BBYP gets ancient wisdom at the Acropolis

Report by Valerie Tesler

A small group of B’nai B’rith Young Professionals (BBYP), together with B’nai B’rith Europe (BBE), from the UK and Europe enjoyed a weekend of culture, history and sightseeing in Athens (from 17th May until Sunday 19th).

The group included participants from Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, South Africa, Russia, Germany, the UK and from the local Greek community.

Attendees included the VP of B’nai Brith in Denmark, bankers from Luxembourg (one of whom had just returned from meeting the Japanese PM through his work with B’nai B’rith International (BBI)), an ENT (head) surgeon, a professional singer and actress and a visiting/law professor

According to professional actress and singer, Minouche Kaftel, “it was a fantastic trip, with a great opportunity to meet new people and make new connections and friends. I loved seeing Athens and spending such a special Shabbat”.

The select group learnt about the Jewish history of Athens, and prayed at the main synagogue. They were joined by the local Greek youth, where the group (of approx 25) heard more about B’nai B’rith International and BBUK, BBYP and LBIA (London Bureau International Affairs).

On Shabbat, the group heard from the Special Secretary of Religious and Cultural Diplomacy, Greece’s first envoy on anti-Semitism.

They then enjoyed a three hour walking tour across Athens where they took in all the sights including the changing of the guard outside the Greek parliament and the city’s Holocaust memorial.

After Shabbat the group (of 35 people) enjoyed a private party in one of the city’s happening, thriving night spots until after 2am.

On Sunday a guide took the group to the Acropolis, which served as the Greeks’ temple in ancient times and was bombed by the Venetians in 1687. The tour continued with stops at the Panathenaic Stadium and the ancient Agora (the city’s central commercial and residential area).

There was also time to shop at the city’s abundance of flea markets before heading to the airport.

One participant commented “thank you B’nai B’rith for this enriching trip! I learned so much! The sightseeing was amazing but the best part was getting to know young professionals from Europe whom I would not have met otherwise.”