VOLOS (Volo), principal port city of Thessaly, Greece. The community of Volos was founded in the 19th century by a considerable number of Jews who came from the Peloponnesus after the Greek Revolution and the destruction of all of its Jewish communities. The community numbered 35 families in 1850. A new Romaniot synagogue was built in 1865 with the assistance of the Barons Rothschild and Hirsch of Paris. The rabbi was Samuel Molcho. One of the first schools to be opened by the *Alliance Israélite Universelle was in Volos (1864), which was also attended by many Greek children. Due to financial problems, communal apathy, defective instruction, dwindling enrollment, and abhorrent sanitary conditions, the school closed permanently in 1878. In 1889 and 1893 the community suffered from blood libels. At the end of the Turko-Greek war in 1897, anti-Jewish riots broke out, and many Jews fled to *Salonika. In 1909 there were 150 Jewish families and in 1913 about 1,000 persons. In 1910, the Zionist organization Po'alei Zion was founded, and in 1933 the Maccabi scout movement was founded. In 1940 the Jewish population of the city was 882. In 1943 the Jews dispersed themselves in the surroundings, but 130 of them fell into the hands of the Nazis and were included in a transport to the death camps. Rabbi Moshon Pessah, in consultation with the local Greek-Orthodox
Bulletin de L'Alliance Israélite Universelle, 12 (1887), 34–37; E.N. Adler, Von Ghetto zu Ghetto (1909), 102; N. Leven, Cinquante ans d'histoire. L'Alliance Israélite Universelle 1860 – 1910, 2 (1920), 61–65; M. Molho and J. Nehama, In Memoriam; Hommage aux victimes juives des Nazis en Grèce, 2 (1949), 58–60, 164. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Rivlin, "Volos," in: Pinkas ha-Kehillot Yavan (1999), 101–9.
[Simon Marcus /
Yitzchak Kerem (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.