* Greek Jewish youth groups

Greek Jewish Youth Groups

Figure 1.--This is a grooup of Jewish Boy Scouts from Salonica (Salonique) in 1933. There is writing on the back in French. The boys may be on a trip to France. Put your cursor on the image to see the back.

Jewish boys in the early 20th century were involved in both Zionist and non-Zionist organizations. The Zionist organization B'nai Zion was active in Greece (early 1920s). It was led by dentist Isaac de Botton. B'nai Zion did some fund raising for the Jewish National Fund. De Botton also edited the Judeo-Spanish Zionist newspaper La Fuerza (1922). This showed the Sephardic origins of many Greek Jews. De Botton also published the Judeo-Spanish periodical El Progresso (1924). These publications covered both local and regional events with on the the Jewish world. To mak the opening of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, de Botton issued Leumi (National) in Judeo-Spanish (1925). In addition to B'nai Zion, Jews organized the HaTikva sport organization (1922). There were also non-Zionist youth groups. The principal group was the Boy Scouts. One group of Jewish Scouts organized in Xanthi (mid-1920s). They joined with the Salonikan Jewish Boy Scout Chapter Maccabee. We are not sure to what extent Jewish Scouts groups were organized because Jewish boyswere not welcomed in other Scout Gruops or if the primary reason that the boys wanted to be with other Jews. Perhaps a little of both. There were several other Jewish youth groups. One of the most important was a Jewish youth theater group. It was favorably commented on by the local press. There were also a music and sports association. We also note the club Cercle Isra´┐Żlite. The Greek Jewish coomunity was almost totally destroyed by the Germansfter they invaded Greece in World War II (1941).


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Created: 4:01 AM 4/25/2010
Last updated: 4:01 AM 4/25/2010