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Greece elects its first Jewish mayor

Moses Elisaf

Moses Elisaf (Screenshot)

ATHENS — A city in northwestern Greece elected the country’s first Jewish mayor.

Moses Elisaf was elected mayor of Ioannina on Sunday, June 2, in the second round of local elections, Ekathimerini reported. The newspaper dubbed him the country’s first Jewish mayor.

Elisaf, who ran as an independent, won by a close vote, garnering 50.33% of the vote compared to his opponent’s 49.67%. Ioannina has a total population of nearly 57,000.

Elisaf is a professor of internal medicine at the University of Ioannina medical school and head of the lipids, atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes dept. of the University Hospital of Ioannina.

He has been head of the small local Jewish community, now numbering about 50, for 17 years.

He served as the head of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

The Jews in Ioannina are of the Romaniote tradition, an ethnic Jewish community native to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greece is home to about 5,000 Jews. Some 90% of the Jews of Greece were killed during the Holocaust.


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