From time to time, there are visitors to Etz Hayyim Synagogue who have family connections with the Jewish community of Crete, or the synagogue is contacted with requests regarding family histories linked to Crete. As the community archive was lost at the time of the arrest of the community in 1944, local resources are quite limited in tracing family roots: these are mainly Ottoman court records, a community registry from 1925 and the community lists requested by the German Occupation Forces. All information and requests are very welcome as there is an ongoing research project at Etz Hayyim’s Evlagon Institute for Cretan Jewish History, which aims to provide an overview of today’s descendants of Cretan Jews.

So far, it has been found that descendants of the Cretan Jewish community live in Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy and Germany. In most cases, their ancestors had left Crete in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Photo 1
Source: public domain