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The Jews of Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The presence of Jews in Greece traces back to ancient times. These Greek Jews, known as Romaniotes, spoke Greek (Judeo-Greek) and had developed their own culture and customs within the confines of the Byzantine Empire, living on the mainland as well as on some islands, like Rhodes, Chios and Samos. That Jewish population of Greece increased dramatically in 1492, after the Catholic monarchs of Spain – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand – at the instigation of the Inquisition, issued the decree of Granada, according to which all Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism were to be expelled within 6 months; it is estimated that more than 200.000 Jews were expelled from that “cursed land.”     Continue reading

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