The Salonika and Greece Jewry Heritage Center in Memory of Leon Recanati (1890-1945) is an experiential, homelike, and inspiring environment, a nexus for the Greek-Jewish community and a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to look back in time.
The Center presents the history and lives of Thessaloniki`s Jewish community, with its people, stories, traditions, cuisine, Ladino culture, music, and religion. Our facility provides a pleasant experience and opens a door into a world full of life and a forgotten piece of history.
The Center was established in 2010 by our founder, Mr. Leon Recanati, a member of the Thessaloniki Jewish community. His personal calling was to give a voice to the community, preserve and promote their unique and rich culture, and allow the following generations of the community to explore their heritage.
Throughout its years of activity, the Center has hosted students, IDF soldiers, ambassadors, public figures, politicians, businessmen, researchers, and the Greek-Jewish community`s descendants. Descendants see the Center as a cultural home preserving remnants of memories from their childhood, a magical world that belongs to the past.
What does the Center have to offer?The heart of the Center is a permanent exhibition that displays the history of the once-thriving community, starting from its first days when it was a center of attraction for scholars and significant historical milestones.
To introduce the community`s fascinating history and culture, visitors are invited to explore the unique items that are on display in the exhibition:
A large living room furnished with the comfortable sofas characteristic of the times, a library of original books, a festive and inviting food corner showing embroidered tablecloths, food and serving dishes, and various tastes from the local cuisine; and religious artifacts, decorative objects, old radio receivers, and much more. The exhibition conveys a picture of the full and happy lives that were suddenly disrupted by the holocaust.
The memory room provides material testimony to the holocaust of Greek Jewry, which has yet to receive proper national attention. The story of a witness, member of the community, helps to deepen our familiarity with the community`s painful story.
The central library is ideal for screening films and holding lectures, in a pleasant space with hundreds of books and old artifacts.
The arts and crafts room invites students to explore the rich culture and try different artistic techniques. This room also hosts temporary exhibitions.
ActivitiesThe Center’s team has created a wide variety of activities for every type of audience and for every occasion, from educational programs for elementary students, through research activity for college students and scholars, to culture days for soldiers, family gatherings, and culture and language evenings.
We invite you to find the activities that suit you at our Center.