On 13.2.2024, the article by Margarita Pournara "Ioannina: With pride for the future, with respect for the past" by Margarita Pournara was published on the website of the Kathimerini newspaper, which includes the subsection "The heavy legacy of Elisaf" which is republished below.
Elisaph's heavy inheritance
The impressive mansion of the family of lawyer Nikis Lappa was the headquarters of the Greek elders during the period of the liberation of Ioannina from the Turks: "Ioannina was initially immersed in Puritanism and then in the atmosphere brought by the inhabitants of the villages. With Egnatia and Ionia, however, a crack was made in this old world. The same happened with the election of Moses Elisaf who had the substance and the radiance to transform the city. Unfortunately he didn't make it. Our misfortune was enormous." How a closed society elected the first Jewish mayor in Greece: "They voted for Gianniotis, a doctor who had for decades given proof of integrity and love to his hometown. Not the Jew," he told me.
The city does not forget the Yanniot Jews who perished in the Holocaust
The event for the Day of Remembrance of the Greek Jewish martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust, a day that has been declared by a decision of the Hellenic Parliament, January 27 of the year, was held jointly by the Region of Epirus, the municipality of Ioannito, the Israeli Community of the city and the Joseph and Esther Gani Foundation, in an event held on 5.2.2024.
But it was the event that, apart from the millions of absentees who perished in the hells of the concentration camps, including almost 1.800 souls of Yianniot Jews, the late mayor and for many years president of the Israeli Community of Ioannina, M. Elisaf, shined through his absence. A few days before the one-year anniversary of his death, Monday's event came as a powerful reminder of his own legacy, as in his own day Remembrance Day was an occasion to bring to the fore and make known all those aspects of Nazi atrocities.
The Jewish Community of Ioannina, participating in the international campaign "BRING THEM HOME NOW" for the immediate release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the bowels of Gaza, illuminated the Synagogue on 15.1.2024, thus marking the 100 days of the hostages' captivity .
In an atmosphere of emotion, the annual memorial service for Moses Elisaf took place at the Synagogue of Ioannina. Exactly ten months have passed since the day the mayor of Ioannina passed away.
On Sunday 17.12.2023, his beloved wife Patra, his relatives, friends and associates, people who traveled from every corner of the country, were there to honor his memory.
There were doctors who were his students and then worked by his side, his colleagues in the municipal faction he founded in 2019, the mayor Dimitris Papageorgiou, the new mayor Thomas Begas, the Regional Mayor Alekos Kahrimanis, the Mayor of Preveza Nikos Georgakos, municipal councilors and others local government people.
The General Secretary of the Central Jewish Council, Victor Eliezer, referred to the personality of Moses Elisaf, a personality who, through his contribution to science and medicine, but also through his engagement with the public, stood out and inspired. Read on HERE the entire speech of G.G. of KISE.
The memorial service was conducted by the Rabbi according to the Jewish ritual which mainly includes verses from the Psalms of David.
In an emotionally charged atmosphere, on 15.11.2023, the special meeting of the Municipal Council took place, dedicated to the memory of the late mayor Moses Elisaf.
In addition to the members of the body, the meeting was attended by the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Ioannina Maximos, the Secretary of the Decentralized Administration Seraphim Liapis, the Regional Governor of Epirus Alexandros Kahrimanis, the Rector of the University of Ioannina, the Commander of the 8th Division, a representative of the General Police Directorate of Epirus, the Coordinator Fire Services of Epirus, the President of the Israeli Community of Ioannina, representatives of organizations and authorities and many colleagues of Moses Elisaf from the field of Medicine and self-government.
Mrs. Cleopatra Hatzigianni-Elisaf was also present.
Η President of the Municipal Council Eleni Akonidou opening the special session he noted that the vision of Moses Elisaf inspired everyone and his presence in the office of mayor left its mark on the city. "He envisioned a city that would not be a copy of others. A city that would be friendly to the visitor and even more friendly to the citizen. He taught us that visions are always before us as achievable goals. That's why we thank him" said Ms. Akonidou, among others.