Thessaloniki Association

“Jews of Thessaloniki” Reception

Ένωση Θεσσαλονικέων «Ο Λευκός Πύργος» Μελβούρνης

16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Η Ένωση Θεσσαλονικέων Μελβούρνης ξεκίνησε τη σειρά εκδηλώσεών της, εορτάζοντας τα 30 Χρόνια αδελφοποίησης της μακρινής από τη Ελλάδα Μελβούρνης με τη Θεσσαλονίκη. Στη Μελβούρνη ζουν και διαπρέπουν τριακόσιες και πλέον χιλιάδες Ελληνισμού. Εδώ θα συγκεντρωθούν οι ομογενείς το Νοέμβριο με το κάλεσμα της Ένωσης Θεσσαλονικέων.

Στη Βουλή της πολιτείας της Βικτώρια έγινε η πρώτη εκδήλωση στην Αγγλική που είχε τίτλο « Οι Εβραίοι της Θεσσαλονίκης» όπου διάφοροι πολιτικοί, αρχηγοί οργανώσεων και επιχειρήσεων έδωσαν το παρών και μίλησαν για τη σημαντική ιστορία των Εβραίων στη Θεσσαλονίκη και των δεινών που υπέστησαν από τους Ναζί κατά τον Β’ Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο.

Η συμμετοχή στην εκδήλωση ήταν μόνον με πρόσκληση και την παρακολούθησαν πέραν των δώδεκα πολιτικών της πολιτείας της Βικτώρια. Οι ομιλητές έθιξαν τα παθήματα των Ισραηλιτών κατά την περίοδο της Γερμανικής κατοχής και όχι μόνον.

Η εκδήλωση συνοδεύτηκε από μουσική Θεοδωράκη με το «Άσμα Ασμάτων» και της μεγάλης τραγουδήστριας Μαρινέλας. Οι κύριοι ομιλητές ήταν η Dr Helen Light AM, πρώην διευθύντρια του Μουσείου των Εβραίων της Μελβούρνης, και η κυρία Εύα Δαφαράνου, σύζυγος του Πρέσβη της Ελλάδας στη Βικτώρια. Επίσης απαγγέλθηκαν στο κοινό μεταφρασμένα ποιήματα της εποχής στην Αγγλική από Έλληνες λογοτέχνες.

Ήταν μια σεμνή εκδήλωση που άγγιξε με σοβαρότητα και σαφήνεια την ιστορία της πόλης της Θεσσαλονίκης και τις δημιουργίες της τέχνης των συγγραφέων της.

Jews of Thessaloniki

Musicians from Greece
Musicians from Greece
Dr Helen Light AM
Dr Helen Light AM
Mrs T. Mavroudis, Mrs A. Garivaldis, Mrs E. Dafaranos (main speaker)
Mrs T. Mavroudis, Mrs A. Garivaldis, Mrs E. Dafaranos (main speaker)
Crowd at the gathering
Crowd at the gathering
Mrs Nina Bassat and Dr Helen Light
Mrs Nina Bassat and Dr Helen Light
Hon Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning
Hon Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning
Hon Maria Vamvakinou, Federal Member of Parliament
Hon Maria Vamvakinou, Federal Member of Parliament
Eyvah Dafaranos, keynote speaker
Eyvah Dafaranos, keynote speaker
Message from the Hon Martin Foley MP:
“The Thessaloniki Association and the Jewish Community of Victoria are to be congratulated for their work over the last few years in marking this awful event
The Facist invasion of Greece, the occupation and the Holocaust in Greece are still relevant issues today both here and in Greece as we see the rise of new racist movements. Your work is to be supported on this basis alone – let alone the importance of ensuring the memory of those murdered is honoured.”

Function in the Victorian Parliament by invitation only

JEWS_THESS

A Cocktail Reception in the Victorian Parliament, Queens Hall, to commemorate the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki during WW II.

Main speakers on the day –

Eyvah T. Dafaranos

eyvahBorn in Athens, Eyvah began classical ballet at the age of seven and concluded her classical studies. She studied Middle Eastern and International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She speaks fluently English, Italian, Hebrew and Arabic.

Since 1982, she has been residing extensively in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Sweden, South Africa, India and West Africa, joining her diplomat husband; while residing in these countries she interacted with national cultural organizations as well as with Greek Diaspora institutions and co-produced inter-cultural events aiming at promoting the arts and understanding, believing strongly in cultural diplomacy through which states and civil societies can be brought together and coexist in peace.

Eyvah has had a diversified international activity as theatrical producer, actress, poet, newspaper columnist, radio and television presenter, P.R. consultant and art-curator.

  • In Israel, (1987-1990) she was instrumental in instituting a Greek language school in Jerusalem.
  • In Sweden, (1990-1993) she organised International Bazaars, as well as a Greek National Dances Seminar.
  • In South Africa, (1996-1999) she cooperated culturally with the Soweto and Alexandra, Johannesburg Municipalities, as well as with Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Foundation. She also established an “Eyvah T. Dafaranos Annual Award for Theatrical Performance”.
  • In India, (1999-2002) she was the founder and President of the NGO ‘World Heritage Society for Performing Arts’ (WHSPAS). This was an effort to enhance the fusion between the Western and Indian artistic styles through promoting studies of classical ballet as well as Opera, Theatre, Poetry and other forms of performing arts from all over the world, for under privileged children.
  • In July 2002 Eyvah published her first book of poetry entitled ‘Maharani’s Letters’. A leading Indian composer, Johar Ali Khan, put into music Maharani’s Letters with tremendous success.
  • In Nigeria, (2005-2009) Eyvah cooperated with his Excellency the Ambassador, Haris Dafaranos, her husband, in various cultural projects promoting the Hellenic artistic heritage, its fusion with the contemporary African world of the arts as well as organising photographic exhibitions on Greece and Nigeria and presenting a kaleidoscope of Nigerian national costumes.

Her second book, under the title ‘Humans and Statues’, is going to be printed shortly. In Australia, since November 2012, Eyvah has had so far the opportunity to cultivate exhibitions in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as to lecture in Sydney.

Dr Helen Light AM

helenHelen Light AM was inaugural Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia having worked there from 1983 – 2010. She now works as a consultant in museums, exhibitions and with collections, specifically with multicultural heritage.

She is currently working on a project with the Australian Multicultural Foundation to help ethnic community groups preserve their material history of migration and settlement.

Helen is an Executive Member of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV); and on the Boards of the Ethnic Community Council of Victoria, the Jewish Christian Muslim Association and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.