A Greek Jewish Odyssey

November 11, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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A lifelong passion for Greece led Carol Gordon to explore the history of the country’s once vibrant Jewish communities. Born in South Africa and migrating to Australia with her family in 1995, Gordon devoted years to researching the experiences of Greece’s Jewish population during the Second World War and its near-destruction during the Holocaust, in the hope of one day sharing this story with the wider community.

Carol Gordon

Carol Gordon

Film crew in Greece

Film crew in Greece

Carol Gordon has published a screenplay, illustrated with the photographs of Emmanuel T. Santos, which in turn inspired the filming of the documentary, “Following Shira’s Journey: A Greek Jewish Odyssey,” (2014) directed by Carol Gordon and Natalie Cunningham.

The documentary has just completed a very successful screening run at the Greek Film Festival with the film being submitted to film festivals worldwide.

An exhibition of Santos’s photography from the film shoot is to be launched soon. With this project, Carol and her team hope to offer an insight into the little-known history of the Greek Jews and their small yet dynamic modern-day communities.

In April this year Carol Gordon participated in the Adult International March of The Living Program. She was a member of a combined group of Australians, Americans, Canadians and South Africans who joined thousands of other students and adults from around the world on this unique program to Poland and Israel.

Melbourne-based Carol says of her experience on MOTL:

 Carol at Auschwitz with a memorial plaque to the Jews of Greece


Carol at Auschwitz with a memorial plaque to the Jews of Greece

“Everyone has their own reason for going on March of The Living. My reason definitely involved my connection to the Jews of Greece. Most of the Greek Jews who were deported perished in Auschwitz. I went to Poland to somehow add in the extra piece of this epic journey I have been on over the past twenty five years in trying to bring the story of the plight of the Greek Jews to the world. Visiting Auschwitz and marching on Yom HaShoah with around fifteen thousand people was my homage to the devastating loss of 87% of the Greek Jewish population.

March of the living was without doubt one of the most meaningful and transformative things I have ever done. I believe every Jew should experience what this program has to offer. It is so well structured and the transition to Israel to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut is uplifting and deeply moving. Both my children participated in the student MOTL program in year 11 and they also feel it was a defining experience for them and for their Jewish identity.”

Registrations are now open for the Adult and Young Adult (20-35) MOTL 2015  program.

Late applications for the Student program will also be taken.

Following Shira’s Journey: A Greek Jewish Odyssey (Trailer) from Natalie Cunningham on Vimeo.

Please visit the website for more details: www.motl.com.au or email motl@jhc.org.au

Carol Gordon is the administrator for March of The Living Australia and is based in Melbourne.

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