Greek Jews have lived in Greece for over 2000 years. Despite the uniqueness and importance of this group - few studies have been devoted to understand their identity, their integration/assimilation into the Greek society and their attitudes and experiences in regards to Anti-Semitism.
Greek Jews today still struggle to assert their legitimacy as Greeks. They are often suspected of having divided loyalties between Greece and Israel or are told that “Greekness” and Orthodox Christianity are conterminous. It has become more urgent to explore this issue given the rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe and the advent of Golden Dawn in Greece, a far right neo Nazi party whose leaders have openly denied the Holocaust and blame Jews for Greece’s economic difficulties.
To explore this, a mixed-method study is proposed to acquire quantitative and qualitative data on Greek Jews: The questions raised will focus on how they assimilated and integrated into the larger Greek Orthodox community and will measure the current state of Antisemitism from their perspective in Greece. The data will include survey questionnaires in conjunction with semi-structured interviews. The participants will be selected in random from the existing Greek Jewish communities (approx. 5,500).
This study will also generate a literature review of both the Romaniote and the Sephardic Jews and their presence throughout the historical periods of the region and the emergence of the Modern Greek state.
It will provide empirical data which could help policy makers, educators and researchers, in Greece and abroad, gain a better understanding of Greek Jewry and their history by developing effective measures in order to address their challenges for survival and full acceptance in the contemporary and heavily homogeneous Greek society.
Lastly, it will encourage and hopefully inspire the contemporary Greek political leaders and government officials to include in the history books the role and the existence of Greek Jews throughout the ages, their contribution to the modern Greek State and their struggle for survival during the holocaust.
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