The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate made a very good or rather and excellent decision by establishing ‘The Nicholas Bouras Award For Philanthropic Leadership’ in honor and memory of the late businessman and great benefactor Nicholas Bouras from New Jersey.
He used to give every so often huge amounts of money to the Archdiocese, especially during Archbishop Demetrios tenure in order to drag the Archdiocese out of the financial mud, since time and again it wasn’t able to meet its payroll obligations.
You can refresh your memory by searching the articles of both editions of The National Herald, Greek and English, on our web site.
The Archons made another excellent decision to select global businessman and philanthropist Michael Psaros to be this year’s recipient of The Nicholas Bouras Award. He deserves it, because he walks in the footsteps of the Lord – and of Nicholas Bouras of blessed memory.
Psaros has done and given so much, more than all the Archons put together have done and given, since with a few exceptions, the majority of them are only there for the panegyric events and photographs.
But here there is an issue or rather a thunderous omission and flash of forgetfulness that I want to remind in all directions, starting with Bartholomew himself, and then moving to the Archdiocese, to Demetrios who greatly benefited and continues to benefit to this day, to Limberakis, and generally to all the honorable Archons – that Bouras wasn’t the only one who was giving and salvaging, but it was also Michael Jaharis of blessed memory whom unfortunately the Archdiocese and its Archon’s have forgotten.
I won’t make any reference to Elpidophoros because he is a ‘neophyte’ in our Church here and our Omogenia, but his predecessor, Demetrios while he was in power, could have honored the memory of this Grand Benefactor of the Archdiocese, of the Phanar, of Greece, of the Omogenia, of Hellenism in general – but also his own supporter.
From what I am in a position to know, the late Michael Jaharis, whose roots are in the village of Agia Paraskevi of Lesvos, was no less a benefactor than Bouras towards the Archdiocese, the School of Theology, the Patriarchate, and Hellenism.
Just his huge donations to the Metropolitan Museum of New York which led to the establishment of the Jaharis Gallery of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art could be characterized a monumental donation for the projection and witness of Hellenism in America. George Behrakis has done something similar in Boston.
Jaharis also established at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology The Mary Jaharis Center For Byzantine Art and Culture. He established the Chair of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins in honor of Archbishop Demetrios and he also established a Chair at Tufts University as well as a Center of Public Health.
In his parent’s village Agia Paraskevi on Lesvos he built a state-of-the-art Home for the Aged in which old timers who have no families find care and the resources so “their ends could be without pain and suffering, to be painless and peaceful.”
Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism is Michael Jaharis’ work, from which many millions were taken some months ago for the completion of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero. The funds of the Faith endowment is an issue for a separate analysis – let me state here that I was present when it was established in Boston, from where the first article about it was written. I am making this reminder that no one should forget that the Greek Edition of the ‘National Herald’ – ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΗΡΥΞ writes the history of the Church and Hellenism in America since 1915 and the English Edition ‘The National Herald’ has been performing that function for twenty-five years as of this week.
May the memory of Nicholas Bouras, whose name was uttered and honored many times last week, be eternal, but also let the memory of Michael Jaharis, and his many and huge acts of philanthropy and good works be everlasting as well.