SYNESIOS PHILIPPIDIS (1868-1944)

The Jewish community of Thiva
Despite Thiva’s rich medieval Jewish past, as recorded by Benjamin of Tudela and other sources, in 1928 there were just two Jews living in Thiva according to the official census.

The prelate
Synesios Philippides served as Metropolitan of Thiva and Livadia for 32 years, from 1912 until 27 February 1944. He was succeeded on 9 April 1944 by Polykarpos Koutsoupidis (1893–1968), who as archimandrite had a long record of service in the Thiva diocese.

Support and solace
The city’s two Jewish families were helped to flee from Thiva and go into hiding. That is how they survived. After the war, two members of one of these families converted to Christianity. The other family, that of judge Siakkis, was from eastern Macedonia, from where they had been saved thanks to the intervention of the Thessaloniki diocese.

Recognition
According to the account of Metropolitan Dorotheos of Paramythia, who occupied the Thiva and Livadia see from 1957 to 1966, during the Occupation “two Jewish families lived in the city, that of appellate judge Hiskias Siakkis and that of Ilias Levis, to whom every assistance was provided so that they could survive during the troubled years of the German Occupation”.

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