether the stuff is for laughing or crying. Most will choose to disregard anyway. My information from Marcel Yoel is that he was the person put by the germans in charge of the jewish community of Athens when the other leaders fled.

Next time some of us hear some gentile fellow-greeks on how many jews they have saved during occupation or the 18500 false ids by Evert (downgraded to 1850 by now), ponder if we fare any better !

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Samuel H.: Stephanopoulos and Weizman - 16.5.00

Yesterday I was invited in the dinner given by President Weizman to honour President Stephanopoulos. Present were also Mr. Peres, Mrs. Dayan, KIS's Mr. Konstantinis, Ms. Papazoi (setade next to Peres), the Mayor of Verroia  and many others.

  On the personal level, I can only register a "gafa" : I reminded Stephanopoulos that he was my boss in "Yp. Syntonismou" some 20 years ago - but he claimed he has never been Yfypourgos Syntonismou - just Emporiou. I remember very well seing him in the Syntagama Sq. Building and the discussion we had.

  I was seated next to some diplomats - including a portugese one who made a point in irritating his colleagues with taking pride that he uses the term Macedonia instead of FYROM. Not even the israeli diplomat next to him could not quench his enthusiasm.

  The speaches of both Weizman and Stefanopoulos started with refering to the similarities between greeks and jews - the big daspora, the revived old language, the commercial skills. They both congratulated each other on Greece's new role and they also stressed the similarities of the two countries. They also mentioned that Israel is Greece's biggest trading partner in the Middle East Weizman was depply concerned with the shooting events in the territories and stressed the need of continuing the peace process.

Stephanopoulos spoke on the role of Turkey in Cyprus. Apparently, when the greeks and the israelis try to improve their relations, God shows that He (She?) wants otherwise : thus, 3 days after Pagkalos came to Israel in Dec. 87, the Intifadha started. In 1990, when Mitsotakis upgraded the level of the relations, the problem of the "Xenonas" of the Jerusalem Patriarchate took place.  And tnight, the riots in the crossing points between the Palesto Authority and Israel - including 4 palestinians killed.

  Of course, "allou ta kakarismata kai allou genoun oi kotes": the real thing is the economic delegation that acompanies Stefanopoulos that will have meetings with israeli industry personalities during the next days. There is also a "diapanepistimiaki symfwnia" signed, but I have no details yet.

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Andrew A.: Responce to Rau's visit to Salonika - 12.4.00

In a message dated 12.4.00 you write:

<< THESSALONIKI - The city's  Jewish community has protested against the failure of German President

 Johannes Rau to lay a wreath at the Holocaust memorial, which commemorates  the country's 50,000 Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps >>

Question, who drew up Rau's itinerary? Presumably the respective presidents' offices and foreign ministries? how did the Greeks let him get away with this yet Fisher was roped into a pointless trip to Chios with George Papandreou? Did you also notice that even at Kalavryta Rau did not mention the Holocaust but and even only expressed regret and shame, not apology for Distomo etc. (View the article on Rau's visit at Kol haKEHILA online archive)

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Samuel H.: The Elders of Zion - 22.3.00

Speaking about the Elders of Zion at barnes is a bit inappropriate for Kol haKEHILA ! In our own country, it is sold without restrictions, it is discussed on the Thrace list (shall I say thrash list?) and even a cretan court has declared it valid !  Arch. Christodoulos you mention would have said about the scribes and pharisees oi "ton kwnwpa diylizontes tin de kamhlon katapinontes" (or, in the hitech era, oi ta angstom diylizontes kai ta parsec katapinontes).

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Sefarad Newsletter.: Cantor Estrugo Nachama. zl  - 7.2.00

It is with great sorry that we received the news of the passing of the Salonikan-born Berlin reform cantor, Estrugo Nechama. He survived Auschwitz and other camps, opted to stay in Germany, and had an impressive acareer as a cantor, opera singer, & radio musical show host. He made numerous tapes of Jewish and Sephardic music; as well as opera music. His son, Andreas, a journalist, is currently  president of the Berlin Jewish Community. He was a very open and friendly person, and was always willing to cooperate with local and foreign researchers. He will be dearly missed. Yehi Zichro Baruch.

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Samuel H.: Reply to Yitzhak K. (see Kol haKEHILA online archive) - 14.12.99

I hope you take my comments in a good spirit - after all I very much appreciate your efforts towards keeping the sepharadic culture alive and the enthusiasm you put into them.

a. The only place that you can see that the Minor Asians (incidently, in my last travel in Antalya I was told by a very intelligent turkish guide that the term Anatolia is more greek than the one Minor Asia, which is Roman !) had more blood libels than could be found in other places of the Ottoman Empire or the Balkans. Read Kashlas' book to see one blood libel per year in Bulgaria ! The difference is perhaps that in Minor Asia the official greek church put a lot of effort to combat the blood libel, not always succesfully, but such a thing is documented in the book of Zvi Ankori.

b.  The expression that (you have probably picked it up in the books of the miserable historian-for-sale Stanford Shaw,  who in another book of his actually ascribes anti-semitism in republican turkey to MOSLEM refugees who found themselves in Turkey as a result of the population exchange !!!!) the greek who came from Minor Asia were more anti-semitic than the the locals is totally wrong ! It is also totally wrong to blame them for the different measures like the Sunday closing of shops , which were taken by the greek state and NOT by the refugees. Makedonia was spreading its anti-semitic poison far before the refugees came (read my article and Rena Molho's).

c.  Your description of the elections of Salonika and the problems caused by the electoral system is also not mirroring the truth - in the municipal elctions of Salonika actually the government forced some City counselors to resign in favor of jews, who failed to be elected because the system in the city did not provide for special places for the jews ! Notice that the jews asked for the municipal elections changes exactly the opposite than what they asked for National elections !

d.  The increased emigration is not due solely to the Kampel events, but also a. to the economic crisis b. increased activity by the Sohnut those days.

e.  The non-condemantion of the perpetrators of Campell is NOT due to the reasons you mention, but to the inadequacy of laws to deal with such situations. It's a bit like the responsibility of those who wrote "Din Moser" and "Din Rodef" on the late Rabin's murder ! Makedonia ceratinly used a lot of anti-Macabi and anti-semitic retoric, but it claims it never asked anybody to burn or do any unlawfull acts. The same for the EEE chief Kosmides, who just said in the court that the days of the riots he was not even in Salonika - he was in Athens in business !!!

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Marcel Y.: Greece was first supporter for Jewish state - Jerusalem Post - 28.10.99

A relatively `unknown event in the history of the creation of the State of  Israel might interest readers: A statement made in July 1917, in Thessatoniki (Salonica), by the Greek then-foreign minister, Mr. Nikolaos Politis, with the explicit approval and endorsement of then-prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos,  has not received adequate historical mention. The statement was published in  the July 1917 issue of the Greek-zionist magazine Pro-Israel. The statement; which was recently discovered by Greek historian Gerasimos Apostolatos reads as follows: "The idea of the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine is met with sincere sympathy by us (the Greek government). The blessed day on which the old aspiration of the Jewish -Nation will become a reality will be hailed by us, and will be a triumph of the free-spirit and the neutralization of age-old prejudices against the Jews. The creation of a National Jewish Home in Palestine, where the national spirit of Judaism. will be able to develop freely, will be the correction of an evident injustice which has lasted for 20 centuries.

"If the Great .Powers will propose the settlement of the Jewish problem, Greece will support the creation of a Hebrew Palestine. A Jewish Palestine, will be, without question an ally of Greece, while the similarity of our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean will render our ties unbreakable".

While the Balfour Declaration, as expressed in the well-known November 2, 1917 letter to Lord Rothchild, became famous and is considered as the major diplomatic document recognizing the need for the creation of a "national home for the Jewish People", it is worthwhile to recall that the Greek government's statement, made five months earlier, was the first official endorsement of the Jewish State idea.

This becomes . particularly important in view of recent developments in the relations of the two countries and their expected close cooperation not only in the cultural-economic fields, but also in the area of defense.

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Samuel H.: From Today's Athens News - 28.10.99

Referring to Greece's security priorities in the eastern Mediterranean, Tsochadzopoluos said that Athens supported the Middle East peace process and promoted cooperation with Arab countries within the framework of maximising security in the region.

The Athens talks came barely ten days after Tsochadzopoulos visited Israel at the invitation of Prime Minister Ehud Barak for talks concerning the extensive upgrading and expansion of a previous joint defence pact signed between the two countries in 1994 during a visit to Israel by the then defence minister, Gerasimos Arsenis. Details of the new Greek-Israeli defence agreement were not announced, but the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) is reported

to have decided to equip the Hellenic Airforce F-16 fighters with an Israeli aerial self-defence system.

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Elias M.: Not the Usual Suspects? - Letter to the Odyssey magazine - May/June 1998

lt is commendable that Odyssey represents a facet of Greek society that is often ignored by mainstream media in Greece. ("Forgotten History, Fragile Future: A Belated Tribute to the Jews of Greece," January/February 1998.)

The writer of the story was wise enough to interview the "right people."

By this I mean he avoided the mainstream Jewish officials everyone interviews and who always give the same skewed "politically correct" picture of the situation. Being a Greek Jewish scholar myself, and currently living in Israel, researching and doing a dissertation on the history of Greek synagogues, I would like to mid some information that may he of interest to your readers.

Concerning the number of synagogues before and after World War II in Thessaloniki, the writer mentions in his article "only two of Thessaloniki's hundreds of synagogues were still standing [after the war]."

According to my research, the number of synagogues in Thessaloniki before the war was 60 (33 synagogues and 27 oratories, called midrashim). An earlier research study published by Albertos Nar in "The Synagogues of Thessaloniki-Our Song," gives a total of 49 (19 synagogues and 30 oratories).

Concerning the number of synagogues that survived after the war, the following is known: Only six synagogues and one midrash have been documented as still standing. Most of these synagogues were later demolished to make way for the new development that sprung up in the city.

Concerning the Thessaloniki Holocaust monument and the choice of the artist: The late professor Nandor Glid was not chosen in an "open" competition; he was selected only after a national competition open only to Greek sculptors produced no winners.

Concerning the synagogues in Athens: Athens does not have a "sole functioning synagogue,'' as your article states. there are two synagogues standing in Athens today, Beit Shalom and Ianniotiki (across the street). The former opens on a daily (or nearly daily) basis, while the latter opens on high holidays. 'There is an additional synagogue functioning occasionally inside the Jewish Museum of Greece.

Finally, concerning the synagogues in Greece that are currently under a conservation process: In addition to the important work carried out in Hania, there is another synagogue that is currently being conserved and which your article does not mention-the synagogue of Veroia.

This synagogue is the of the most important in Greece, dating from the 10th century and standing amid a well-preserved Jewish quarter. The work is led and coordinated by myself, and is carried out under the auspices of the local municipality in cooperation with the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

The project has been financed in its first two phases by grants from the Getty Grant Program in Santa Monica and by matching funds from the local municipality.

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