Through invitation by the Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Munich, Prof. Michael Brenner, our director Nikos Stavroulakis was invited to speak on the Renovation of an Abandoned Synagogue. Funds for this were provided by the Kiessling Foundation of Munich and the lecture was held in the University on the 16th May of this year.
The evening was relaxed and informal and accompanied by a CD that had been put together by our Administrative Secretary Alex Phountoulakis and Stavroulakis. Anja Zuckmantel, our librarian and archivist, was an important adjunct and assisted the director.
In attendance were students from the University as well as a Turkologist who is interested in working with us and a number of scholars – notably Ilona Steinman who is I working on Romaniot siddurim and has done published research on a quite unique illustrated Pirke Avot done in Crete in the 16th century that is now in the Library of the Jewish Museum in Jerusalem.
As Munich has a quite large Cretan Community we were especially honoured by the presence of the Honourable Sophia Grammata, the Consul General of Greece, and Fr. Apostolos Malamousis who represented the Greek Community of Munich as well as Mr. Manolis Kouioumdouzis, the President of the Cretan Association of Munich that also provided an excellent buffet and Cretan wine.
As an overview of the years from 1995 until today the presentation stressed the condition of Etz Hayyim Synagogue as it lay abandoned and in a state of near collapse from 1944/1995 until today when it has a vibrant and lively community of Jews, Christians and Muslims who have found shelter within its walls and a sharing of common values.[nggallery id=48]