Yohanna Arbib-Prugia with Natan Sharansky, Benjamin Albala (President of the Athens Jewish Community) and other members of the community.
Following a fact-finding mission to Athens and Salonika this past January, in light of the financial duress of the Jewish community due to the economic crisis in Greece, a decision was made to grant emergency relief to the Greek Jewish community. Sabby Mionis, member of the KH Executive, presented a briefing on the difficult situation. Participating in the January fact-finding mission were Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, and Yohanna Arbib-Perugia, Chair of the Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees, together with Avraham Duvdevani, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, and Rani Trainin, Deputy Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The decision to grant financial aid materialized into substantial support and today,at a ceremony at the Jewish school in Athens, the Jewish community of Greece expressed its thanks to Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency for their immense financial support during this time of crisis. A plaque was unveiled in their honor.
Natan Sharansky, Yohanna Arbib-Perugia and Allan Hoffman
Keren Hayesod was represented at the event today by Yohanna Arbib-Perugia and the Jewish Agency by Natan Sharansky, Chairman; Allan Hoffman, Director-General and Shai Felber, Vice President of Community Relations.
Joanna Nahmias, reprepresentative of the Athens Jewish school, noted that the community was in economic straits and could no longer subsidize the school. “We have reached a dead end,” she said. “Without support from Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency, the school may have to close down”.
“It is an honor for us as an organization to be a part of and to be able to contribute to this community”, responded Yohanna Arbib-Perugia.
The Jewish community of Greece as a whole has been under tremendous financial pressure over the past four years, yet, with the support of Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency was able to continue most of its community work.
Before World War II, Greek had a vibrant Jewish community of 77,000; its population today numbers only 5000.
Allan Hoffman, Yohanna Arbib-Perugia and Natan Sharansky, being briefed by School Hebrew teacher, Mrs Matilda Vital
Natan Sharansky, Benjamin Albala, President of the Jewish Community of Athens and Shai Farber listening to a Hanukah performed by the children of the School’s kindergarden
|Member of the Athens’ Jewish Community Board, Victor Asser, presents Yohanna Arbib-Perugia with a commemorative plaque
President of the Athens Jewish Community Benjamin Albala presents Mr Natan Sharansky with a plaque.