Faith-Based Leadership in a Turbulent World

Ms. Kalliopi Mavragka and Mr. Sergios Voilas – scientific team of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece participed in the Executive program “Faith-Based Leadership in a Turbulent World” May 2-6, 2022 organized by The Fletcher School – Tufts University and the Foreign Affairs Institute of Athens.
The aims of the project were to integrate the organic knowledge and teachings of the Orthodox faith with contemporary applied and technical skills for leadership in a complex local, international, and transnational environment. This gathering represented an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of faith-based leadership in today’s global context, to learn from experts and peers while exploring our own journey and goals as leaders.
Also a Special Reception was given in honor of the participants in the “Faith-Based Leadership in a Turbulent World” program which was hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Athens at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens.

The Combat Antisemitism Movement at the Interorthodox Centre

On Wednesday the 23rd of March 2022 we had the pleasure to meet and
welcome the first official delegation of the Combat Antisemitism Movement at our premises at the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece. CAM Senior Advisor and Center for Jewish Impact Chairman Robert Singer and CAM Partnerships and Diplomatic Outreach Coordinator Catherine Szkop CAM met with His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopyle, Director of the Interorthodox Centre, alongside with the
scientific team consisted of Christos Nasios and Kalliopi Mavragka.

The agenda was focused on the importance of education in the fight against antisemitism, as well as the need for person-to-person encounters to familiarize young Greeks with members of the Jewish
community. The CAM delegation expressed their deep gratitude to the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece for its commitment to building bridges between the Hellenic and Jewish peoples, and their
anticipation for a meaningful relationship between the two organizations moving forward, something that will benefit the collective effort against Jew-hatred.

We look forward to future collaboration and joint projects!

“There is Neither Greek Nor Jew”

Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece is proud to co-sponsor an important educational event that took place on the 25th of January 2022, regarding with the annual Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration Day. The worldwide Combat Antisemitism Movement that day highlighted the history of Hellenic-Jewish relations and the need to further strengthen these bonds. The goal of this special gathering was to inspire a new generation of civic and religious leadership in confronting antisemitism, even when it’s not the convenient path. That path was chosen by Metropolitan of Zakynthos Chrysostomos Dimitriou and Mayor Loukas Karrer, two very important figures who set the example.

20th century, going to the 21st. Rivesaltes in the heart of history

In December 2021 a unique educational program took place. Yahad in Unum’s final teacher training seminar of the year occurred in collaboration with the Mémorial du Camp de Rivesaltes in southern France. 10 European educators who have already participated in Yahad in Unum teacher training programs were reunited for a unique seminar with Yahad researchers, focused on workshops on the practical uses of Yahad educational tools and discussions on different innovative teaching methods. On behalf of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece Sergios Voilas participated and shared with the other researchers the effort that the Interorthodox Centre makes, among other, all the past years in order to raise awareness on matters concerning Antisemitism and hate speech phenomena.

“Taking Action – Speaking Words of Dialogue, Confronting Hate-speech”

Celebrating the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime -9th December and Human Rights day -10th December, Mr. Sergios Voilas, the permanent scientific coordinator of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece and KAICIID Fellow Alumni brought to a round table for discussion and presentations representatives of international organizations, institutions, educational communities, clergy people, theologians and other experts. The project was given the title “Taking Action – Speaking Words of Dialogue, Confronting Hate-speech”. Mrs. Garyfallia Lea Micha and Mr. Yoni Berrous participated on behalf of Yad Vashem. Mr. Rahmi Basia, President of the Islam Teachers Association of Thrace and Mr. Manos Kefalas, President of the Wikipedia Community Schools Association Greece spoke also. Dr. Christos Nasios, a high school teacher himself and an associate of the Interorthodox Centre gave a presentation in cooperation with Mrs. Kalliopi Mavragka. Interventions were made by Professor Rev. Aristarchos Grekas, whο is in charge of the program “Church and Culture” of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens and teacher of the lesson of Religion Mr. Alexandros Galanopoulos.

Interreligious mosaic in Chalkis: Greek schools in dialogue with social cohesion

As part of the KAICIID International Fellows Program European Cohort 2021, Kalliopi Mavragka – Interothodox Centre of the Church of Greece, organized and implemented an innovative training program by the title of: “Interreligious mosaic in Chalkis: Greek schools in dialogue with social cohesion” for primary and high school teachers, 17-24 October 2021 targeting in familiarizing themselves with different religious and cultural traditions and the promotion of mutual understanding, solidarity and peaceful coexistence through educational activities.
A team of 24 experienced teachers were trained in Pendeli and Chalkida for two weeks and acquired and/or improved knowledge and skills so as to address diversity issues, both religious and cultural, as well as to adopt principles and tools that promote dialogue with the “other”.
More specifically, the educational visit to Chalkida allowed the participants to delve into the timeless coexistence of religions and cultures and to get to know personally the Jewish community of the city and the solidarity ties they maintain with the local Orthodox Church. The trainees were strengthened to use the examples of solidarity in the classroom as educational tools in order to cultivate in students the values of dialogue, acceptance and coexistence in society.
The implementation of this action was supported by Sergios Voilas and Christos Nasios – Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration of Shoah Victims

The Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece in commemoration of Shoah Victims and the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, alongside with the SIGNAL-Researching and Confronting the Far Right and the Association for History Education in Greece, organized a discussion on Wednesday 20th January 2021 about: “Exploring Memory, talking about the Holocaust in Greek schools – Interdisciplinary approaches”.

The event took place a week earlier because we wanted to give the Greek teachers the opportunity to have teaching material proposals for this special day.

Our speakers: theologian Dr. Christos Nasios, high school teacher and scientific associate of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, historian Dr. Vassiliki Sakka, high school teacher and President of the Association for History Education in Greece and Dr. Vasia Tsami who teaches sociolinguistics at the Department of Early Childhood Education – School of Education at the University of Athens. They presented the course and the progression of teaching about the Holocaust in Greek schools throughout the years and also they gave their suggestions concerning old and new teaching material studied in class.
Coordinator of the discussion was Mr. Kostis Papaioannou, high school teacher and Director of the non-profit organization “SIGNAL-Researching and Confronting the Far Right”.
Watch here

The Holocaust, Genocides and some educational approaches.

The Holocaust, Genocides and some educational approaches were discussed
in a two days webinar that the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of
Greece ran alongside after an invitation by the French organization
Yahad in Unum on the 14th and 21st of November 2020.
Teachers and educators from all over Greece and specialists from abroad
attended this on line seminar. The subject referred to investigations of
Holocaust crimes that took place in ex Soviet countries, also to
contemporary genocides (Guatemala, Yazidi, Armenia) and participators
discussed about educational scenarios.
We had Mrs. Renata Skunczyk and Mr. Michal Chozak as speakers from
Yahad in Unum.
Mr. Christos Nasios on behalf of the team of Interorthodox Centre
presented the help that Greek clergy (priests and bishops) offered to
the rescue of Greek Jews during the years of the Nazi Occupation in the
Greek territory.
Mrs. Verjin Karabetian who is the secretary of “Hamazkayin”, the Armenian cultural society in Greece, spoke about the Armenian Genocide
in the wake of today.
Mr. Albert Hytry from Yahad in Unum and Mr. Sergios Voilas from the
Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece had the responsibility of
the organization.

European Council of Religious Leaders virtual meeting

His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae, Director of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, participated in the visual meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders. The online meeting had important issues on the agenda, such as report on activities, registration of administrative base for Religious for Peace Europe, appointment of the ECRL delegation to the Board of the new Religious for Peace Europe etc..

Erasmus+ on Covid-19 time

The European Manifesto for Inclusive Learning final online meeting: learning from each other to rethink education and training.
The scientific team of the Interorthodox Centre, Mr. Sergios Voilas, Mr. Christos Nasios and Mrs. Kalliopi Mavragka, alongside with the ERASMUS+
Partners from Italy, Finland, Poland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Germany, all gathered together virtually at the final online meeting of the ERASMUS PLUS KA2 project “The European Manifesto for inclusive learning”. There was an exchange of good practices and new data emerged now with the appearance of covid -19 and the worldwide pandemic.