K.E. Fleming


Arson Attack on a Synagogue of Peace

By K.E. Fleming

Arson Attack on a Synagogue of Peace
For decades after its Jews were rounded up and deported in 1944, Etz Hayyim in Hania, the only synagogue on this Aegean island, served as an informal rubbish dump. Little was left but the floor and walls when Nikos Stavroulakis began a long process of reclamation and reconstruction. Stavroulakis, founder of the Jewish Museum of Greece, located in Athens, had decided to return to Crete; once there, he felt the 14th-century synagogue “calling out to him.” Thanks to his tireless fundraising, adept bureaucratic negotiations and superbly restrained aesthetics, Etz Hayyim was rededicated in 1999, an island of Ottoman authenticity in the vast, generic sea of the Greek tourism industry.Read More



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