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Etz HayyimWelcome to Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Hania

Until 1999 Etz Hayyim was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of our Jewish community in 1944. Essentially it stood as a monument to the success of the Nazis in obliterating 2300 years of Jewish life on the Island of Crete. From 1996 until the year of its re-dedication in 1999 the structure has been painstakingly restored. The philosophy that directed this work is summed up in the Hebrew – ‘Am Israel Hayy’ – ‘The people of Israel Live’. Today it stands as a vibrant statement of Jewish life, vitality and values, whereas yesterday it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund's list of most endangered sites !

Since the time of its re-dedication Etz Hayyim has quickly assumed an important role as a place of prayer, reconciliation and as a resource center.
We invite you to share in the many facets of its new life.

Where to go from here?
Important Notice
For the latest updates on the Synagogue, upcoming events and our news
Please visit our weblog.

There are more than a few links...
There are several links that can be taken advantage of depending on interest:

  • Information on the History of the Jews of Crete (including a special link on the Shoah as it affected Cretan Jewry) -under "The Jews of Crete".
  • Jottings online , the newsletter of Etz Hayyim now available on the net.
  • If you are interested in supporting the Synagogue please go to the Our Benefactors link.
  • Daily life, a photographic diary of Etz Hayyim.
  • News on special events – weddings, bar mitzvoth, the holidays and visitors. The Events link, which is updated regularly gives information on services, exhibitions, and concerts that take place in the Synagogue periodically.
  • A special link tells the story of the Reconstruction and Re-birth of the structure and its history -under "The Synagogue".
  • There is a Synagogue Shop that has a wide selection of books and artifacts, some made by local craftsmen -under "The Synagogue".
  • A fraternity of Jews and non-Jews, the Havurat Etz Hayyim , has evolved quite naturally through our efforts and its members represent today the synagogue and its functions and maintenance -under "The Jews of Crete".
  • Prayer at Etz Hayyim is an important link to Jewish prayer and the ecumenical work of the Synagogue.
  • Concerning the distinctive character of the Jews of Crete who were neither Sephardic nor Ashkenazic we provide a Glossary of terms (especially useful for our non-Jewish visitors too).
  • The Bibliography lists publications having to do with Judaeao-Cretan History.
  • Contact is your means of making a personal link with the new life of the Synagogue and its Havurah.
  • As Hania and Crete are popular tourist attractions we have also included a link on Travel as well.
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Copyright © 2002 Etz Hayyim Synagogue
Parodos Kondylaki str, 731 10 Hania, Crete, Hellas (GR)
Tel. +30 28210 86286
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