Rhodes

Rhodes

Rhodes, a modern port city on an island the same name, 420 km southeast of Athens. The current Jewish population is 35. Extant sites: one functioning synagogue (one of the oldest on Greece, built in 1575) and cemetery.

Sites:

The Synagogue Kal Shalom, home to the Jewish museum:

It was built in 1575 and is quite impressive. Its interior is divided by three great arches supported on heavy columns. The windows are very high and provide an even illumination. The Bima is placed in the center, in the Sephardi style, and the walls have several large 19th century paintings which have been restored. It is the only synagogue to have survived the ravages of the Second World War. It was renovated through the efforts of the Rhodian Jews living abroad. It functions on the High Holidays and occasionally, when a minyan can be assembled.

The Museum is set in the former women’s prayer rooms. It contains pictures and documents describing the life of the Jews of Rhodes, the emigration, the Holocaust and more.

Location: 8, Simmiou St. and Dosiadou St.
(+30) 22410 223 64 www.rhodesjewishmuseum.org

The Jewish quarter (historically known as “La Juderia”)

Located in the Eastern section of the Old city of Rhodes near the pier of the cruise ships, it is still identifiable within its ancient limits. It is filled with narrow lanes and small facades, and still holds several interesting Jewish landmarks (inscriptions, tablets…).
A square of the Jewish martyrs, once home to Jewish shops and houses, was established and dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust (Plateia ton Evraion Martyron, known also as Seahorse Square because of the seahorse fountain).

The cemetery

It is one of the best preserved in Europe and contains tombstones from the 1500's to the present. Many of its stones are of interest as they incorporate symbols of the trades practiced by the deceased. Excavations of additional tombstones are continuing and during the last five years over 300 burial stones have been uncovered.

    Location: Outside of the Old City of Rhodes along the main road to Kalitheas. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to drive there from the Old City. It is possible to pick up a taxi at the taxi station just outside the Jewish Quarter of the Old City next to "Sea Gate".

For the historical backround of the Rhodes Jewish community, click here


Based on Jewish Sites and Synagogues of Greece -

Nicholas P. Stavroulakis and Timothy J. DeVinney - Talos press