Personal letters were sent to members of the Jewish community in Athens in recent months asking them to pay annual community dues. This brash appeal for funds is just one of the previously unthinkable measures taken by Greece’s Jewish community in an effort to survive.
“This never happened in the past,” said Ilana Demetrio, a Jewish resident of Athens. “The practice used to be that each person donated time and money based on his own resources and abilities. But recently, a practice of sending letters specifying concrete amounts has taken root. This happened because of our economic situation.”
Jewish community leaders are familiar with each family’s economic situation, so the letters ask for different dues from each recipient. Even so, many members will have trouble paying. But the community has no alternative.
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