Greek Jews pledged £630k aid

By Jennifer Lipman, March 1, 2012

An emergency fundraising campaign has been launched to help the thousands of Greek Jews who have been badly hit by the financial crisis.

The Jewish Agency has pledged to send £630,000 in aid to the 7,500-strong community, as well as to set up a fundraising drive to ensure future support. Soaring numbers of Greek Jews are unemployed and are struggling to exist below the poverty line, while 70 elderly members of the community are reliant on donors for food and shelter.

In addition, the Jewish Agency plans to dispatch educators to teach Hebrew at Greece's Jewish school and holiday programmes.

The country's economic collapse has left communal organisations unable to pay their bills and has put the future of Greece's synagogues and burial societies at risk.

Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, said: "The funds will enable communal institutions to continue their operations, including programmes to strengthen the community's ties with Israel and the development of unique aliyah tracks for those members of the community who wish to emigrate to Israel."

Last updated: 2:18pm, June 14 2012