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40 years of active presence

Friday, December 1, 2023

    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND- Union with Greece

    The Treaty of London (29 March 1864) recognised the Ionian Islands as a greek province. The High Commissioner officially proclaimed the Union of the Islands with Greece on 21 May 1864. Initially, the position of the Jewish community improved significantly. The island’s Jews were granted full political and civil rights, as Greek citizens. They could henceforth take part in community matters, run for election and actively participate in social and political life. These new conditions led to a flowering of the community, culturally and financially. Most families were now pretty affluent and the community boasted a number of schools, as well as a nursing home for the elderly. In 1925 a rabbinical school was founded, while a Talmud Torah school operated until the beginning of the 20th century. Rabbi Abraham Schreiber and the teacher Moissis Chaimis founded a night school for destitute pupils. Despite this good atmosphere, the traditional discord between the Greci and the Pugliesi, though muted, continued to burn underneath, despite the best efforts of Rabbi Schreiber, as well as those of his successor, Rabbi Yaacov Nechama. The two communities even maintained separate benevolent institutions.

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