US Secretary of State Pompeo Attends Ceremony in Thessaloniki on Yom Kippur

US Secretary of State Paying respects at the Thessaloniki Jewish Museum, September 28. Credit: US State Department

During his whirlwind trip through Greece and the Balkans, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended a Yom Kippur ceremony in the city which once was home to nearly all of Greece’s Jews before their numbers were decimated in WWII.

Pompeo paid his respects at the city’s Jewish Museum, which tells the stories of many of the city’s Jews, who had lived there for hundreds of years before the devastation of the war. The modern Jewish history in Greece stretches back to 1492, when after being expelled from Spain they traveled eastward to Greece, settling down in Thessaloniki and Ioannina, among other areas.

Now home to only a remnant of its once-thriving population, the city remembers and commemorates the lives of these people every year during Yom Kippur ceremonies and year-round in its Jewish Museum.