Administrative Organization - The Community today

Rita Moise

The Jewish Community of Larissa is a Public Entity of religious and charitable nature that functions under State Law 2456/20. The Administrative Board of the Community which governs has 6 members and is elected by a Body of Assembly of 25 members that results from elections held every three years.

After the Holocaust and the emigration of many Jews to Israel and the United States, as well as to the larger communities of Athens and Thessalonica, today the Community of Larissa has 330 members.

The Community has various committees, such as the women's organizations WIZO and AVIV, the Zionist Association, which exists since 1906 and is the first one in Greece, and the Youth section. It is active in all areas, organizing religious, cultural and social events that are not limited within the Community. The Larissa Jews, having competent administrators, participate actively in the life of the city and keep excellent relations with their Gentile fellow-citizens.

Since 1996, the Community has modern community offices that were built on a land plot donated by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece. They are located on Kendavron Street across from the Monument.

All other institutions of the Community, in other words the Community Centre, the synagogue, the school, the hall for funeral services, are located on the same block.

The Community Cultural Centre has been functioning since 1954. This is where most events were and are being held: Sabbath services (Friday night) twice a month, school events and Passover Seder for the young. The hall was renovated in 1999. The upper floor, which is mainly used by the Jewish Youth, was repaired in the same year.

The synagogue helds services every Friday evening, led by Rabbi Elias Sabethai with the active participation of the children attending the Hebrew school. Services are also held on Saturday morning and of course on all Jewish holidays. Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, B'rith Mila (circumcision ceremonies), memorial services, Holocaust Remembrance Services (attended by municipal authorities and the public) and Yom Ha'Atzmaouth (Israel Independence Day), are also held in the synagogue.

The Hebrew school has been running since 1931 and the majority of the students who have graduated (several generations) have developed into important members of society in all areas. Since 1959 Hebrew is taught by the competent Hebrew teacher Jacob Fellous. It is generally considered that all graduates have excelled in their knowledge of Hebrew.

At all times, the Community of Larissa was governed by significant people, each of whom contributed to its growth and development. Today, the Administration Council of the Community is comprised of: Minos Albelansis - chairman, Morris Magrisos - vice-chairman, Rita Moise - general secretary, Albertos Begas - treasurer and Betty Magrisou, Samis Begas - members and Elias Philosof, Magy Magrisou - substitute members.

This is the Community of Larissa. Due to the small number of its members, it faces functional problems, problems in the school, problems of creating new Jewish families (because of intermarriage) etc.

In spite of this, however, it persists to survive and is optimistic about the future.

Administration offices of the Jewish Community of Larissa (JCL)
(Photo: Arcive of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
Members of the Administrative Board of the JCL
(Photo: Arcive of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
Esdras Moise, Former President of JCL
(Photo: Arcive of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
President Alvertos Roussos awards Former President Esdras Moise honorary plaque
(Photo: Arcive of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
The Synagogue “Etz Hayim”
(Photo: Arcive of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
Inside the Synagogue. In the middle, it is Bema (Teva), a built resemble prow ship, traditionally symbolizing Noah’s Ark and at the back we could see “Ehal”
(Photo: Archives of Esdra D. Moise & Families of the Jewish Community of Larissa)
Jewish inscription on the north entrance of the Synagogue
(Photo: Archives of Esdra D. Moise & Families of the Jewish Community of Larissa)

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