Jewish presence in Greece spans more than 2,300 years. For more than 20 centuries Thessaloniki was the shelter for the persecuted Jews of Europe and was known as "ir v'em beyisral" ("Mother of Israel").
In the 1600s, Thessaloniki's Sephardic community became one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. In the beginning of 1900 the city had more than 50 synagogues, 20 Jewish schools and numerous Jewish institutions and associations. It was a center of Torah learning for all of Europe.
The Athens community was well established by the late 1800s. It was legally organized in 1885 and its official charter was granted in 1889. A synagogue was built in the beginning of the 1900 and dedicated as Etz Hayyim. By the 1940s, the synagogue accommodated more than 3,000 people.
In the rest of Greece, prosperous Jewish communities were established in places such as: Delos, Rhodes, Kos, Crete, Halkis, Aegina, Sparta, Argos, Corinth, Thessaly, Ioannina and Macedonia.
Our Jewish Heritage tours are designed with care and sensitivity for the discerning Jewish traveler who wants to experience and learn in depth about the Jewish Heritage in Greece.