Last remaining synagogue on Rhodes is well worth a visit



Title Last remaining synagogue on Rhodes is well worth a visit
Author(s) Henry F. Srebrnik
Related item Canadian Jewish News
Start page 35
Date 2002
Abstract Jews appear to have lived on [RHODES], the largest and easternmost of the 13 Dodecanese islands, since Roman times; they are mentioned in the writings of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. The famed medieval Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela founded a community of almost 500 Jews here in 1166. But things took a turn for the worse with the arrival of the Knights, who brooked no opposition to their Catholic faith; even the Greek Orthodox peasantry on the island was oppressed. The Kahal Shalom synagogue is located in La Juderia, the old Jewish quarter of Rhodes, at the intersection of two narrow cobblestoned. alleyways named Dossiadou and Simiou. In 1939, there were still six synagogues in Rhodes, but today, it is the only one left. It remains the oldest functioning synagogue in all of Greece. Rhodes lies just a few miles off the Turkish mainland, a one-hour trip by fast catamaran, or 45 minutes by hydrofoil, from the lovely Turkish resort of Marmaris. (Since prices are cheaper on the Turkish side, some tourists take only day trips.) The island is also well served by a network of ferries that ply the Greek islands, and there are daily excursions to nearby islands such as Symi and Kos--themselves worthy of extended visits. Charter and regularly scheduled airlines fly into the modem international airport on Rhodes from Athens and other major European cities. Arkia Airlines connects Rhodes with Israel.

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