NEW YORK – This year, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day of the Greek Jewry will be held virtually via Zoom on January 21, 6 PM EST. The event features The Good Shepherds, an exhibition by the Jewish Museum of Greece in cooperation with The American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece. The speakers include His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandra Papadopoulou, and Dr. Mimis N. Cohen.
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This year, the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID has inadvertently underscored the importance of the commemoration ceremony, which will, for the first time, be held virtually, but on a Pan-American level, under the auspices of the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC, and with the participation of every Greek Consular Authority in the USA.
The idea for The Good Shepherds exhibition by the Jewish Museum of Greece (JMG) originated with Mr. Samuel (Makis) Matsas, President of the Museum. A child of the Occupation, who survived thanks to the timely escape of his parents and the generosity of friends and strangers, Mr. Matsas asked the museum to research the conditions under which senior members of the Christian clergy and eminent rabbis acted in various ways to assist persecuted Jews during the Nazi Occupation.
The exhibit showcases the positive actions, gestures of sympathy or support, and rescue attempts, no matter how large or small, revealed by JMG research, to honor those involved at the time and inspire us today. It also aims to highlight the importance of individual choice within an extremely complex, suffocating, and often contradictory context. The stories are illustrated by original artefacts belonging to some of the senior clerics featured in the exhibition. The exhibition has been realized within the framework of a three-year-long programmatic cooperation between the Museum and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Athens.
As noted in the invitation sent out by Public Diplomacy Office in New York of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN and the Consulate General of Greece in New York, “this event will, once more, especially under the current circumstances, unequivocally reaffirm our common and relentless commitment to stand against anti-Semitism.”
The American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece (AFJMG) is the only official representative of the Jewish Museum of Greece (JMG) in the United States of America. It is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization registered in the States of New York and Illinois. AFJMG is also a Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund approved public charity. AFJMG is the oldest association affiliated with JMG to bring together Sephardic and Romaniot Jews in North America. AFJMG maintains close relations with other Jewish organizations as well as government agencies both in the United States and Greece.
The Jewish Museum of Greece was founded in 1977. In 1998 The Jewish Museum of Greece moved to its own building in the center of Athens and has become the fulcrum of renewal of Jewish community life and a lead agent for Holocaust studies in Europe, visited each year by thousands of visitors in Athens, Greece.
More information is available online: https://afjmg.org/.