Jewish Heritage Europe

New Have Your Say: “Makom” in a revived synagogue in Crete; the role of Nikos Stavroulakis


Ioanna Galanaki and Nikos Stavroulakis Photo: Manousos Daskalogiannis

Our new Have Your Say op-ed is an intensely personal essay by Ionanna Galanaki, who is completing her PhD at Southampton University on the revival of the Etz Chayyim synagogue and community in the ancient port of Chania, Crete. The title of her dissertation is ”The Etz Hayyim Synagogue, from dilapidated building to shared sacred site – A biography of survival.”

In her essay she recalls the unique role and personality of the late Nikos Stavroulakis, who spearheaded the restoration of what had been an abandoned, desecrated synagogue, and the creation of a Havurah-like community of Jews and non-Jews.

Stavroulakis died in May 2017, and we published other tributes to him at the time.


Click to read Galanaki’s essay




5 comments on “New Have Your Say: “Makom” in a revived synagogue in Crete; the role of Nikos Stavroulakis

  1. We had the pleasure of a tour of the synagogue and other parts of Chania by Nikos in the 1990s. He also showed us his home, and a delightful local restaurant. I interviewed him for a story I had hoped to write on Chania and the synagogue, which, alas, never came to fruition. I still have the tapes and transcription of that interview, if anyone is interested. His work there, and at the museum in Athens, is awe-inspiring.

  2. the synagogue is one of the reasons I want to return to vacation again on Crete. It is amazing that after all the horrors of WW2 one man could bring this community back to life. I am sure he will have found the peace he truly deserves.

Leave a Comment