March 10, 2022. Maliotis Cultural Center of Hellenic College Holy Cross hosted the inaugural event of its next exhibit: “The Good Shepherds: Chief Metropolitans and Rabbis in the Face of Holocaust” on Thursday. According to the Jewish Museum of Greece, “the exhibit’s purpose is to showcase the positive actions, rescue attempts, gestures of sympathy or support, no matter how large or small, revealed by the Jewish Museum of Greece research, in order to honor those involved and inspire us today. The idea for this exhibition came from Samuel (Makis) Matsas, President of the Jewish Museum of Greece (JMG). A child of the Occupation, who survived thanks to the timely escape of his parents and the generosity of friends and strangers, he asked us to research the conditions under which senior members of the Christian clergy and eminent rabbis decided and acted in various ways to assist persecuted Jews during the years of the Nazi Occupation” (JMG website).
The exhibition features inspiring tales of heroism of the “Good Shepherds”. In both Greek and English text, the “Good Shepherds” panels are a sobering encapsulation of both the basest crimes perpetrated by humans against other human beings – the result of a fallen world- and also the uplifting witness of the triumph of the human spirit over evil, as evidenced by the indomitable legacies of these good shepherds. In his remarks, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America urged that the exhibit be received as a call-to-action: “The brave rabbis and clergy who came together and found a way to preserve life, even as they preserved the human spirit and their God-given dignity, are calling us to follow their example. They were good shepherds of their flocks, who were willing to lay down their lives for the sake of their sheep”.
The exhibition was first unveiled abroad in Greece in 2018 as the result of a “three-year-long programmatic cooperation between the Museum and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Athens” and was on display in Greece until 2020.
For the first time ever, this exhibit has been brought to the United States because of the initiative of Mr. Drake Behrakis, President of the National Hellenic Society, who also serves as the Chair of the Maliotis Cultural Center Board, and the partnership of the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The Exhibit will be travelling the entire US after the fall of 2022.